Jackson Veneer Mill, Laurel Hill, Florida
1945 four investors started the Jackson Veneer Mill in Laurel
Hill: Henry Harold, President; R.W. Thomas, Assistant President;
and, S.A. Jackson, Secretary. At one time, the mill
employed as many as 100 people and its weekly payroll was near five
thousand dollars. By the late 1950s the value of the mill was
estimated at a quarter of a million dollars.
The site of the
mill (Laurel Hill, FL) was chosen because if area was located centrally
between Yellow River and Shoal River and the Jackson Lumber Company
tracts of land whose swamps furnished the timber. Giant gum logs
were hauled from the swamps to the mill, paced on huge ramps and rolled
into position where they were cut in usable lengths.
was powered by a steam engine which is now on display at the Florala,
Alabama Depot. Later, the mill retooled and began using an electric
motor. Perry Pascal (Junior) Cadenhead worked at the mill for
over forty years – 1948 until it closed on March 11, 1989.
many years the mill processed lumber for sale. The plant started out as
a box mill and they air dried the wood. It was made into strips
for making boxes. Later they began making plywood. Blocks of gum,
poplar and other trees were put into the hot water vat to soak.
the wood was warm and limber they would put the blocks on the table
saw. Using a sleuce system, strips were moved down the table to be
cut. The thin strips
were made into plywood. About 1/20th of an inch was as thin as
they could cut it. But they made it varying thicknesses and widths
depending upon demand. The plywood was shipped on trucks to Dothan, AL.
via the Howell Plywood Company.
Note the circumference of the logs over the top of the truck cabs.