Special bucket for fighting sawmill fires

By Gale Trussell
Journal Correspondent

In the early 1900s, large sawmills dominated the landscape in North and West Louisiana, These mills were the centerpiece of economic development in those areas. Oil was yet to be discovered and produced in quantity. The combined employment at the mills was enormous. The mills provided the area with jobs, tax receipts, and personal income.

These early mills were a beehive of activity of men and machines. The possibility of wild fires was a common threat. One method of controlling wild fires at the mill was to have barrels of water stationed at strategic locations all around the mill. The barrels were round in shape, so a round water bucket proved to be cumbersome. To combat the problem, a pointed water bucket was developed. (See photo). It could be dipped in the barrel faster and more efficiently. In addition, if mill operators saw a pointed bucket at an individual's home or barn, they knew that it had been stolen from the mill.

Pointed water buckets aren't seen much anymore. They are just another part of our history and heritage.