Clover Valley Mountains Steam Engine/Sawmill

This steam engine powered a portable sawmill in the Clover Valley Mountains of Lincoln County. Brought to the West in the late 1860s by William and O.P. Sherwood of Pioche, the engine changed hands several times during its half century of operation. Lyman Woods and George Edwards of Panaca purchased the sawmill equipment in 1889 and cut lumber into the first decades of the 20th century. They were the last owners to operate the Clover Valley Mountains steam engine.

Local lumbering ventures were generally small-scale, employing a dozen men to cut pinyon and ponderosa pine and to guide the teams of horses, mules or oxen which dragged the felled logs to the mill. Workers at the sawmill fed firewood and water to the engine boiler, generating steam pressure to drive the pistons of the engine. Belts attached to the flywheels propelled a carriage track and the saw blade, mounted on a separate unit behind the steam engine. Logs were passed through the saw blade to remove bark and square them for finishing. Successive passes through the saw blade planed the rough-cut logs into mining timbers, railroad ties, and building materials. Loads of finished lumber were then freighted by wagon many miles over rugged terrain to local mining camps and settlements. The six ton steam engine and other sawmill equipment were moved to a new location whenever the nearby timber stands were cut.

Located at Pioneer Park at 397 North 5th Street in Panaca, Nevada.