HARRISON — Scribner's Mill on the Crooked River will celebrate its history as a bustling turn-of-the-century mill and homestead from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 4.
Back to the Past, as the annual event is known, is celebrating the mill's status as the only early industrial sawmill left in the United States.
For the second year in a row, a teamsters rally will be a special attraction, with the chance to see eight teams of oxen all hitched together, head to tail, trekking up Scribner's Mill Road.
Oxen were traditionally used to haul logs to the mill, and Dottie Bell of Waterford will lead demonstrations for the oxen teams separately and as a group throughout the day.
Those attending Saturday's event will hear the hum of old mill machinery, much of it original and still intact. In its heyday as an industrial sawmill, Scribner's Mill manufactured barrel staves, shingles, clapboards and apple boxes.
Scribner's Mill, which operated from 1847 to 1962, is the only mid-19th century sash sawmill remaining in North America that remains on its original site and still has much of its original equipment. That is thanks in part to Jesse Scribner, who kept operating the mill the old-fashioned way long after other mills had transitioned to more modern technology.
At Back to the Past, visitors can watch barrels being made in the cooper's shop and buy one for $40. After blacksmiths fire up the forge in the nearby blacksmith shed, the barrels can be branded with the Scribner's Mill logo. A farrier will be at work, replacing horseshoes on her team of horses.
Also offered will be tours of the 1850 homestead, with demonstrations of quilting, weaving, spinning, rug hooking, basketry, beekeeping and the making of ice cream. Visitors will be able to watch a video in the barn showing a real sash sawmill operation in action. In the mill pond area, antique tractors and other machinery will be demonstrated. At the side of the mill pond is a new ice house, housing a donated collection of antique ice-making tools.
Supervised children's activities will be available in and around the corn shed, led by volunteers from the Bridgton Historical Society. The children will be invited to take part in a pillow fight, make their own candles or play an old-time hoop-stick game. There will be free rides on a wagon drawn by a pair of Belgian horses.
The Highland String Trio will return again this year to provide fiddling-folk music from 1:30 to 3 p.m. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Americana and root music will be provided by Rusty Wood, aka drummer Rusty Wiltjer and Brad Hooper.
Back to the Past will also feature an old-fashioned pig and turkey roast and baked bean supper at 4:30 p.m., at a cost of $10 for adults, $8 for children. Lunch includes bison burgers and lobster rolls, and homemade pies and lemonade will also be available.
The site is handicapped accessible, with golf cart transportation available for those who find it difficult to walk long distances. Handicapped parking is at the homestead site, while regular parking is just up the hill on Scribner's Mill Road.
There will be a $6 admission fee, with children 12 and under admitted free.
Proceeds are used to help in the restoration of the 1847 sawmill site.
Travelers can reach Scribner¹s Mill from Route 35 at Carsley Road, Route 117 at Maple Ridge and Route 121 at Bolsters Mills Road. Watch for yellow-and-black Back to the Past signs.
For more information, call 583-4289 or 513-7337.