In 1909, Ernest V. Dunlevie of Erie County, New York, purchased two hundred acres of land at Allenhurst, as a sawmill site, from E. P. Miller, a large landowner, for the sum of $500.00.
Mr. Dunlevie moved from New York to Allenhurst to begin his more than a million dollar lumber mill. Accompanying him were his brother, Herbert G. Dunlevie, treasurer of the new Dunlevie Lumber Company, and J.F. Wadsworth, secretary.
Within a short time, the executives and over a thousand employees raised the mill to the rank of the second largest in the southeast with an annual payroll of a quarter of a million dollars.
The company had more than forty miles of railroad through the forests. The locomotives burned the wood beside the tracks instead of coal. A depot was constructed in partnership with the railroad company. The mill supplied the lumber and the railroad company handled the construction. Lumber was shipped all over the United States and even to Cuba. Dunlevie also operated a pine products plant which was built by David Starr Owen and was later purchased and operated by him. Large tank cars were used to ship the oil and spirits to different parts of the country.
The town was owned by the company-the store, hotel, school, church, club house, doctor’s and dentist’s offices and the employees’ residences.
The town has been described as “beautiful with the tree-lined streets and groves of large moss-draped trees.” Probably the most unique feature of the town was a mile long pine board walk which extended from the main part of the mill through the residential section of dozens of attractive houses to the home of Mr. Dunlevie, the president of the company.