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?
Visitors in Catoctin Mountain Park may gather morel mushrooms for personal consumption. Morels are found in a variety of habitats but generally they seem to be found in wet soil that is high in organic matter and shaded by trees, especially hardwoods. Favorite locations are closely guarded secrets!