Saw Mills: More Than Machines

Opens June 24, 2018

Sawmills: More Than Machines! is an in-depth look at the human and mechanical history of sawmills in the Sooke region. While for many a sawmill is seen as an individual enterprise, the reality is that they have historically been communities of people. In the Sooke area, this was certainly the case, with the Kapoor sawmill being a classic example, owned by one of the early BC Sikh families. The mill included bunk houses divided by ethnic origins, including Chinese, Sikh, and Europeans, and had amenities such as a school for the children of the workers. The closing of the Sooke Forest Products mill in the 1980’s had an impact far beyond the loss of jobs – it signaled a change of a community. This exhibit will look at both the technology of the mills, but also the social role they played. Artifacts, photos, and archives from the museum’s collection will be incorporated to tell the story of how a town formed around mills, skid roads and other points of activity.

This exhibit will open Sunday June 24, at our annual Open House and Salmon BBQ. We invite anyone in the community possessing unique or rare artifacts, proving an authentic relationship to Sooke’s logging history, to consider loaning or donating them to the museum.