Morton Sawmill

(1882 – 1988) George Morton bought this sawmill from Mr. Bolton. It sat on the shore of Lake Max until a forest fire destroyed much of the available timber. It continued operations to the north.

Stories

#An Early Holidaying Hotspot . . . **1898 - Present** As the largest lake in what is now Turtle Mountain Provincial Park, Max Lake was the natural location of choice for summer holidaying. ##Sawmill One of the first events to pull attention to the lake was the construction of the [Bolton Sawmill](article=lake-max-sawmill) on the north bank in 1881. In 1882 the mill was bought by [George Morton](article=george-mortons-ventures) to provide lumber for the village of Whitewater and Town of Boissevain. The mill’s operation brought men to the lake to work and established regular activity in the area. Despite its business-like beginning, activity around Lake Max has generally been pleasurable in nature. George Morton kicked off leisure activities around the lake with a small steam launch that he named Lady of the Lake. He used this boat to give pleasure cruises around the lake to his friends and visitors. [[inline:left:max-lake-rowboats]] ##Cottaging on Arbor Island Around the turn of the century, horses replaced oxen and travelling became much less difficult. Several townspeople from Boissevain decided that Max Lake’s Arbor Island (then known as “90 Acre Island” – a slight misnomer, as the island is in fact 25 acres larger than the name suggests) would be an excellent place for a summer holiday spot. Bob Hurt, who had been the engineer for Morton’s Sawmill, built the first cottage on Arbor Island in 1898. The cabin logs were cut during the winter and hauled over the ice to the island by horses. In the space ...

**1880-1985** The sawmill that started out on the shore of Lake Max has a long and interesting history. For nearly 100 years it served the residents of the area, providing lumber so that the region could become populated by homes, barns and businesses. It was by no means the only sawmill on Turtle Mountain, but its duration far exceeds any others. ##Mr. Morton's Mill In 1880 Mr Bolton established a sawmill on the shore of Lake Max. The next year, entrepreneur [George Morton](article=george-mortons-ventures) bought the sawmill and used it to produce lumber for nearly every building in the then thriving village of [Whitewater](article=whitewater-village). Morton also built a planer where logs could be cut into boards. [[inline:left:lake-max-sawmill]] The mill sat on the northern end of the lake, just west of a stream that flowed into the lake from a slough a couple hundred metres back from the shore. Cut logs were dumped into this slough. Afterwards, they were sent down a man-made channel to the lake where they were chained at the entrance to the lake from the stream. They were held here until there was room in the mill for them to be cut. The mill's boiler stack was guyed up to a majestic oak tree by a long bolt that went straight through the tree. Mr. Morton was the type of man to be kind and helpful to anyone who had ambition. He had an optional work policy that gave some men a much appreciated boost: any man who ...