Step Back into History At Sturgeon’s Mill


2017 Weekend Demonstration Runs, 10am to 3pm

  • May 6-7th
  • June 17-18th
  • September 16-17th
  • October 14-15th

Sturgeon’s Mill is a 105 year old steam powered sawmill open only 4 weekends a year to the general public. On these weekends historians, gear heads, steam heads and students step back into California history at the museum.

This place is a destination for anyone who wants to understand how things work. What did it do, how was it operated, what did it sound and smell like, how fast did it run, how did the machine and operator work together? All of these questions are answered as you watch living history at our working museum, Sturgeon’s Mill.

All of the original structures and equipment remain. All of the original hand tools are here and regularly used. The original office building and equipment remain with the original paychecks and invoices. These records identify the businesses, farms and ranches of West Sonoma County in the 1940’s to the 1960’s. An original black and white film from 1927 shows the mill running exactly as it does now.

Sturgeon’s Mill began its life in 1913 when Wade Sturgeon set up the sawmill in Coleman Valley several miles inland from the Pacific Ocean. The mill operated there till 1923 when it was dismantled, loaded on wagons and pulled by horses seven miles further inland and reassembled at its present location on Green Hill road Sebastopol CA. In 1943 the mill was sold to partners Ralph Sturgeon and James E. Henningsen. They ran the mill until it was closed in 1964. This shuttered mill then slumbered for 30 years.

Sturgeon’s Mill started it’s rebirth in the early 1990’s as “The Sturgeon’s Mill Restoration Project.” This abandoned sawmill was an almost 100 year old accumulation of rusting machines, steam engines, hand tools, old trucks and wagons plus receipts of transactionsand canceled pay checksthat miraculously had never been discarded, dismantled or sold.

In the early 1990’s a core group of seven former mill-workers and historians began the process of restoring this rare steam powered sawmill. Don't miss your chance to catch to see Sturgeon’s Mill in action.