Upload your stories in our TELL US YOUR STORY section here!

(If you reach the bottom of the page,  hit "Next".  There's more!)

The Wells Brothers' Mill

Russell and Ritchie Wells did not only run a lumber yard in town,  but they also ran a mill on the Beaver Creek.

Wendi Wells-Lautenbach  sent these photos and wrote: 

The Wells brothers lumber store was located at 72 Forsyth street. Don Martin purchased the business from Russell and Ritchie Wells in the early 70's. The building itself is still there but was converted to apartments several years ago.   This first picture is dated 1934. "Coming from the woods-Ritchie, Irvine and hired man." The Wells brothers did a fair amount of cutting up around the Mazinaw to stock the lumber yard in Marmora.

Phyllis & Ritchie Wells

Russell Wells

$12.00 per day.  Well,  says Glenn,  you have to start somewhere!

Wayne VanVolkenburg adds:  Many years ago, my father mentioned that he spent a winter working in a lumber camp. Since he is in the photo of the Well's brothers crew, I assume that he was employed by them. They must have had a good cook at the camp, as he commented that he weighed more then, than at any other time in his life. He talked of being able to lay a block of wood on the ground and fell a tree on that spot. That task would be difficult enough with a chainsaw, but they were working with a cross-cut saw, making it far more difficult. Unfortunately for him, he lost most of his sight in one eye because of an accident while limbing a tree. His poor vision caused him to be rejected when he tried to enlist during WW2. He spent the war years working at the Oshawa GM plant building army trucks. Not caring for the city, he returned to Marmora after the war.

Ronald Barrons  added -  When my father purchased his Beaver Creek property, it was adjacent to where the Well's Brothers had a saw mill. This would have been in the 1950s.

Glenn Mawer worked at that saw mill while in public school,  loading slabs onto a horse drawn wagon .Wells Bros built a fork lift out of a army truck. He also remembers them installing a diesel motor to run the mill, replacing a steam engine.

Lew Barker also worked for them periodically in his early teens.

Wayne VanVolkenburg sent this photo

John VanVolkenburg in middle row.  Russell Wells is on the left bottom row and Bill Bishop next to him.

Gary Martin sent the following:   l worked in that saw mill north of Marmora with my Dad,  Jim Martin,  who was the sawyer for Wells Bros lumber. He also worked as a sawyer at their mill south of Cyclone Ont l remember when Dad took me to the mill near Cyclone. l loved it!! l was sixteen years of age when l worked at the mill . l loved that job and the smell of fresh cut lumber. l remember at the shop and store on Forsythe Street that l pumped gas into the trucks. You had to pump the gas up into the glass cylinder and then take the hose to fill the tank and squeeze the trigger and the gravity flow did the rest.

Regarding the  comment by Glenn Mawer,  the fork lift was built  by my brother,   Ralph Martin.    l watched him put on the hydraulic cylinders, hoses and the steering  mechanism which was on  backwards. l watched him try it out and was amazed to watch it work for the first time. He was very smart when it came to things like that. He went on to make a living at a plant near Ritson Rd Oshawa.   (Don Martin, is my younger brother by three years.)