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Nelson Historical Society Journal, Volume 3, Issue 1, October 1974

Craig Mills

Craig Mills

About 1907 the Mariborough Timber Company applied for, and was granted, the rights to mill the area at the top of the valley. Two mills were erected right at the top of the valley under the management of one John Craig, generally known as "Bull" Craig who was a tiger for work. Craig's Mills, as they were known, started in 1907 and operated for about 12 years. The timber was taken over the high hill to Nydia Bay, for shipping, by means of horse trams and winches—no mean feat considering the steepness of the hill. (Bob Spitall who used to run the boarding house and eating house for the mill workers later drew the land, where the mills were situated, in a ballot).

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These earlier mills operated in a fairly big way and only worked the areas where the logs were easily collected. Brownlees closed down about 1913 and the Marlborough Timber Company a few years later and it was after the cessation of these larger concerns that the smaller mills really came into their own.