Blue Ox Millworks, Historic Park, and School of Traditional Arts

Where Even the Run-of-the-Mill is Extraordinary

 


Paul Bunyon welcomes visitors to the Blue Ox Millworks office

Tour One Of America's Last Victorian Job Shops

At Blue Ox bare logs undergo a transformation to become quality custom woodworking for homes around the United States. From the circular sawmill, to the handmade stains and varnishes, discover the process of creating masterpieces at the Blue Ox Millworks Historic Park. Here, you may catch craftsmen milling logs, running molders, making scrollwork, turning wood columns, making stains, or even working in our fully functioning blacksmith shop. Other trades are on site and depending on the season you may find potters, plaster workers, or even book binders. Click here for information about full day tour packages and workshops.

Adults
Seniors 65+
Children 6-12
Children 6 and under

$10.00
$9.00
$5.00
Free

Mon - Fri (Year Round) : 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. April - November
Please dress casually and wear low-heeled shoes
Call to find out about special events.

(At left) The Blue Ox Millworks offices are housed in the old North Mountain Power Company building. This building, built in 1904 was once home to Eureka's trolleys, and also spent time as a boatworks before being purchased by Blue Ox in the 1970s.

Beautiful Antique Tools In Action

Antique woodworking machinery from the 1800s and early 1900s is used in the production of custom millwork in our main woodworking building, sawmill building and molder building.

Come see the world's largest functioning collection of human powered equipment from Barnes Manufacturing, one of the most efficient manufacturers of human powered tools in the 1800s.

(At Right): Barnes Manufacturing hand crank rip saw from 1890. Photo by David Hamilton. 

Blue Ox houses a functioning collection of antique human powered equipment from Barnes Manufacturing

Blue Ox has a functioning blacksmith shop on site

Authentic Functioning Blacksmith Shop

Ornamental iron work is produced in the blacksmith shop as well as hardware such as nails and bolts. Items necessary for repairs of our antique machinery are made in the blacksmith shop and machine shop. For a schedule of blacksmith classes, see our Class Schedule

(At left) Jim Brimble in the blacksmith shop. Photo by Cara Hollenbeck.

Newly Expanded Ceramics Studio

Local clays are utilized in our ceramics studio to create experimental glazes using formulas from the 1400s. Students from our school use these to make their own pottery and tiles. For a slight fee, interested tour groups can schedule a ceramics workshop and make their own decorative tile. For more information about ceramics workshops, send an email to info@blueoxmill.com

Our shop has also been recently expanded with the addition of a full ceramic slip-casting studio. Thank you to our many dedicated donors who have helped to make the expansion possible.

(At Right): A presenter turns a pot on one of the Blue Ox pottery wheels during the Blue Ox annual Craftsman's Days event. 

A craftsman turns a pot in the Blue Ox pottery shed

The Corrina Bella awaits completion in the Blue Ox boatworks

Boat Building

The Corrina Bella, a forty foot traditional sailing vessel, is being built as a project of the Blue Ox Community School. A flat bottom boat, scows were the semi-trucks of the 1800s, hauling hay, grain, building materials, and even pre manufactured homes via waterways. When completed, the Corrina Bella will offer tours of Humboldt Bay.

(At left) The Corrina Bella in it's early building stages. Photo by Viviana Hollenbeck.

More Trades Upstairs

Upstairs in our main building, tourists can explore a functioning apothecary shop where we make our own custom stains and varnishes, and our plaster shop where custom molds are built to duplicate festoons, ceiling medallions, capitals and more. Also check out our compo press, an experiment using old world recipes thought to be lost during the second world war.

(At Right): A corbel and various other decorative elements adorn the Blue Ox ceramics studio, upstairs. Photo by Alan Griffiths 

The Blue Ox ceramics studio

Several presses in the Blue Ox print shop

Working Print Shop

Our antique printing presses are still used by our students to print their yearbooks. Tourists can peak into the shop, see drawers of antique type, paper cutters so large that they can cut through stacks of phone books, and if they are lucky they might even see our 1890's press in operation.

(At left) The Blue Ox print shop features several working printing presses. Photo by Alan Griffiths.

Old Time Logging Skid Camp

The skid camp is a re-creation of the old logging camps featuring a cook shack, bunkhouse and theatre. The buildings were built on sleds so that they could be pulled to the new logging sites by ox teams or steam donkeys. They were the first “mobile homes!”

(At Right): Puppets made by the Blue Ox School students adorn the theatre in the logging skid camp.

The logging skid camp features an old timey puppet theatre

This cobb oven was made with the help of students from Humboldt State University

Energy Efficient Cooking

The cook shack area also features an authentic earthen oven, constructed for the Blue Ox from the students at Humboldt State University, utilizing technology that is over two thousand years old. For more information about the construction and use of the earthen oven, click here.

(At left) The cobb oven sits just outside of the logging skid camp.

Bunk House and Cafe

Unfortunately you can't order a meal in our cafe, but you can stroll inside and see where our students can their own food.  Kick back by our cook stove and peruse the brochures of other attractions in Humboldt County.  Don't forget to sign our guest book.

(At Right): A view of the logging skid camp as seen from the back of the Wannacomet. Photo by David Hamilton.

One of many buildings that comprise the Blue Ox's logging skid camp

Babe and Blue, the Belgian blue oxen

Animal Friends

Babe and Blue are Belgian Blue oxen trained to work together in yoke. Now fully grown, they weigh 2,400 lbs. each and stand well over 5 feet tall. Thank goodness they are gentle giants!  These two are the corner piece of a full collection of animals, including horses, geese, birds, cats, and the friendliest dogs you will ever meet.

(At left) Eric walks with Babe and Blue, the Blue Ox Millworks oxen.

While the information on this website is believed to be true and accurate at the date of publication, neither the authors, webmaster, nor Blue Ox Millworks can accept any legal responsibility for any errors or omissions that may have been made. Prices listed on website are subject to change. © 2017. Blue Ox Millworks. All Rights Reserved

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1800s era velocipede scroll saw