captions, page 4:

top: Leo Morissette, Nate Rosebrooks, Andy Quigley, and George French (clockwise) beginning construction of recreated engine shed.
bottom: Volunteer Dan Coughlin hand digging sensitive downhill portion of drainage trench
middle: Rebuilt 1928 Studebaker engine returned temporarily to its original position in front of Chamberlin Mill
caption for photo on page 1: Andy Quigley screwing down decking planks

Mill: Moving
Though Covid-19 has limited public activities for Woodstock’s historic Chamberlin Mill this year, it has not stopped progress.  
Construction has proceeded apace this season.  Volunteers, masked and physically distanced, undertook critical drainage work on the Mill’s main entrance side in the spring.  Then, the project was turned over to Sig Swanberg of SAS Construction to complete site preparations according to specifications from J&D Civil Engineers. When this work was finished, volunteers again took over to build a wide deck connecting to the Mill’s main level.  This deck will allow all visitors, including those in wheelchairs, easy access to the building. Incorporated into the deck, and still under construction, is a shed for the 1928 Studebaker engine that is credited with keeping Chamberlin Mill alive for several decades of operation after waterpower mechanisms were destroyed in the Great Flood of 1936.
Heading the volunteer deck and shed construction project is Leo Morissette, a recently retired Woodstock contractor and good friend of the Mill.  He donated not only his labor but also lumber to this project, cutting the Mill’s cost for the combined deck and engine project approximately in half.  Working with Morissette on the construction are George French, Andy Quigley and Nate Rosebrooks.  Generous Friends of Chamberlin Mill have provided all necessary funding for this part of the overall mill revitalization. The building committee guiding this and other projects for Chamberlin Mill, Inc. includes French, Jean McClellan, Morissette, Quigley, Rosebrooks, Evelyn Cole Smith, and Myron Stachiw.
While less visible than the exterior construction, work on rebuilding the Mill’s 1873 Lane #1 saw is well underway, and it is hoped that by next year the saw will once again be connected to the Studebaker engine that provided it power over a half century ago.  This engine was rebuilt several years ago by Mystic Seaport volunteers, spearheaded by Rosebrooks, and is ready to be teamed up again with the saw to produce Chamberlin Mill’s first lumber in 50 years.
Under the stewardship of Chamberlin Mill, Inc., a 501c3 non-profit corporation, the revitalized site will be open for public display and demonstrations, to share the history of Woodstock’s rare historic sawmill and its place in New England’s early lumber industry.  The Chamberlin site has been used for grist and sawmill operations since the 1700s, and retains the gears, pulleys and belts of earlier water power days. It is believed to be the only publicly accessible early circular sawmill in Connecticut still dedicated to its original use.
Progress on work at Chamberlin Mill may be followed on the website,  This website has itself undergone reconstruction in the time of COVID under the guidance of volunteer Amanda Bennett, a marketing and graphic arts professional.   Under a Capacity Building Grant from The Last Green Valley, Bennett has also guided Chamberlin Mill, Inc. in creating a new digital newsletter. The first edition of the newsletter has just been published.  To receive a copy, or to sign up for future copies, see the website above.


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