A 21st Century Modern Sawmill – Robbins Lumber in Searsmont

Posted Oct. 22, 2012, at 12:37 p.m.
The state-of-the-art Robbins Lumber sawmill grades, trims and sorts wood by computer.
The state-of-the-art Robbins Lumber sawmill grades, trims and sorts wood by computer.

Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012 3 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Location: Robbins Lumber, Ghent Road, Searsmont, Maine

For more information: Georges River Land Trust; 207-594-5166;

Join the Georges River Land Trust for a tour of the Robbins Lumber Company mill in Searsmont, one of the most modern sawmills in the United States on Thursday, November 1, at 3:00 PM. Tickets to the event benefit the Georges River Land Trust and are $30 for Land Trust members and $35 for non-members. Tickets must be purchased in advance either on-line at or by calling (207) 594-5166.

Founded in 1881, today the fifth generation of the Robbins family owns and operates this state-of-the-art sawmill. In 2011, Robbins Lumber received the Maine Department of Conservation Austin H. Wilkins Forest Stewardship Award, recognition for landowners and individuals who are outstanding examples of managing working forests in Maine in an exemplary and sustainable way.

Tour attendees will be guided through the comprehensive and intricate systems—from tree to transport—of the Robbins Lumber Company sawmill. The tree yard sits on a 40-acre site on the St. George River. Sawing eastern white pine logs from all over Maine, the mill makes grading decisions aided by lasers and computers. The lumber is also trimmed and sorted by computers.

The operation includes a 1.2 MW cogeneration plant and 675,000 board foot kilns—all of which will be visited on the tour led by owner Jim Robbins. The mill wastes none of the wood, using the smaller pieces for molding, dowels, and toys. Sawdust is packaged and sold for livestock bedding, and wood waste fires the boilers that provide heat to dry the lumber and electricity to run the mill.

After the tour, Jim and his wife Ann will entertain guests at their nearby home with appetizers, beverages, and stories of the history of their family in the St. George River watershed which dates back to the first settlers.

Georges River Land Trust is committed to encouraging citizens to discover the river and care for the land throughout the 14 communities in the St. George River watershed. This event is part of Revelry for the River, a celebration of 25 years of conservation. For further information on the Georges River Land Trust, its programs and upcoming events visit or contact them at or (207) 594-5166.