Sawmills in Warren County

The first sawmill in Warren County was established in 1800.

• Early sawmills in Warren County were on creeks, streams, and rivers so that water power could be used to power the saw inside the mill.

• The first sawmills in Warren County were powered by water. Water from dams would be released to rush under a sawmill, turning a huge wheel on the outside of the building. This turned the saw inside that cut the logs into planks.


• Development of the saw:

  1. Whipsaw--used by two men
  2. Muley saw--first saw used in sawmills; cut logs slowly because it only cut in strokes
  3. Circular saw--increased the number of boards that could be produced in one day; whirred around, its teeth cutting the wood
  4. Band saw--became popular after 1885; had four or more vibrating upright saws that sliced a log into several boards at once.

• In the 1900s, the introduction of electricity and technology changed the operation of sawmills. Today, almost every operation within a sawmill is computerized.


Courtesy of Warren County HIstorical Society