In 1853, Isaac Staples traveled from Maine to Stillwater to leverage his timber experience during the St. Croix River Valley logging boom. With an investment from his Maine-based business partner – Samuel Freeman Hersey – Staples built the Hersey and Staples Sawmill in 1854. Two years later, they purchased the financially-troubled St. Croix Boom Company. This company captured all logs flowing downstream into a boom. Boom rats then sorted the logs by owner based on each logging firm’s unique branded mark. This service by “The Octopus” was hugely profitable, making Staples a very rich man. In 1869, he purchased the Sawyer & Heaton Mills on this site. The 80 foot chimney is part of a powerhouse built in 1850. In 1894, the sawmill was destroyed by fire. This sheet-metal building was constructed by the Stillwater Manufacturing Company in 1900.