The exact date of construction and first operation of the vertical sawmill near today's Owens Creek Campground is unknown, but it is shown on an 1857 map with the same area indicated as deeded back to 1808, mentioning rights to water ways. The same 1857 map also shows 4 additional sawmills on Owens Creek and one on Big Hunting Creek near the present day Visitor Center.
The sawmill near the present day Owens Creek Campground probably operated until after the late 1890's. A reconstruction of the mill was built by the Youth Conservation Corps on the site of the original sawmill. Construction of the campground eliminated the possibility of water power operations, but the gears and what would have been underwater works are all visible from an accessible boardwalk.
Did You Know?
The brook trout is a very colorful fish native to the streams of Catoctin. It is actually not a trout as its common name implies, but is a charr, a close cousin to the trout in the salmon family. Brown and rainbow trout are also present in Catoctin's streams but are not native to the eastern US.