Gristmills and sawmills were necessary for establishing towns.
In 1650 New London, Connecticut (fifty miles southeast of Farmington), John Elderkin built a gristmill for Gov. John Winthrop Jr.
Farmington’s John Bronson is thought to have built a sawmill and later sold it to Deacon Stephen Hart, before 1650. At some point Farmington also had a gristmill.” —from Julius Gay, Farmington Papers, p. 271; and David N. Camp, History of New Britain, with Sketches of Farmington and Berlin, Connecticut, 1640–1889, p. 20.
“The main New London waterwheel was rebuilt in 1892; and rebuilt from the hub out in 1930. The original oak frame, with the exception of a few rafters and plate in the upper part of the roof (as of 1930) had not been replaced.”—Library of Congress, from Frances Manwaring Caulkins, History of New London, 1612–1680.