Modern sawmill references

These reviews and histories published (mostly) after 1970 provide perspective on the development of sawmill technology and an economic/social context of small and large sawmills in the 19th century (with an emphasis on New England mills). A few of the articles focus on restoration or replication of 19th century sawmills. Some of the articles are available online; others may require access to an academic library. Many of the books listed are out of print, but can be purchased as used copies or found in libraries.  (updated March 2014).
 
 Reference  Comments 
Ball, Norman. (1975). Circular saws and the history of technology.  APT Bulletin, 7(3), 79-89. From the Bulletin of the Association for Preservation Technology
Full access available via JSTOR through a participating library.  
Ball, Norman R.  (1976).  Notes on a Muley Saw.  IA: The Journal of the Society for Industrial Archeology, 2 (1), 72-74.  from the Society for Industrial Archeology journal.
Ball, Norman R.  (1977).   Reciprocating frame saw at the O'Hara Mill.  Society for Industrial Archeology Newsletter  VI. 2:1.
from the Society for Industrial Archeology newsletter.
Candee, Richard M.  (1970)  Merchant and millwright: The water-powered sawmills of the Piscatauqua.  Old-Time New England, 60 (no. 220), 131-149

This is the journal of Historic New England (formerly SPNEA). 
Available online at http://www.historicnewengland.org/


Curtis, John O. (1973). The introduction of the circular saw in the early 19th century. APT Bulletin, 5(2), 162-183.

From the Bulletin of the Association for Preservation Technology.

Full access available via JSTOR through a participating library.

Carroll, Charles F. (1973). The timber economy of puritan New England. Providence: Brown University Press As the title suggests – an economic history focused on exploitation of forests in 17th century New England.
Dickey, John M. (1973). Restoration of the Bertolet Sawmill. APT Bulletin, 5(2), 155-161.

From the Bulletin of the Association for Preservation Technology 
Full access available via JSTOR through a participating library:

Donnelly, Marian. (1971). Materials in early New England. Old-Time New England , 61, no. 224, 87-94
This is the journal of Historic New England (formerly SPNEA). 
Available online at http://www.historicnewengland.org/

Ewan, N.R. (May 1941). Up-and-down saw mills.The Chronicle. 2(17). 137, 144. 
from the Chronicle of the Early American Industries Association
Forman, Benno M. (1970). Mill sawing in seventeenth century Massachusetts. Old-Time New England, 60, no. 220, 110-130.  This is the journal of Historic New England (formerly SPNEA). 
Available online at http://www.historicnewengland.org/


Greuther, Mark (2004). Tripp's Sawmill, 1926. Technology and Culture, 45(4), 808-811
 
HABS/HAER, The Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record Highly recommended. Federal archive (part of which is available online) that has very high quality measured drawings, high resolution photographs, and some written history of American architecture and engineering.

The HABS/HAER records for the first four mills below are especially noteworthy for the quantity and detail of measured drawings.

 
Hatch, Marilyn (2014, in press).  A typological survey of the existing sash sawmills in the United States.  The Chronicle of the Early American Industries Association.
Highly Recommended.  Sawmill enthusiast Marilyn Hatch has taken on the big project of locating and then visiting every extant sash sawmill in the U.S.  Some, like the Ledyard mill, have been restored and are operating, some are reproductions (both good and "questionable"), and some are pieces of old mills in storage sheds.  I like the author's organization of the paper very much:  she uses Ellicott's description of a sash sawmill to describe and contrast different existing mills.  An important work that documents the tiny fraction of sash sawmills that are left in the 21st century.
Holmes, Roger (1992) The Wight Sawmill. American Woodworker, July/August issue. 36-39  
Howard, Robert A. (1976). A primer on water turbines. APT Bulletin, 8(4), 45-67. From the Bulletin of the Association for Preservation Technology.  
Full access available via JSTOR through a participating library:
Hutslar, Donald A. (1975). Ohio Waterpowered Sawmills. Ohio History, 84, 5-56. An oft-cited reference on waterpowered sawmill technology. Available online at http://www.ohiohistory.org
Kebabian, John S. (1973). Sawmills-Early and Not So Early. The Chronicle, 26 (Sept), 41-45.  from the Chronicle of the Early American Industries Association
Knipping, Mark. (2002). Cutting Edge History: Reconstructing the Herrling Sawmill. Wisconsin Magazine of History, 85(4) Summer, 20–31. available online 

