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Draw Logs from Dowsville... the History of the Ward Lumber Company

Hiram Owen Ward (aka H.O.) bought a little sawmill on Vermont's Dowsville Brook in 1872, sawing clapboards and other lumber for building homes around the area. H.O. didn't stop at simply supplying the Dowsville area with lumber, he went to Moretown, Waitsfield, Duxbury, Waterbury and beyond building his business. With his profits, he bought parcels of land for the trees to expand his opportunities, buying up abandoned farms and odd lots. His business grew larger by the year, until he outgrew the capacity of his Dowsville mill. Buying two mills in Moretown gave him the ability to fill more needs of his customers. By the 1890s, Ward Lumber was shipping eighteen railroad cars of lumber a month around the country. The following three generations of Ward men carried the company forward, expanding their land holdings to over 30,000 acres from Victory to Northfield and in between, planting millions of trees for the future, and modernizing and innovating their business, even in the face of two World Wars, the Great Depression, recurring massive floods and fires. Ward Lumber Company was the largest employer in Moretown for decades. During wars and depressions, the company kept going, providing employment for many. This is the Ward Lumber Company story-a fascinating look back at 100 years of one company-from oxen- and horse-drawn sleds loaded with logs, to modern trucks and railroads; from water-power to electricity; from winter lumber camps to commuting to work.
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