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The mission of The Sawmill Museum is to preserve, collect, interpret, and explore the history of America’s sawmill, lumber, and forestry industries. Centered around the story of Clinton, Iowa’s rich lumber history, the Museum features dynamic exhibits, programs, and events that explore the history of these industries, their current practices, and future opportunities and challenges.
Once known as the "Lumber Capital of the World," Clinton’s pivotal role in the lumber industry and expansion of the West makes it ideally suited to host the Sawmill Museum.
Follow a piece of wood from fresh lumber to a chair leg. Live and play like a lumberjack. Discover the roots and expanse of Clinton’s lumber barons. Interact and engage with history and science through special programming and exhibits. Take a trip down memory lane when lumber ruled and lumberjacks played - or roamed.
The Sawmill Museum provides a cultural and historical focus for the lumber history of Clinton and America as a whole while serving as a hub for local community events and attractions year-round.
Stand in awe of the dangers, the risks, and the excitement of a sawmill in action. Live demonstrations occur on a limited basis, but videos of the sawmill in action are available daily. Please visit our website for listings of live demonstrations.
After a log was sawn by the mill, it underwent an extensive process to become finished lumber. Visit our Struve Mill exhibit to follow the lumber from fresh off the blade to a chair leg. Visitors can see and touch the wood at each equipment station along the manufacturing process. This exhibit was generously donated by Mrs. Helen (Struve) Cotton and consists of equipment used in the Struve Mill which was located eleven miles north of Clinton in Hauntown, Iowa.
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