Solid

Hand-hewn beam at Thompson's Mills State Heritage Site, Oregon
Hand-hewn beam at Thompson’s Mills State Heritage Site, Oregon

 
One of the displays at Thompson’s Mills State Heritage Site shows how logs—really BIG logs—were fashioned into the massive beams that support the mill. You’ve probably seen historic photos of the process, which began with a team of two men using a cross-cut saw to fell the tree, but until you’ve run a hand over the surface of a beam, and felt the detailed work done by razor-sharp axes, you can’t appreciate the raw technology involved.

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