Sawmills were the St. Clair area’s first true business. The original (hand-powered) was built as part of Fort Sinclair’s construction in 1764-65 with a larger one built in 1766 about four miles up the Pine River from its mouth at the St. Clair River. Louis St. Bernard’s sawmill supplied timber for the reconstruction of St. Anne’s Church in Detroit as well as ship planks to the British in 1814. Thomas Palmer and Horace Jerome were among the early owners of water-powered sawmills in St. Clair. Col. Wesley Truesdail operated four sawmills in St. Clair. By 1852 there were eight operating sawmills in St. Clair.
More sawmill information at the Museum.