A hard working and industrious logger moved into Northern Minnesota in the early 1900's. He put together a logging crew of fellow Swedes, and through the generosity of others assembled a oddball mixture of horses, oxen, and tools necessary to harvest and transport timber. When the trees along the major rivers were harvested, the new problem was how to get the timber from the interior to major markets in St. Paul and Chicago.

The existing rail network was heavily dependant on unscrupulous fat cats that would unexpectedly raise rates and provide unreliable service. He decided to build his own mill and process the wood to rough lumber, therefore decreasing the shipping volume. After the nearby timber was harvested, he salvaged old track and his loyal crew put in the track across swamps and over the hills to get the wood to his mill. This was the inception of the SLCR. His crew lovingly called him the Sawmaster, as he loved to work and was an expert at keeping his cobbled together mill running.

Even through tough times, and when money was lean, his crews remained loyal and gradually a settlement grew up around a spring fed pond. A Native American tale of a grizzly being sighted there led to the town being called Grizzly Flats. A church, general goods, ice, and small station were among the first buildings to go up.

As production increased, even through the 30's, expansion continued. Since everyone called the mill the "sawmasters" mill, the name stuck. Sawmaster Lumber Company was incorporated in 1933 and as word spread about the fair and generous labor practices, many more workers were attracted to the area. Eventually, Grizzly Flats filled up and an industry hub began a few miles away; first to provide support to the mill and railroad and evolved to process local beef stock with the Swift meat processing. The gravel and rip rap at the base of the big hill provided other opportunities for extraction, and a spur was added with a very small settlement of Pit, located on the opposite of the spring pond and gully. The fictituous layout is set in the 50's, the sawmaster now 90 years old, still spends time at the mill and walking the regrown hills and uncut areas around the original settlement.