Interested in Volunteering?

Email the volunteer group at or stop by the mill during visitor season.

The Ledyard Up-down Sawmill is owned by the town of Ledyard, but is operated solely by volunteers.  Like this original water-powered sawmill, this volunteer opportunity is unique - you will have the chance to operate and teach others about historic New England using the only surviving operating sash sawmill in the United States which remains on its original site and is accessible to the public.

We would love to welcome you as a regular or occasional volunteer participant. We welcome those interested in historic buildings and technology, wood and wood products, blacksmithing, greeting and guiding mill visitors, or who can help with web design, social media and publicizing the sawmill. We would be pleased to teach you about the mill and sawmill technology to help you interact with visitors effectively.  It is critical for volunteer groups to grow by welcoming new volunteers who have new points of view, ideas, and skills.

Volunteers since the 1970s restoration

The mill is a monument to the volunteers who worked many hours to restore it to operating condition. Much of the sawmill building and machinery were restored under the direction of Wendell Comrie who, operated the mill and assisted on the saw after the restoration. Thomas Tefft, chairman of the blacksmith shop committee, also was assistant sawmill operator when the mill first reopened. Capt. Al Sears, The Mark Twain of Ledyard, branded souvenir shingles cut on the Lane shingle mill. Other members of the Sawmill Committee assisted with the running of the mill museum. John Purdy was liaison from the Ledyard Jaycees, a group that acted in partnership with the Sawmill Committee to operate the mill. In 2002, a plaque commemorating the contributions of Wendell Comrie was mounted inside the mill.

Recent and current volunteers:

Ed Berryman, 2012-current
Parker Cronin, blacksmith 2011-2012
Brian Dirlam, 2009-current
Warren Dolphin, 2007-current
Bill Fossum, 1990s-current
Alan Ganong, 1997-current
Bill Jacobik, 2007-current
Cynda Warren Joyce, photos, 2012-2013
Dave Leon, 2013-current
Paul Mullin, 2013-current
Ryan O'Connell, blacksmith, 2010-2012
Michael Saari, 2013
Keith Stevens, 2012
Jim Sweet, 2011-current
Carl Swebilius, 2014
Steve Tomichek, 1985-current
Scott Weeks, blacksmith, 2006-2011
Rod Wells, 2007-current
Frost White, 2012-current
Chris Yaras, 2011-current 

Past volunteers:

Frederick B. Allyn, ~1974
Amos Avery ~1960s-1982 (?)
Roger Beatrice ~1992
Ken Blomstedt ~1980 -1988, sawyer
James Bowersett 1991-1998 Historic District Commission
Charles Buddington
Sylvester B. Butler, Sawmill Committee chair 1968-69
Wendell and Florence Comrie ~1966-1998
Winston Comrie, ~1970
Larry Cowden ~1992-1993 blacksmith
Alicia and Jon Dodd ~1991-1998
Ruth Dyer, Sawmill Chairperson ~1979 (?)-1993
AJ Normand Groome, desk, gristmill ~1992-1998
Tim Groome, Sawyer ~1992-1998 & grist mill
Jayne Haynes, Publicist ~1992-1993
Louise Heaslip, root cellar ~1993
John A. Kelley, sawyer ~1991-1998
Gregory Kline ~1992 -1993 Ass't sawyer
Loren (Bud) Kohrs, 1990s
John Kopplin ~1992 scout, 
George Littlefield, blacksmith
Bill Loftus III ~1990 -1998, sawyer
James Matthews
John MIckna, 1968
Steve Monroe, late 1990s, 2012
G Neal Murray, sawyer 1998-2007
William Perkins ~1993 blacksmith
Alice Potter, ~1968
John Purdy
John Quinlan, sawyer ~1991-1992
Joan Ruest ~1992
William Schmidt, Jr,
Ed Seacor, Sawyer
Al Sears
Jim Seaton, blacksmith ~ 1990 -1998
Gerry Shafer ~1990 -1993 grist mill consultant
Wendell Snell, blacksmith ~1975
Harlan Sonk ~1970 restoration
Ed Thompson ~1991-1992
Wendell Snell
Thomas Tefft
Ed Thompson ~1990 -1993
Nelson and Beverly Treadway, tinsmiths ~1990
Helen Vergason, ~1968
Marcus White, blacksmith ~1990 -1998
Barbara Williams ~1991-1993

Please help us by sending additions, corrections, or comments on the volunteer list to