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Research: Sawmill Database

Alpha-Numeric Key: WK-53
Corporate Name: Hays & Gossage
Local Name:
Owner Name: Gossage & Hornbuckle, and S. Campbell. J. M. Gossage. James A. Hays & Gossage
Location: Roark's Switch near Phelps, three miles south of Huntsville
County: Walker
Years in Operation: 27 years
Start Year: 1882
End Year: 1908
Decades: 1880-1889,1890-1899,1900-1909
Period of Operation: 1882 to 1908
Town: Roark's Switch
Company Town: 2
Peak Town Size: Unknown
Mill Pond:
Type of Mill: Lumber
Sawmill Pine Sawmill Hardwood Sawmill Cypress Sawmill
Planer Planer Only Shingle Paper
Plywood Cotton Grist Unknown
Power Source: Steam
Horse Mule Oxen Water
Water Overshot Water Turbine Diesel Unknown
Pit Steam Steam Circular Steam Band
Gas Electricity Other
Maximum Capacity: 25000: 1893
Capacity Comments: 25,000 feet daily
Rough Lumber Planed Lumber Crossties Timbers
Lathe Ceiling Unknown Beading
Flooring Paper Plywood Particle Board
Treated Other
Equipment: Sawmill
Company Tram:
Associated Railroads: International & Great Northern
Historicial Development: James A. Hays was a postmaster at Dodge, in Walker County, when he began sawmilling about 1882. His Webb & Hays Lumber Company went bankrupt in 1891, but he was soon sawmilling at or near Phelps. Hays & Gossage were reported to be cutting 25,000 feet daily at Phelps in 1893. W. T. Blocks believes that Hays soon died or Gossage bought him out, for many mortgages exist after 1893 for J. M. Gossage and Company at Roark's Switch. J. M. Gossage, in June, 1892, regained some of the old Hays equipment earlier auctioned off to Smithers, including a planer-matcher, three log cars and a tram engine. The final entry, in October, 1907, refers to the sawmill plant as “being the old Campbell outfit.” It seems that S. Campbell had leased the sawmill from before 1907 until it came under the control of the firm of Gossage & Hornbuckle, who would lease their sawmill near Huntsville to Campbell.
Research Date: MCJ 03-31-96
Prepared By: M Johnson