Lumber Mill (ETW building)
|Turns to build:||2|
A water-powered lumber mill produces logs and sawn timber from the prime forests. Its semi-finished products can then be sold on local markets or shipped to the home market.
It is more efficient to ship half-finished planks and logs than tree trunks, thus increasing the profits from logging. Even though most of the equipment used is brought in from home, a lumber mill on a good site can easily repay the investment. The hard work needed to dig a mill pond and race, as well as carefully position a waterwheel is also handsomely repaid when a powered saw starts work.
Historically, it was possible for a logging operation to denude a forest of all of its profitable trees, in the process causing terrible environmental damage. Without the trees, the soil is soon gone, washed away in the first strong rains. It then becomes almost impossible for any kind of forest to re-establish itself. This worried hardly anyone in the 18th Century (there were exceptions – some men did go out of their way to plant trees so that navies would never be without supplies), as the world had been given to men to subdue, and there were always more trees in the next valley.