As in the case of other New England towns, the geology of Sharon was a determinant in how the early settlers lived. Trees were more than ample for building and heating. Plentiful tree bark and water permitted the tanning of hides. Despite the boulder-strewn soils, settlers managed to grow the necessary foods. Running water from Sharon’s numerous streams provided the power for grist mills and saw mills. Following the discovery of iron ore in 1731, forges were put into production using limonite and goethite from Salisbury, the mine near Indian Lake and magnetite from the town’s east slope. The need for lime, first produced by farmers in small kilns, was later produced commercially in Sharon Valley’s first large kiln in 1814, Weed’s 1840 kiln in Calkinstown and the recently restored c1873 Sharon Valley kiln. Lime from these and other sources was used to neutralize acidic upland soils, make paint, plaster and many products. Gravel from kames and glaciolacustrene terraces was plentiful for the construction of roads and the making of concrete. With the advent of the 1825 blast furnace in town, the tree population began to dwindle because of the use of wood for charcoal. By the 1890s when larger, more productive dairy farms were in operation, more of the land was cleared for crops and grazing.