14083.2 | West Head Mill, Saint John, New Brunswick

West Head Mill, Saint John, New Brunswick
1865-1870, 19th century
18.1 x 21.5 cm
Gift of Cecelia Jessie Hilyard
This artefact belongs to: © New Brunswick Museum
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Keys to History

Throughout most of the 19th century and into the 20th, milling was a summer occupation dependent on the supply of square timber from the forests and rivers. Once the rafts reached the mill, they were broken up and the timber was either herded into a mill pond to await the saws or stacked on shore in "shingles." At the beginning of the 19th century, most New Brunswick mills were small water-powered operations scattered about the hinterland. They produced boards and other products for their local markets.

After 1850, mills grew in size, converting to steam power and concentrating in port communities. This was in response to the growing market for exports, first in the United Kingdom and then in the United States.

Source : All in a Day's Work: Lumbering in New Brunswick [Web tour], by New Brunswick Museum (see Links)

  • What

    The large building on the hill on the right is the Provincial Lunatic Asylum.

  • Where

    The West Head Mill was located just below the Reversing Falls Rapids on the Carleton, or west, side of Saint John.

  • When

    It was usually early to mid-July by the time the rafts reached the lumber mills.

  • Who

    Jewett Brothers, a prominent company in mid-19th century New Brunswick, owned the West Head Mill.