1896, 27 November: Another Saw Mill

One of the two mills which were shipped into the valley a short time ago by Geoffrey Lavell, of Butte, is being set up on Joe Gangner's ranch near Columbia Falls. The mill will have a capacity of 35,0000 feet daily, and its product will be shipped almost exclusively to the mines of the Anaconda company. A spur will be built to the mill by the railroad company.

The location of the other mill has not been decided on yet, but it will be put in condition for work in a short time.

Both the mills have been in use by the Anaconda company in the south part of the state, and their removal here means that the company will get at least the larger part of its lumber supply from the Flathead in the future. To the people of the valley it means a larger and livelier market for their timber.

- - - Daily Inter Lake

1906, 09 March: New Mill At Columbia Falls

The Hollister Lumber Company, of Manchester, Iowa, has bought a site for a sawmill near the Soldiers' Home, two miles down the river from Columbia Falls, and will move a mill there from Michigan. A. Hollister and G. W. Hunt, of the company, spent some time making an examination of the timber along the Flathead, and secured contracts for a large amount of timber. They attempted to buy the Olsen & Peterson site at Columbia Falls, but were not able to make satisfactory arrangements. A spur will be run from the railroad to the mill as soon as it is ready to begin sawing. Mr. Hunt will be local manager, and will move his family here from Manchester.

It is not the intention to manufacture lumber for the general trade, but the company will cut exclusively for its own yards, nine in number, located at towns in eastern Iowa and western Illinois. The company is a strong one and is backed by abundant capital.

- - - Daily Inter Lake

1920, 27 July: Among The Sawmills

The buzz of two sawmills will soon be heard in Columbia Falls daily, and the added prosperity will be greatly appreciated by the people of this community. The manufacture of lumber will be carried on steadily by three new sawmills in the immediate vicinity of Columbia Falls, one of the greatest logging centers in the state, and in a short time will be listed among the great lumber shipping points of the state.

The John Olson mill will be running full blast in a few days, and with all the latest up-to-date machinery with a large band saw, will be a good producer. The company has millions of feet of logs to saw into lumber, and at present their boom is full of white pine logs, which will keep the big mill busy for several months.

The Hunt-Trippet Lumber Company have their new mill nearly completed and will be running by the first of August. They have their boom full of logs and several million feet banked which are ready to be put in the river at any time. This company has one of the best mill sites on the river, and the buildings they have erected make the camp one of the best appearing in the county

The Parker - Zorzi Lumber Company are sawing steadily and have been shipping for some time. This company is located north of Columbia Falls in the heavily timbered section and have an abundance of timber in their possession to keep them sawing for years.

- - - The Columbian

1922, 23 June: Columbia Falls Mill Is Burned

Fire of unknown origin completely destroyed the Montana Western Lumber Company planing mill here Tuesday night. The night dispatcher at the depot first noticed the fire at a few minutes before midnight and called the telephone central who at once turned in a general alarm.

The fire department responded quickly and was soon upon the grounds, but nothing could be done, as the flames had spread throughout the frame buildings and nothing could be saved. The loss is estimated at about $20,000, with insurance of $10,000. It is believed that one planer and the boiler can be salvage.

The night watchman was eating his lunch in the office building near the mill when he saw flames burst from the filing room, in the southeast corner of the plant, and within a very few minutes the entire building was in flames. The fires in the engine room had been drawn during the afternoon, as the state boiler inspector was expected to make an examination of the plant the following day.

Manager Schoknecki announces that a temporary plant will be constructed to complete present orders on hand and will be running in about 10 days.

The mill was built by the Olson Lumber Company in about 1907.

- - - The Columbian

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