They Sawed Up a Storm

The Women's Sawmill at Turkey Pond, New Hampshire, 1942

In 1942, a group of New Hampshire women operated a sawmill on the shores of Turkey Pond, Concord. The sawmill, one of two on the pond, was built by the U.S. Forest Service to saw up what remained of the logs stored in the water from the 1938 hurricane. They Sawed Up a Storm is a book about this group of women, the 1938 hurricane, the timber salvage efforts and the determination of the people of New England. 

I first learned about the women's mill from John Willey, the son of one of the women who worked there. John shared his mother, Laura's scrapbook with me--a tattered collection of snapshots and newspaper clippings depicting the women at work between 1942 and 1943.

The book begins with an account of the hurricane of 1938 and the path of destruction it left from Long Island to northern New England. Over 600 lives were lost, cities were flooded and property damage was extensive.

Note: Books will not be shipped
March 14 - April 2, 2013

They Sawed Up a Storm
 is available for shipping. You can order the book from this website or by writing to the author. Please go to the Contact/Order section of this website or:


Left to right: Sisters Norma and Barbara Webber push a floating white pine log with peaveys, while Mildred Sobel uses a pike pole to guide the log to the sawmill's ramp. All three are dressed alike and wearing L.L. Bean Maine Hunting Shoes. (AP Photo)

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