GREENWOOD — A businessman says he plans to put an idle western Maine dowel mill back into operation after purchasing it at a public auction.

Steve LaFreniere, owner of Eastbrook Timber Corp. in Enfield, told the Sun Journal that he placed the winning bid of $450,000 for the Saunders Brothers mill in Greenwood at Wednesday’s auction. The mill shut down in May, putting 55 employees out of work.

LaFreniere said he owns other mill properties in Bangor, Houlton, Kenduskeag and Old Town.

The Greenwood mill over the years has produced a number of wood products ranging from dowels and rolling pins to lollipop sticks and checkers pieces.