Kettle River Museum
Midway, British Columbia

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Along the Line: the Kettle Valley Railway as a Community Link
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Boundary Sawmills Ltd.

Midway's first sawmill had opened in 1910 to mill timber fallen by the local ranchers and homesteaders. The site was ideal, beside the Kettle River near a shallows where logs from the annual log drive could easily be detained.

However, the mill burned down and the land stood unused for 12 years. The log drive passed by, bound for mills in Grand Forks and Billings near Cascade.

With the arrival of the Kettle Valley Railway the Boundary was growing again, as was the market for lumber, and so in 1926 the land changed hands. Boundary Sawmills was built on the site of the former mill. It had become an even more ideal site now that lumber could be shipped directly by rail through Penticton to Vancouver.

1926 pre-dated the advent of electricity in the Kettle Valley by more than twenty years; the river was damned to hold logs from the log drive and to supply water for turbines. Sawdust from the head saw was burned to fuel a steam engine that powered the mill.

 

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