MHG32894 - Spinningdale Lumber Mill

Summary

No summary available.

Type and Period (2)

  • SAW MILL (Modern - 1901 AD to 2100 AD)
  • (Former Type) MILITARY CAMP (Second World War - 1939 AD to 1945 AD)

Protected Status

  • None recorded

Full Description

Spinningdale and Migdale Lumber Mills were constructed and operated between 1942-1946 by the Canadian Forestry Corps, an integral corps of the Canadian army. These and similar mills at Clashmore and Invershin were extensive, high production units, each employing a Company of men. Each mill included timber barrack accommodation, catering and entertainment facilities, generating equipment, saw mills, maintenance and repair shops for heavy earth moving and timber hauling equipment, and narrow gauge tramways for disposal of sawdust and slabs. Only evidence today are the remnants of sawdust piles and a network of roads bulldozed to facilitate timber extraction. During the Fisrt World War logging and sawmill operation was carried on in the parish by American civilian lumbermen.

The Industrial Archaeology of Sutherland (A Scottish Highland Economy 1700-1900, pp. 71, 91) - Sinclair B Calder, 1974
(Grid reference needs checking and site visited to determine exact location of mill)

J Aitken : 19/2/2004
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William Wonders’ book, The Sawdust Fusiliers, describes three CFC camps in the area in WWII: Skibo A near the eastern end of Migdale Loch, Skibo B (closer to Spinningdale), and Skibo C/Clashmore.
Skibo B was located on the Achue Road (NH 682 900). There was a cinema there, and there were a number of dances. There was also a sawmill there, with a pond about four feet deep for washing the logs. The logs were then hooked with a pole onto an elevator leading to the saw which was on the upper floor. The circular saw blades were large – around four to five feet. The saw mill was capable of cutting large timber to different sizes. The cut timber was stacked on the Achue road, possibly to go off by train. Mr Macrae owned the local shop/post office at the time and was very good to them, doing a big ‘bartering’ trade with them. He was so popular, that when he died in the 1970s, the Canadians sent representatives to his funeral from Canada (GG). According to Wonders Skibo B was occupied by Company 29 in 1942-3 by men from New Brunswick, by company 13 in 1943-44 by men from Nova Scotia and by Company 1 in 1943-44 by men from Ottawa. There is a photo of No 1 company dated 1943 in the Historylinks archive.

After the war in 1952-3 a sawmill was built near the CFC mill needed to deal with all the trees which came down in the storm. There is still said to be sawdust there. <2>

Sources/Archives (2)

Map

Location

Grid reference Centred NH 6820 8990 (40m by 40m) (Buffered by site type)
Map sheet NH68NE
Geographical Area SUTHERLAND
Civil Parish CREICH

Finds (0)

Related Monuments/Buildings (0)

Related Investigations/Events (0)

External Links (0)

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