The lumber trade began with a small shipment of hand-sawn clapboards sent from the James River settlement to England in 1607. The water-powered sawmill was introduced – in the autumn of 1611 – near the site of Richmond. The expertise was Dutch or German and was reinforced before 1624 by additional groups of sawyers from those countries, as well as a few Poles. William Byrd of Westover imported saws and sawmill parts from Europe and boasted that his mills could rip two thousand board feet in five hours.
— “This Well-Wooded Land” by Thomas R. Cox, Robert S. Maxwell, Phillip Drennon Thomas and Joseph J. Malone (University of Nebraska Press) 1985.