"Most of the forest cut to feed the boilers of the stampmills at the mines"
Gold Stamp Mills at Terraville, Dakota (1888)
Public DomainGold Stamp Mills at Terraville, Dakota (1888) - Credit: John C. H. Grabill Collection

A stamp mill is a type of mill machine that crushes material by pounding rather than grinding. They were common in gold, silver and copper mining regions in the latter 19th and early 20th century, although most of the larger stamp mill mines were superseded in the second half of the 19th century by more efficient methods.

A typical stamp mill could consumer 12 cords of wood per day, equivalent to about one large-diameter tree per day. Over a period of three years, wood consumption may have been around 1,000 trees, a few hectares of forest.

 

Interior of the Deadwood Terra Gold Stampmill (Terraville, Dakota, 1888)
Public DomainInterior of the Deadwood Terra Gold Stampmill (Terraville, Dakota, 1888) - Credit: John C. H. Grabill Collection