Along with stone, mud, and animal parts, wood was certainly one of the first materials worked by primitive human beings. The development of civilization was closely tied to the development of increasingly greater degrees of skill in working these materials. When Indiana was first settled, there were forests that held several different types of trees. There are more than 85 different types of trees in Indiana, but in this area, forests held mostly deciduous trees, like Oak, Walnut or Elm.
When settlers came, they needed materials to build their homes, and the forests provided lumber to accommodate many people. Trees were taken to sawmills where they were cut down to size according to what was needed. From there, the lumber could be sold to make homes, furniture and many other things. Carpentry work was often a specialty occupation, but many times, the men or a family would be able to make most items needed for day-today living. Families would usually have a barn or shop near their house to make various things. Tools could be made or purchased at a general store.