Baltic Timber Trade

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In November of 2013 I attended the 9 Annual Tide Mill Institute Conference held in Topsfield, Mass. At this conference Dr. Robert Gordon gave a report on his research of tidal-powered saw and grist mills operating as early as 1634 along the York River in southern Maine.

Prior to Dr.Gordon’s talk I became interested in the technology of water powered sawmills after discovering the remains of an early water mill located on a Bay of Fundy salt marsh. This 2011 discovery and Professor Gordon’s discussion of early water mills prompted me to start an in depth research project on technology transfer from Europe to North America.

Little did I realize when I began the research that many surprises and valuable references would be discovered! The unexpected discoveries can be found in my paper Sawmills and Deals published by The International Molinological Society in the Spring/Summer 2014 issue of their newsletter. My article starts on page 30 of the newsletter and a PDF copy can be retrieved from the web by clicking on the above link.

All of the references I used in preparing Sawmills and Deals provided important contributions and it is my hope that other researchers will also find these sources useful. A large quantity of unique hard to locate data can be found in these documents,far more than I could use in my paper. So, I would like to use this web page to discuss and illustrate with examples what I believe are some of the important diverse knowledge elements that can be gleaned from the documents I used.

1835 Report from the Select Committee on Timber Duties, with the Minutes of Evidence and Appendix

1835 Report from the  Select Committee on Timber Duties, with the Minutes of Evidence and Appendix.