Sawmills were an important part of life in Cornwall starting in 1739, when Timothy Collins was given permission to set up the town’s first sawmill. By the 1770s, sawmills were owned by Captain Jonathan Buell, Noah Bull, Hezekiah Carter, Thomas Dean, Seth Pierce, and Noah and Edward Rogers. They produced lumber from white pine, oak, walnut, hemlock and maple. Wood staves for barrels were also made. Throughout the 1700s, towns in Connecticut produced white oak staves for export to the West Indies, where they were turned into barrels for rum, sugar and molasses exported back to New England.