During its peak years the Reynolds mill complex consisted of the dam, main sawmill, planing mill, shingle mill, blacksmith shop, boiler room, store, and farm. While the mill produced a range of wood products over he years, inlcuding matched lumber, clapboard siding, shingles. the hey day of the mill was reached with two major contracts. One was for hardwood logs for Brooklyn Cooperage (c. 1908-1918) that were processed in St. Regis Falls, and subsecquently a contract for pulp logs for the Malone paper mill about 1920 that went directly to Malone. As the
last trees were cut, the Reynolds mill gradually lost its reason for being.
The mill at first ran entirely by water power. I know that because when I was a little girl I was staying with my grandmother and she got up in the night and said I think I hear the water wheel turning. And she got up and took a lantern and went down to the mill to see if the water wheel was turning. An d of course it wasn’t. They ran the mill by that power for quite a little while and then they raised the dam and put in the steam and used to burned sawdust and waste lumber.
Beatrice BeamamTape 1 p.3 1970
Mrs. Frances (Spaulding) Ellis
This black horse that I speak of… It seems that they needed horses …. And they
heard that the pulling company in New York City was selling horses. So Billy Collins and I think, it must have been Berton Reynolds, went down there to see if they could get the horses. They said when they got this big black one, he said right off “ why are you selling him?” They said “that is because he is going blind”
And they bought him and that was the last horse. He lived the longest of any of the others.
So many of them their legs were broken in the woods. And I can remember seeing him go by when I lived in Bangor…The men go with their load of lumber in the morning and back in the afternoon. This horse he always walked just the same. Never hurried, never slowed up. And Billy said that in the woods “he never took a step that he wasn’t sure of being safe.” And that was why he lived so long. And I
think I have a picture of that horse actually.
Mrs. Frances (Spaulding Ellis) tape oral historyinterview September 12, 1970
Description of Mill – Dan Whitcomb
The Dry Kiln
Yes there was a dry kiln. It was across the river from the big mill. Blacksmith shop first and back into the dry kiln (Planeing Mill) same building. It was a big one…. Pile the lumber in there to dry it and on one end they made boards….kinda of a flat . They had to have it good and warm you know, tight. Steam came in from across the river and the boiler…big pipe…two places…from the boiler and that is where they got their heat right up there was made. Steam would come up from the floor through little holes …square holes…heat would come up in there.
There were small saws in there in the planning mill …just cut off saws, small saws. Some of them run by water. The big saws … that cut the lumber were run by steam. And the water mill there too for the smaller ones ….button saws…slab saw we called it…yah the slab saw we were cutting slabs on that… Then they cut anything that was big enough to be good pulp. Lots of time there would be a big end and lop that off. Loweville (saw) came from Loweville (near Watertown)
The Boiler Room
The boiler room was built… At one time there was a shed in there for wagons in there and that is where they painted their wagons and one thing or another. I do not know what they used that for except wagons in there…painted them…Kimball a fellow by the name John Kimball used to be the painter…..
The Blacksmith Shop
That was just before you crossed the bridge. That was quite a big building too… back end that they had tools…They made everything…sleds and everything you know. Jeff Trimmer and Joe Lawson…but Alfred French worked in there some and a fellow named Mike Connors, blacksmithed there some. And I worked in there myself some. Just one…(men working in the blacksmith shop) just the blacksmith, (had an assistant) different ones to hand him things…Joe Bombard used to help in there. The blacksmithlive upstairs over the shop)… they did for a while, they did a while.. They used to have dances up there …. Quite a good
Sometimes they run the mill and I worked in the woods too you know….quite a
little. I had a good many house…I don’t know how many houses I had (lived in Company houses)…I could tell..I can count them off.
Dan Whitcomb tape 1 p.2 oral history interview March 31, 1970
Beatrice Reynolds Beaman on the Mill from oral history interviews:
“The logs came out of Brandon the southern and western, the southwest corner of Brandon. They had hardwood and softwood both. When they brought the softwood down that was put on the ice and when the ice went out that went into the pond and they drew it in to the mill after the ice melted. The hardwood they piled on land and they just rolled that in as they wanted to saw it Because…if they left the hardwood on the ice it would go right to the bottom. ecause I think they made flooring and things like that they sold maple, birch, beech any of those
hardwood trees ..ash. I think they made flooring, probably did not finish it at first although afterwards. Then you see my father came down here to Malone and he and Welding had the Malone Lumber Company where Bowens had just been and they did some of the finishing there. The would cut out some of the rough lumber and they drew it down by teams There was no railroad up there I seen loads of 12 to 15 logs …of course the hardwood logs were heavy The could pile the pulp up as high as they were wide They did when they drew the pulp…they had loads after loads and they the got a tractor that drew them down but that was the very last of the operation.”
Beatrice Reynolds Beaman,Tape 1 page 2 oral history interview June 1970