Planing Mill

The Co-op planing mill at 600 East and Forest Street, was a 40 x 50 foot stone building with adobe upper walls erected by James Pett in 1875. Construction began not long after completion of the woolen mill farther north on the same block, sharing the mill-race which channeled water to both water wheels.

John Finley Merrell was superintendent of one of the Co-op lumber mills in Marsh Valley, Idaho. When the Co-op venture faltered, Merrell saw an opportunity to build a family business. In the fall of 1892 the property was sold to Lorenzo Snow and five minutes later he transferred ownership to Merrell. The mill was operated by John F. Merrell, his sons Frank and Will, and son-in-law Chris Simonson. An office and a residence for Simonson were built just west of the mill. A retail store known as Merrell Lumber Company was later built at 98 North Main. The store remained open for over three-quarters of a century and the mill was in operation for special
orders for some time after the retail store closed.Sarah Yates, “Old mill faces new century with facelift, renewed vigor,” Box Elder Journal, (Brigham City: August 4, 1998), 13.


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