Photo: Hahn Family
Brothers John and Wilbur Hahn started working together in 1939. Mostly they cut, milled and hauled timber. They transported axes, cross cut saws and a portable mill to where the trees stood, cut for weeks and then moved on to the next site.
Their last portable saw mill, The Double-O’ Frick, sits now at the old Hahn homeplace. It hasn’t moved for 25 years. A gasoline motor from a 1949 Buick Roadmaster powers the 52 inch blade. Even today, the mill operates much as it did 60 years ago.
On a good day the Hahn brothers could produce 3,000 board feet of lumber. When business prospered, they took on as many as seven employees. But competing against the big mills, producing millions of board feet of lumber each day, meant the Hahn brothers could not rest.
As recently as 2005, the mill produced railroad ties, furniture boards and flooring. The heavy snows in 2010 damaged the mill shelter.
The two-story clapboard house where the Hahn brothers grew up sits empty now. And yet, beyond the out buildings, past the family cemetery and above the fields once filled with vegetables and grains to sustain a family of ten, The Double-O’ Frick rumbles to life: a historic country mill in a digital age.
Open courtesy of the Hahn Family
Location: The Hahn Homeplace, Dutch Hollow
Directions: From Corridor H between Baker and Wardensville: exit at Pinnacle Drive (to the right from Baker or to the left from Wardensville); turn right onto Route Old 55; turn right onto Sauerkraut Road; Hahn Homeplace is about four miles on the right. Follow signs to the mill.