Old Time Logging

This came through my email and given that I have spent some time in the logging fields of Montana, Idaho and Minnesota, I thought it was very interesting. I’ve also spent most of my life heating with wood which means cutting down the trees, chunking, and splitting – chainsaws, mauls and wedges, tractor mounted circular saws and wood splitters. We are older and know how to work, but would you really want to work this hard???

Before  chainsaws were invented, the logging industry in the United States & Canada was a seriously             challenging occupation, and we are only talking about 125 years ago.  In the Pacific Northwest there were forests full of monster trees, and cutting them down was done by hand.       

log 1     

Look  at the length of the two-man hand saw and heavy duty axes above that they used to drop these tremendous trees.  It is almost inconceivable to think of cutting down a tree this size with a hand saw.

log 2
The work required very strong men (and horses) working long days for minimal pay. Could you imagine doing this to earn a living?
log 3
After  a tree was finally felled, it took a week or more to cut it up into sections that could be managed             (somehow) and transported by train to a lumber yard.
log 4
Maneuvering the logs down the mountain to the train was a complex job. I didn’t do any research on this, but I would be willing to bet that many men lost their lives doing this dangerous work. One slip and a hunk of             wood as big as a hotel is rolling your way! The other question that begs an answer is how did they get those logs up onto the flatbeds of that train?
log train

Hollowed out logs became the company’s mobile office. Can you imagine stacking such logs to build a log home?  Two courses would produce a 30′ ceiling. Maybe that’s why it was easier to hollow out a tree.


log truck


A long time before anyone ever thought of a mobile home or RV, hollowed out logs were also used to             house and feed the logging crews.


inside log home

We are accustomed to our modern conveniences like electricity and gasoline powered chainsaws, and it is always such a mind-boggling experience to see how such monumental tasks were performed before             these conveniences appeared on the scene.  Remember that the picture above shows a hollowed-out log made into a travel trailer.

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