"[History is] a cyclic poem written by time upon the memories of man." -Percy Bysshe Shelley

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

"lumbering" through history: logging in the northwoods

A train during the logging era
As a brief follow-up to the length interview with Paul Brenner, a somewhat dry extract gives us the following information on the history of logging in Manitowish Waters -- one of the main sources of income when the area was settled. Of course, once the logging companies had removed all of the trees the jobs dried up and, with the Depression, the desertified land dried out. The people of Manitowish Waters and the surrounding communities were forced to reinvent themselves. Thus the beginning of the resort era.

Logging of white pine began in the Manitowish Waters area in 1892. From 1892 to 1905 the logs were transported to lumber mills in the Eau Claire area via the river systems. Logs were brought to the waterways in winter on large sleighs pulled by horses and later by steam tractors.

The Manitowish Waters dam was built in 1892 to raise the water level of the Manitowish Waters lakes to facilitate log transport. The side wheel steamboat was used to move log rafts from the headwaters of the Manitowish Waters chain to the dam.

Many companies used the river system and it was necessary to identify each log with a company's registered mark. Log hammers were used for making the ends of the logs.

No comments:

Post a Comment