The crew assembles for a picture on January 14, 1943.
Left to right: Mary Plourde, Barbara Webber, Violet Story, Carmilla Wilson, Lucy DeGreenia, Ruth DePosier, Daisy Perkins (with Chimney dog),and Laura Willey

They Sawed Up a Storm
is published by
Jetty House/Peter E. Randall Publisher Portsmouth, NH

The book is 6X9, softcover, 80 pages


They Sawed Up a Storm


Old sawdust seems to last forever.  The old sawdust appearing like sand on the shore of Turkey Pond in Concord, New Hampshire, is the result of a series of events that began more than seventy years ago with the great hurricane of 1938 and ended with a group of women operating a sawmill at the pond during World War II.

I first learned about the women's mill at Turkey Pond from John Willey, the son of one of the women who worked there.  John, who was operating a sawmill in Andover, New Hampshire at the time, shared his mother's scrapbook with me--a tattered collection of sanpshots and newspaper clippings depicting the women at work between 1942 and 1944. Laura Willey and about a dozen other New Hampshire women were employees of the Turkey Pond #2 sawmill, built by the U.S. Forest Service's Northeast Timber Salvage Program in 1942 to saw hurricane-salvaged logs still floating in Turkey Pond four years after the historic storm.

Although my story focuses on the women at Turkey Pond, their story takes place during a period of time that shaped the history and landscape of New Hampshire, the 1938 hurricane and America's entry into World War II.


Barbara Webber guides a board through the edger, which squares its
sides. (Photo by John Collier Jr., Library of Congress, Prints & Photograph Division, FSA/OWI Collection, LC-USW3-034082-E)

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