The Geldner Sawmill in Cleveland

The Geldner Sawmill stands on a narrow strip of land that separates Lake Jefferson and German Lake near Cleveland. It was constructed nearby in the 1860s and moved to its present location around 1876. The sawmill operated until 1973, helping to carve farmland out of the Big Woods that were once rife with elm, basswood, sugar maple, and red oak.

geldnermill_old.jpg

The lower level of the mill contains a network of wide leather belts on wooden drive wheels that supply power to the machines on the upper level where the actual milling happened. The upper level was a long, open room with areas for sawing, planning, joining, and shaping boards. A marsh behind the mill served as a dumping area for sawdust and wood shavings.

2018

2018

The power plant for the mill was located in a single-story brick and stone shed attached to the west of the mill. Inside, a stationary engine supplied power to the mill. A large, gas-powered tractor engine was used to supply additional power during peak operating times.

Lumber from the mill was used in the construction of many local buildings. It is the last surviving sawmill in LeSueur County. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1975. The county purchased the sawmill in 1978 and restored it in 1983. These videos show the sawmill in action in 2007.

More photos: