In 1962, Jesse Scribner closed Scribner’s Saw Mill in Harrison. He was 92 years old and had worked in the family business for 78 years.

While the historic lumber mill is no longer producing, it is open to visitors for tours on specific days during the year, including the annual Back to the Past event. The two-day celebration takes place on Saturday and Sunday.

Built in 1847, the mill was purchased by the Scribner family in 1851. The mill’s peak operations ran from World War I through the Korean War, when it produced box parts used to ship ammunition.

Now run by the nonprofit Scribner’s Mill Preservation, the mill has been restored, and churns out wood shingles during demonstrations. Folks taking part in this weekend’s Back to the Past will see how those wood shingles, as well as how dry barrels (once used to pack nails, flour, apples and the like), are made.

Visitors will also be allowed into the Scribner homestead, which is across the street from the mill. The homestead is privately owned by Marilyn and John Hatch, who are members of Scribner’s Mill Preservation.

The Hatches purchased the home from the Scribner family in 1983 because they had fallen in love with the property and the Scribner family’s history, Marilyn Hatch said.

“Sometimes you start something and you don’t fully understand the significance of what you are doing,” she said.

The Hatches began restoring the first floor of their home to reflect as it was in 1924 (after the Scribners had installed a bathroom). The Scribner family has given the Hatch family memorabilia and items from their former home, which are displayed in the house.

“People come by every day,” Hatch said.

While she and her husband are happy to show visitors the mill, they only open their home to tours a few times a year, including during Back to the Past.

In addition to tours of the mill and the homestead, those attending Back to the Past will see antique cars, trucks and engines, and take part in activities for the young and not-as-young.

On Saturday, the Highland String Trio performs at 3:30 p.m., and a pig and turkey roast gets started at 5 p.m.

 

Staff Writer Stephanie Bouchard can be contacted at 791-6455 or at:

[email protected]