TIMBER GHOST STORY
Just north of the community of Jasper and inside the borders of the Angelina National Forest, remains of a sawmill and the small community that once thrived around it slowly collapse in the clearcut. Known as the Aldridge Sawmill Historic Site and acquired by the U.S. Forest Service in 1935, the remains represent the rise and decline of the east Texas timber industry. Constructed in 1905 by Hal Aldridge, the original wooden mill and its operations inspired the growth of a small community, also called Aldridge, aided by a spur of the Burr’s Ferry, Browndel & Chester Railway. By 1911, Aldridge included 76 buildings, among them a hotel, warehouse, and company store. The original mill burned down that year and a hand-poured concrete mill, the remains of which are still standing, kept the community growing. By 1918, the mill was producing approximately 125,000 board feet of lumber each day. But natural resources have their limits and by 1923 the mill closed down as the surrounding timber declined. The community followed and by 1927 Aldridge was a ghost town. Today, hikers can tackle a trail just under three miles long from the Boykin Springs Recreation Area to the Aldridge Sawmill Historic Site and admire the concrete handiwork in the mill, a power plant, a fuels building and a dry kiln, along with portions of the old railroad tram. Photo on home page by Carol Ramsey.
Aldridge Sawmill Historic Site: Angelina National Forest/ Boykin Springs Recreation Area
Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m.