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Research: Sawmill Database

Alpha-Numeric Key: TR-37
Corporate Name: West Lumber Company
Local Name: Saron
Owner Name: West Lumber Company. Cameron & Company. Anderson and Cameron Lumber Company. Colonel A.T. Anderson, William Cameron, and F.S. Ulmer, 1883/1886-1898; William Cameron, 1897-1918. West Lumber, 1918 to no later than 1928.
Location: Saron community on highway 94
County: Trinity
Years in Operation: 31 years
Start Year: 1887
End Year: 1917
Decades: 1880-1889,1890-1899,1900-1909,1910-1919
Period of Operation: Began operations in 1887 and ran until December 31, 1917. West Lumber leased the mill in January, 1918.
Town: Saron
Company Town: 1
Peak Town Size: 1000 in 1905
Mill Pond:
Type of Mill: Produced all grades of finished and unfinished lumber and timbers
Sawmill Pine Sawmill Hardwood Sawmill Cypress Sawmill
Planer Planer Only Shingle Paper
Plywood Cotton Grist Unknown
Power Source: 275-horsepower steam engine
Horse Mule Oxen Water
Water Overshot Water Turbine Diesel Unknown
Pit Steam Steam Circular Steam Band
Gas Electricity Other
Maximum Capacity: 60000: 189075000: 1903
Capacity Comments: Initially, 60,000 board feet daily. 1903 and after, 75,000 feet daily.
Rough Lumber Planed Lumber Crossties Timbers
Lathe Ceiling Unknown Beading
Flooring Paper Plywood Particle Board
Treated Other
Equipment: Single circular, 1887 to 1903. Single band and pony rig, 1903-1918. A complete lumber facility, including saw mill proper, dry kilns, and planing mill.
Company Tram:
Associated Railroads: Trinity & Sabine Railway (Missouri, Kansas & Texas). Connected with International & Great Northern at Trinity. Tram road.
Historicial Development: The Trinity & Sabine Railroad built through Saron, ten miles west of Trinity. Colonel A. T. Anderson, William Cameron, and F. S. Ulmer (also spelled “Elmer”) built the Saron lumber facility sometime between 1883 and 1886. The firm, known as the Anderson and Cameron Lumber Company, changed to Cameron and Company when Cameron purchased the interests of his former business associates in May, 1898. The first mill began operations in 1887. Equipment included a single circular saw mill, dry kilns, and a planing mill. The sawmill could cut 60,000 board feet a day at peak capacity. Destroyed by fire on April 22, 1903, the mill was rebuilt. A single band and a pony rig had a capacity of 75,000 feet daily. It began operating in December, 1903. With the exhaustion of timber resources, the mill closed on December 31, 1917. The property was leased to the West Lumber Company in January, 1918. The post office was not discontinued, however, until 1929 when the population had declined to 100. By 1905, the Cameron and Company at Saron had seventeen miles of tram road, thirty-five logging cars, three locomotives, two dry kilns, two artificial ponds (one of which was reported as eleven acres and twenty feet in depth), 125 houses, and 400 men on the payroll. The company also provided some artificial lighting to the town, and planted Sycamore trees on the sides of the streets to aid in decoration. The light plant powered 385 incandescent and 25 arc lamps.
Research Date: JKG 7-20-93, MCJ 02-22-96
Prepared By: J. Gerland, M Johnson