THE STEAM SAWMILL
Photo by McLean Mill
The McLean Mill:
The McLean Mill National Historic Site is a former sawmill and logging operation located on 13 hectares of forested land in the Alberni Valley of Vancouver Island B.C. This formal recognition consists of some 35 structures and the land surrounding them. Built resources include an operational steam sawmill, and ancillary structures including a wide variety of wooden garages, storage structures and outbuildings, a cluster of wooden residences and administrative buildings, and a rail line. Landscape features include outdoor areas for processing and storage of lumber and a mill pond.
McLean Mill was designated a national historic site of Canada in 1989 to commerate its collection of extant resources related to logging, sawmilling, transportation and labour, and, its close association to significant aspects of the forest industry.
McLean Mill is a rare, surviving example of an early - to - mid 20th century logging and lumber operation in British Columbia. Established by Robert Bartlett McLean, his wife Cora and their three sons, it continued as a family-run operation until 1965. Built resources at the site were constructed of local materials by he McLean family and their workers. The delicate creation of zones of activity is still painly visible. The site includes a steam-powered sawmill and original machinery representative of the range of activities undertaken in the forest industry. Built resources and machinery span 40 years of mill operation and their evolution over that period. The site also includes transportation facilities for the steam powered locomotive.