Lance, Martha Blanchard. (1993). 'The fathers lived in the forests: Their children live off them'; rural NewEngland sawmilling and the timber trade, 1730-1870. University of Pennsylvania.
Highly Recommended.  Martha Lance's PhD dissertation done in collaboration with staff at Old Sturbridge Village.  The research summarizes work on mill sites in southern Massachusetts and the changing   economic context of small New England sawmills in the 18th and 19th centuries.  Available in some academic libraries, and like other dissertations, available for purchase online from ProQuest.
Mackinac Island State Park Commission. (1984). Michigan archeology leads to reconstructed sawmill. Society for Industrial Archeology Newsletter XIII, 3-4: 11.  
Mercer, Henry C. (1929). Ancient Carpenters' Tools. Doylestown, PA: Bucks County Historical Society.  Has several (poor quality) pictures of sash sawmill parts in the Bucks County, PA Mercer Museum. Contains a brief description of the parts and operation of sash sawmills. A more recent paperback reprint edition is available.  This is a modern reference in the sense of the 20th century publication date, but the book (and the Mercer museum in Doylestown PA) seem more Victorian than modern.
Penn, Theodore Z. and Parks, Roger. (1975). Nichols-Colby Sawmill in Bow, New Hampshire. IA: The Journal of the Society for Industrial Archeology, 1 (1), 1-12. Abstract from http://www.sia-web.org/: At the time of its accidental destruction in 1938, the Nichols-Colby sawmill in Bow, New Hampshire, was thought to be the oldest surviving sawmill in that state and one of the few up-and-down mills left in New England. Because of the recording work of the Historic American Buildings Survey a few years earlier, it was also well documented and is a prime source of information about sawmill technology in the first half of the nineteenth century. It was built, as nearly as can be determined, during the first quarter of the nineteenth century, enlarged about 1839 to include circular-saw machinery for clapboards and shingles, and finally was equipped (probably 1850) with a pair of reaction-type water wheels.
Peterson, Charles, E. (1973). Sawdust trail. APT Bulletin, 5(2), 84-183. From the Bulletin of the Association for Preservation Technology
Full access available via JSTOR through a participating library
Richardson, A.J.H. (1974). Indications for Research in the History of Wood-Processing Technology Indications for Research in the History of Wood-Processing Technology. APT Bulletin, 6(3), 35-46.
From the Bulletin of the Association for Preservation Technology
Full access available via JSTOR through a participating library.
Rivard, Paul E. (1990). Maine sawmills: a history. Maine State Museum.  Highly recommended.  Concise and very useful overview of sash sawmill technology and sawmill/community economics in Maine from the original European colonization through the 19th century.  Great pictures of sawmills in Maine - many from 19th century stereocards. 
Riznik, Barnes. (1965). New England Village Sawmills, 1790-1840. Old Sturbridge Village research paper.  Available online on the Old Sturbridge Village web site.
Roberts, Robert W. (December 1970). The up and down sawmill. The Chronicle. 23(4). 49-51.  from the Chronicle of the Early American Industries Association
Robertson, Barbara Rose. (1986). Sawpower: Making lumber in the sawmills of Nova Scotia. Halifax, N.S.: Nimbus Pub. /Nova Scotia Museum.   
Simmons. David A. (1980) Staley Farm illustrates Ohio farm industries. Society for Industrial Archeology Newsletter IX, 5-6: 10 from the Society for Industrial Archeology newsletter.
Wilson, John S. (1977). Upper Factory Brook Sawmill: Middlefield, Massachusetts. IA: The Journal of the Society for Industrial Archeology, 3 (1), 43-52. from the Society for Industrial Archeology journal.  

See also: Penn, Theodore Z. (1978). A Comment on the Upper Factory Brook Sawmill. IA, 4 (1), 61-63; and Wilson, John S. (1978) Reply to Comment on Upper Factory Brook Sawmill. IA, 4 (1), 63-64.
 Wood, Richard G. (1971). A history of lumbering in Maine 1820-1861. Orono, ME: University of Maine Press. First published in 1935 with a couple of more recent printings.

Woodbury, George.  John Goffe's Mill. (1948).  New York:  Waterbury.   
 Personal account of the author and his wife moving back to the New Hampshire woods of his family of earlier generations after his inheritances of an old sawmill property.   Written at a time when old-timers still had first hand knowledge of 19th century saw-milling.  Woodbury relates what he learned and did with the old circular sawmill.  He has a nice turn of phrase to summarize the dangers of a sash sawmill:  "up-and-down mills ... may pound the unwary into the floor like a shingle nail,"