Phillips Brothers Mill

The last steam-powered sawmill in the United States, the Phillips Brothers Mill is tucked away in the conifer forests of Oak Run in central Shasta County.   The mill has operated at the current site since 1933 and is still an active business producing an array of wood products milled from trees grown on the property.

The Phillips Brothers Mill was named for four brothers who fought in World War II and returned to Oak Run to operate the family business.  To complement the mill, the brothers built the box factory and machine shop, both of which also run on steam power.  The property is also home to historic steam-powered tractors, skidders, and other equipment which add to the visual impression of being taken back in time.

The Phillips Brothers Mill was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.  The entire 920 acres of the timbered property is protected by a conservation easement which permits the style of selective harvesting that the family has practiced on site for generations.

Access to the property is limited to occasional tours offered by the landowners or some of their many friends, including the Pacific Forest Trust, Shasta Historical Society, and Shasta Land Trust.  The Phillips Brothers Mill is located north of the Oak Run Post Office on Bullskin Ridge Road.  Take Bullskin Ridge Road east from Oak Run Road, which connects to highway 299.

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Latitude: 40.7374049 Longitude: -121.955452 Elevation: 2209 ft
the best travel advice comes from the people who live here
Ben Miles

About this Establishment

Wood products offered for sale from the Phillips Brothers Mill are all produced from trees grown on the property.  The trees are selectively harvested and protected by a conservation easement which mandates a multi-aged stand of trees in perpetuity.

Beautiful wood products are offered for sale including bird houses, bird feeders, gift boxes and bat houses. Gift boxes can be emblazoned with custom graphics. 

The mill produces rough-cut lumber and logs that are increasingly popular in custom home building.  Lumber (up to 40" wide), long timbers, decking, moldings, and fireplace mantels are available for purchase.

The business is truly a family business and when the eponymous brothers were aging, and without heirs, they selected nieces and nephews who could take over the business and run the mill.  The descendants of the Edmund Phillips, who first started the original saw mill in 1897 on Little Cow Creek with head plates still used today, are the current owners and operators of the Phillips Brothers Mill.

Time Period Represented

Early Twentieth Century

Hours Open

The property is not open to the public. The landowners generously open their business only for occasional tours.

Visitor Fees

Donations are dependent upon the tour, but often tours are donated by the owners and donations directed to the hosting organization.

ADA Accessibility Notes

Property is primitive in access and does not offer ADA accessibility.

Pet Friendly Notes

Property is a private residence and active business; please do not bring pets on tours.


This is the twilight zone. Off the grid, steam and solar powered, like stepping back to the early 1900s. An operating, steam powered saw mill and box factory. Not re-created, just maintained for one hundred years. Awesome!

Bill Meyer, 3/28/2013

If you ever get a chance to visit the mill, do it. You won’t be disappointed. If you can't visit it in person, visit their new web site.

Charley Williams, 6/1/2013

An incredible piece of milling history preserved, yet still operating and producing a fine product. Hearty souls then and now, operating fine equipment.

Sandy Jones Birkland, 12/12/2013

I'm wanting to come see those huge trees in northern California and want to see the mill in operation. I'm coming from Dallas, Texas.

Charles Flippo , 6/9/2016

Watched the video on u tube and loved it. I am an avid reader and have a complete collection of Louis La Mour and would love to add a box with his name to it. Are they for sale from the mill? I’m too old to make that trip. If you can send me info please. Thank you so much.Ray Crigger 15162 Avon Belden Rd. Grafton Ohio 44044

Ray Crigger, 3/14/2017

I absolutely crave these videos and have watched them often. I have cut timber in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest and was badly cut on the SW base of Mt.St. Helen a year-to-the-day after the eruption. I visited many of our mills on the Columbia Gorge as a Chevron Jobber, but this is by far the most interesting. I wish I could know of when you where having a tour, as I would like to visit and be honored to stoke the boiler....

Keith Lincicum, 1/7/2019

Just watched your video on u tube. It is so facinating to see a steam sawmill in operation and see the huge Ponderosa pine they were milling.

Sandy Wier, 1/12/19, 1/12/2019

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