Isaac Staples’ Sawmill in Stillwater, Minnesota - Encircle Photos

32 Isaac Staples’ Sawmill in Stillwater, Minnesota

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.


402-410 North Main St., Stillwater, MN 55082


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