Long before the Town of Elma of formed, twenty three saw mills dotted the area. Lumber was in abundance and so was the streams and creeks to power the mills Lumber was going at eight dollars per thousand feet and that was a lot of money at that time. Instead of burning the lumber to obtain land for farming, settlers constructed saw mills to convert the timber into lumber and sell it to Buffalo, along with using it for homes and fencing.
In 1845 Clark W. Hurd, Joseph Briggs and along with Allen and Hiram Clark dug a mill race from Buffalo Creek and constructed a dam to divert water for the purpose of the operation of a saw mill. Two saw mills were built and stayed in operation for many years.
The mill race still runs next to the Museum today as it did in 1845. History has no record of what might have happened to the Hurd and Briggs 1845 saw mill, digs around the old saw mill area has shown that the might have been destroyed by fire. For many years all the remained were the foundations of the mill around the base of the mill race.
In the spring of 2008 a conversation was started about the existing foundations and mill race. It was mentioned "How great it would be if we could rebuild the 1800's mill on the original foundations." The idea caught on, and Historical Society members, Frank Maciejewski and Fred Streif along with the late Donald Moeller got to work. The project was fully supported by the Society and constructed at no cost to the town.
LEARN MORE BY VISITING THE SAW MILL WEBSITE AT