BLAIN PLANING MILL
Turning a Natural Resource into a Product
for 20th Century Homes and Businesses
On this site from 1910 to 1981, the Blain Planing Mill, an important industry and employer for western Perry County, finished wood products from lumber provided by both local and regional saw mills. Clinton Wentzel acquired the property in a sheriff’s sale, and then partnered with William Frank Stambaugh to establish the business. The land previously was owned and farmed by Isaac Stokes.
The Blain Planing Mill buildings stood where the Blain Park is now located.
Using pine and oak, the company for almost a quarter of a century produced carpenters’ supplies which moved first by train and then by truck to regional businesses. During the 1930s Depression, the mill failed and was sold at another sheriff’s sale.
The company from 1935 to 1943 was operated by Gard M. Smith, Ezra Harris and George Smith. They revived the mill and also added a handle factory. An employee, Clyde “Spike” Nesbitt, purchased the mill in 1943 and for 31 years produced lumber, trim, moldings, windows and doors.
Nesbitt sold the Blain Planing Mill in 1974, and it passed through several owners, Ronald Shields, William Wheeler and Glenn Smith, before closing forever in 1981. The Borough of Blain purchased the property and in 1991 sold it to the nonprofit Blain Park Area, Inc. This organization developed the property as a recreation park. Today this park is owned and maintained by the Blain Lions Club.
Aerial photo of Blain Planing Mill – upper center, Blain Depot – lower center and Blain Building Supply- white building center left, ca. 1960, from a collection by Vintage Aerial.
Sponsored by Blain Supply Company, LLC