The saw mill was built in 1900 on the banks of the Fourche and in 1902 the Fourche River Lumber Company was in operation. Residents emboldened by the power of the mills petitioned to change the name from Esau to Bigelow (N.P. Bigelow was the president of Fourche Lumber) in 1914.
The mills heyday ended with the closure of the Fourche River Lumber Company in 1921. Hundreds of families were suddenly left with no source of income and were forced to move to new lumber camps. Today, Bigelow has few commercial businesses and a much smaller population (pop.329) than that of the turn of the century.