|ACLD Home Page | Research Center | Catalog Search | About the Collection|
Business > Baird & Brothers Saw
And Planing Mill
& Brothers Saw And Planing Mill
E. Baird & Bros Saw and Planing Mill was photographed in this very old picture, probably dating from the 1880s. Eberle Baird and his brother, Emmet, came to Florida in 1881 from the Midwest. They purchased land around Hague, northeast of Gainesville, where they started a sawmill. In 1890 Eberle sold his interest and moved to Gainesville where, according to Melanie Barr in "A History of Baird Hardware Gainesville Florida," he entered into a partnership "for the purpose of supplying the public with hardware, stoves, tin, and graniteware, house furnishing goods, etc." Emmet also moved to Gainesville soon after to open a basket and crate factory. Baird Hardware was incorporated in 1900-at that time it was the largest hardware store in Florida. Eberle died on February 19, 1930, and was buried at Evergreen Cemetery. Mr. C. Addison Pound was then president, and Baird Hardware's influence continued for many more years. The block that was home to Baird's was torn down in 1975 to make room for a new Courthouse and plaza, but the company continued in wholesale until 1981 when it was liquidated. Rumors have circulated around Gainesville for decades about the Bairds and buried treasure. According to an article in a 1945 "Saturday Evening Post," Emmet was given a map for buried treasure by an old man who was dying; Emmet dug up the treasure and moved to Gainesville where he opened a sawmill. The rumors have never been substantiated but they have fueled a lot of fantasies.
(click image to view larger size)