Wayne LeBlanc Collection
In 1891, Joseph LeBlanc began the hard work of “proving up” his homestead to keep his free land.
He built a home and a barn using logs sawn on this portable sawmill. The primitive and dangerous circular headrig saw cut the log into cants or planks that would later be used to build the family home and other structures.
A horse would skid or haul the log from the forest to the sawmill. The men would use a cant hook or peavey to roll the logs onto the carriage or platform. A friction drive would move the carriage, with the log, to the headrig to be sawn.
Joseph LeBlanc’s sawmill would only be used on his homestead for 10 years. The portable sawmill was likely moved to another homestead or set up elsewhere in the forest.