From 10 a.m.-4 p.m. on Saturday, August 6, you can see and hear metal moving at the Maine Forest and Logging Museum in Bradley. Lots of really heavy metal -the museum’s 20-ton steam-powered Lombard log hauler and a visiting gas-powered Lombard moving around the parking lot. Sparkswill  flying at the anvils when you move hot metal with a two pound hammer, and in between there will be machinery of all sorts.

Under restoration for several years, the Hackett and Witham rotary sawmill is now in working order and the first board was cut June 26th! The 100-year-old machine was built in Skowhegan and has been renovated with parts from old mills in Cornville, Mariaville and other places. Watch demonstrations of the rotary mill and shingle mill, also a Hackett and Witham machine. The water-powered mill will be running as well. Check out the Grady belt-driven machine shop from Belfast, now in the visitor center.

Metal often needed repair – the work of a smith. The museum will have portable forges set up so you can try your hand at pounding hot metal to get a feel for the fascinating ability to change its shape. Blacksmiths will guide you as you create your first hand-forged hook! Anvils and hammers of all sizes. If you can pick up a hammer, you can shape a glowing hot piece of iron.

Work up an appetite for some beanhole beans and biscuits! Join the crew on Friday and help make the beans. Help out on Saturday and learn how to bake in a reflector oven and turn out fluffy biscuits with a fire.

Bring your old make-and-breaks, homemade splitters, portable mills, woods vehicles (show us how you haul wood!), interesting trucks and tractors to add to the day. Let the museum know by phone or email so  they can save a place for you show off your wicked cool stuff!

The museum has two2 very rare working Lombard steam log haulers. The Lombard steam log hauler was invented and built between 1901 and 1917 in Waterville, Maine. It was the first successful tracked vehicle and led the way for modern construction, military, and recreational tracked vehicles. The first Lombard log haulers burned wood and traveled on ice-coated roads at about four miles per hour. They towed multiple sleds with up to 125 cords of logs, replacing the work of about 50 horses.

The Breton Family will be bringing a gas-powered Lombard. First made in 1910, gas-power machines gradually replaced the steam machines. They just needed to be turned on – no stoking the fire to get steam up, a process that took 4 hours or so. No shutting a steam engine off until spring, or the boiler would freeze up.

[email protected] or call 974-6278 for more information. The musem is located a mile down the Government Road, off Rte. 178 in Bradley. Admission is $10 for dults, $5 for children.


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