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Surry Lumber Company

The history of the Surry Lumber Company began in April of 1880 when David Steele, a lumberman originally from New Jersey, purchased the 1089.25 acre Mussel Fork Plantation at public sale. It appears that David Steele never paid cash for anything. He operated on credit and secured a loan from R. T. Waters & Son of Baltimore, Maryland in February 1882. After foreclosures and refinancings over a few years, the R. T. Waters & Son chartered the Surry Lumber Company on January 3, 1885. By April 1885 all of David Steele's holdings had been transferred to the Surry Lumber Company including land, a sawmill and a 3' narrow gauge tram locomotive. David Steele became an employee of the Surry Lumber Company.

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"B" Mill with Dust Collector - 1921.

Ruins of the “C” mill, one of the two finishing mills. The only remains of the three saw mills and two finishing mills are various brick foundations and building supports. These are now covered with trees, vines and privet.

“B” mill about 1921. Logs were moved to second floor where they were sawed into lumber and transported to the dry kilns.

early photograph of “B” mill with a water tank to the left.

Photograph of the commissary located at West Hope in Sussex County. The Surry Lumber Company line to West Hope was completed in 1898. This was a logging camp that had a blacksmith, commissary, numerous dwellings, stable and mule run.

Workers pulling logs to the track to be loaded unto log cars and then transported to the Dendron mills to be turned into lumber.

This is the Surry Lumber Company Office (left) and railway depot at Dendron. The photograph was taken in 1966. Today the buildings are gone and this is a vacant lot.

The Surry Lumber Company exhausted the virgin timber with their area of operation and closed October 27, 1927. They dismantled their plants, sold everything they owned and left Dendron.


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