Skip to content

LOOK BACK: George Bird’s sawmill

George Bird was one of Port Alberni’s first pioneers…
This photo, circa 1900, shows two men at work with lumber inside the George Bird Sawmill at the foot of Argyle Street. To view more than 24,000 historical Port Alberni photos, visit the Alberni Valley Museum’s online photo archives at (PHOTO PN00544 COURTESY ALBERNI VALLEY MUSEUM)

George Bird was one of Port Alberni’s first pioneers, moving to the Alberni Valley in 1892.

He opened his own small sawmill near the site of the community’s first paper mill (where Paper Mill Dam is now located). But in 1899, he moved the operation to the foot of Argyle Street.

According to Jan Peterson in her book The Albernis: 1860-1922, the Bird mill was cutting about 25,000 feet daily by the end of 1911.

However, the mill went idle when Bird went overseas to join the war efforts. In May 1917, it was leased to D. Burgess of South Vancouver, who overhauled the mill to meet the requirements of a four line shingle plant.

About the Author: Alberni Valley News Staff

Read more