Hemmerich Logging Memorial & Sawmill
Roy Hemmerich was born and raised at Arago, MN. There were numerous lath mills and sawmills, all of which were steam engine powered, in the general vicinity, and Roy recalled hearing as many as 21 different steam whistles blowing on clear winter days to signal the start of a days work. At the age of 13, he was driving a team and transporting lumber from a mill near the Hemmerich farm to Park Rapids.
They began logging in 1942 and then in 1944 Roy and his bother Bill purchased a mill and a big Case 25-45 cross motored tractor with which to power it. The mill was at that time located on Bill Hemmerich's farm near Itasca State Park. For 2 years the borthers did all the cutting with azes and cross cuts until a new mall power chainsaw was purchased. 1949 a 1946 International TD-9 crawler was bough for road building and snow plowing. The mill was moved to Itasca State Park and its current location in 1952 when Roy purchased his brother Billl's part of the sawmill. An Internation U-21 power unit replaced the Case tractor. A crew of seven to eight men was usually employed at the mill.
In 1972 Roy sold in sawmill and retired. The mill was operated for a few years after Roy sold it and then in 1988 was purchased by the Lake Itasca Region Pioneer Farmers,
In 1988, Roy Hemmerich passed away. He was a person who truly loved the woods and the Park. In 1955, Roys older son Earl erected a building in which his father's logging equipment and other artifacts could be stored and displayed as well as beginning the log-handling pageantry. Lenny Hemmerich soon became the lead sawyer of the mill. Earl & Lenny have continued to add and fine tune machines that are in the Logging Memorial building which include: 100+ power saws and other logging tools.
During saw demonstrations and log cutting and loading pagentry, other members of the Hemmerich family can be found working in the sawmill operations. Each demonstration during the show takes about forty-five minutes.
Both the sawmill and the museum are highly visible attractions at the LIRPF shows and summer tours. Make sure you check out Sawmill Hill to learn about the history of the mill, visit the family who has been running this mill for many years, and watch the demonstrations!
Levorsen Steam Engine
In 1932 Albert Levorsen came to Long Lost Lake,he brought with him 200 horsepower Buckeye steam engine and materials to build a sawmill. A site was located and construction began setting up the engine and the sawmill. Opertaion began shortly after. Slabwood and edgings fed the boilers firebox to create steam power for the engine, The engine furnished power for the sawmill, and edger, planer, cut-off saw, wood converyor and also to operate a generator or electricity and a water well pump. The sawmill was operated for many years by Levorsen until he sold late 1950's, where the mill was moved to Waubun. Norman Pross, a man from North Dakota purchased the mill and moved it to his farm. In 1970's Jennings Sunderaland having a conversation with found out that he had the sawmill, Pross donated the engine to where is originlly came from as long as Lake Itasca Region Pioneer Farmers restored and operated the mill. By 1984, Jennings & Kurt Sunderland, and Gerald Fenske had the engine running for the show and was moved to the grounds in 1990.