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Research: Sawmill Database

Alpha-Numeric Key: WK-99
Corporate Name: Pine Grove Lumber Company
Local Name: Big Tree Lumber Company
Owner Name: Pine Grove Lumber CompanyE. K. Dillingham, president. Big Tree Lumber Company A. J. Wheeler, vice president. Keith H. Richards.
Location: Alonzo, two to three miles northeast of Esperanza
County: Walker
Years in Operation: 8 years
Start Year: 1903
End Year: 1910
Decades: 1900-1909,1910-1919
Period of Operation: 1903 to until destroyed by fire on June 30, 1909; rebuilt by 1910.
Town: Alonzo, or Alonso
Company Town: 1
Peak Town Size: 832 in 1906
Mill Pond:
Type of Mill: Lumber
Sawmill Pine Sawmill Hardwood Sawmill Cypress Sawmill
Planer Planer Only Shingle Paper
Plywood Cotton Grist Unknown
Power Source: Unknown
Horse Mule Oxen Water
Water Overshot Water Turbine Diesel Unknown
Pit Steam Steam Circular Steam Band
Gas Electricity Other
Maximum Capacity: 30000: 1909
Capacity Comments: 30,000 feet daily in 1909; proposed 40,000 feet with new mill.
Rough Lumber Planed Lumber Crossties Timbers
Lathe Ceiling Unknown Beading
Flooring Paper Plywood Particle Board
Treated Other
Equipment: Circular sawmill and planing mill
Company Tram:
Associated Railroads: International & Great Northern
Historicial Development: Keith H. Richards operated a sawmill about three miles north of Esperanza from at least 1903 to January 1907. Richards contracted his cut out to others for selling. Carson, Morris, and Co contracted on August 8, 1903, with Richards for his entire cut plus 200,000 feet of lumber on the yard for $1,000. Carson, Morris contracted on April 1, 1904, for all the lumber on his yard plus the entire mill cut to be delivered through Esperanza Switch. John E. Hill and H. W. Hardy contracted on November 19, 1903, all the cut of Richards Mills Co until January 1, 1905, at $6.50 per per 1,000 feet. By 1906, Richards was contracting his cut to Big Tree Lumber Company. Richards sold his plant to Pine Lumber Company, the sawmill operation of the Big Tree Lumber Company. The Pine Grove Lumber Company operated the sawmill at Alonzo from 1907 to 1909. It had been a contract mill for the Big Tree Lumber Company, which marketed its cut during that period. Pine Grove Lumber contracted again on June 1, 1910 with Big Tree Lumber to sell its lumber. The Southern Industrial and Lumber Review confuses the wholesaler as the sawmill operator in a 1909 article. It identifies Big Tree Lumber as the owner of the 30,000 foot mill at Alonzo, on the International & Great Northern. The article also reported the mill had been destroyed by fire on June 30, 1909. The company planned to rebuild the mill with a 40,000 foot circular rig and begin operations again on October 15, 1909. The terms of the contract of June 1910, indicates that Big Tree had loaned Pine Grove $20,000, plus making $5,000 more available, in return for continuing to market Pine Grove lumber. The mill must have been rebuilt by that time. Big Tree owned another mill at Hampton, Tyler County, in 1902. (Continued in Interpretative Section).
Research Date: JKG 10-25-93, MCJ 03-31-96
Prepared By: J. Gerland, M. Johnson