Wehl – Steam-powered sawmill
I2
Wehl
1908

Wehl – Steam-powered sawmill

Wehl – Steam-powered sawmill
Wehl – Steam-powered sawmill
Wehl – Steam-powered sawmill
Wehl – Steam-powered sawmill
Wehl – Steam-powered sawmill
Wehl – Steam-powered sawmill
Wehl – Steam-powered sawmill
Wehl – Steam-powered sawmill
Wehl – Steam-powered sawmill
Wehl – Steam-powered sawmill

The monumental steam-powered sawmill on Station Road (Stationsstraat), in Wehl, was established in 1909 by a local builder and architect, Theodorus Damen. Damen commissioned the factory and the house next which combine to form an exceptional example of early 20th –century industrial architecture.

Limburg
The establishment of a steam-powered sawmill coincided perfectly with the emerging industrialisation at the turn of the 20th century which affected smaller villages in the countryside like Wehl as much as it did larger towns such as nearby Doetinchem.

Damen chose this strategic location in Wehl because of the newly-built railway that the factory could use for transporting the timber. Large-scale consumers included the coal mines in Limburg which used wooden planks for supporting the mine shafts.

Transitional architecture
The factory and the house were built in a transitional architectural style: a mix of brick, sand-lime brick and concrete, which at the time, was considerably modern for a farming village like Wehl. The brick walls give the building a robust exterior whilst the decorative elements, especially the ornamental battlements, soften it up a characteristic element in the factory’s design. In 1938, an extension was added.

After the mill closed down, a number of the machines were given a second lease of life in the Pas Reform incubator and hatchery equipment factory in Zeddam.

Cornerstone
Theodorus asked his son, Willem, to lay the first stone of the factory in 1908, but Willem declined gracefully, explaining how he wanted to become a farmer (which he did), and not a carpenter. In response, Theodorus chose not to lay a cornerstone at all. Then his granddaughter laid a cornerstone, 101 years 

Wehl – Steam-powered sawmill
Wehl – Steam-powered sawmill
Wehl – Steam-powered sawmill
Wehl – Steam-powered sawmill
Wehl – Steam-powered sawmill
Wehl – Steam-powered sawmill
Wehl – Steam-powered sawmill
Wehl – Steam-powered sawmill
Wehl – Steam-powered sawmill
Wehl – Steam-powered sawmill
I2 Timmerfabriek NL
2:31