Sawyer and Antique Sawmill Reunited

A century-old Aultman and Taylor sawmill once owned by the Ross family is still going strong at an Illinois show.

Left: John Ross (in the foreground) and a helper turn a log so the flat side is down, allowing sawmill workers to make future cuts square. Massive logs are a chore to maneuver. “I refer to those as ‘test logs,’” John says with a smile. “They don’t test the mill; they test us.” Center: The sawmill blade works its way through the log in a matter of seconds, leaving a large slab of lumber that can be cut into smaller boards. Right: John takes time to oil the sawmill’s moving parts and remove sawdust while tractors or steamers are being changed.