1940 View of a sawmill
Vintage Logging

Vintage logging – log drivers

Each Saturday morning I review 10 vintage logging, forestry and saw milling photos. This week’s review of vintage logging is about log driver’s and the dangerous work of traveling the waterways.

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Log driver working for the Brown Company in New Hampshire.
Log driver working for the Brown Company in New Hampshire.

New Zealand puhoi worker, Joe Rauner
New Zealand puhoi worker, Joe Rauner

Once the kauri logs had hurtled downstream from the dam, they reached calm water on a river or at a sea inlet. There they would they would be chained together and towed to the mills. This Pūhoi worker, Joe Rauner, is using a steel auger to drill a hole through the end of a log. A chain will be passed through the hole and then connected to a stronger towing chain.


Driving logs through a man made river.
Driving logs through a man made river.

1920s Bull River Lumber Co., BC.
1920s Bull River log drive, Bull River Lumber Co., B.C.

Log drivers sorting out a log jam.
Log drivers sorting out a log jam.

1921 Kauri dam ready to be tripped
1921 Kauri dam ready to be tripped

The Dancing Camp dam in the Kauaeranga Valley, Coromandel, in 1921 is about to be released. Water is overflowing the spillway at left, the logs are backed up against the dam, and the trip wire can be seen at left. When the moment comes, a bushman yanks the wire. A hammer then swings against the gate, the planks open and a torrent of water and logs cascades downstream.


1890s Logging along the Guyandotte River in Logan County, West Virginia
1890s Logging along the Guyandotte River in Logan County, West Virginia

A New Zealand ropey cared for ropes and logs down the river
A New Zealand ropey cared for ropes and logs down the river

A Northland ropey accompanies a large kauri log. The ropey had to look after the wire ropes and pulleys as the log was dragged along a muddy rut. The heavy hauling rope is in the foreground and the lighter back rope trails behind.


1911 McNair Fraser logging camp at Hollyburn.
1911 McNair Fraser logging camp at Hollyburn.

1940 View of a sawmill
1940 View of a sawmill.

A Newfoundland born Canadian with a life long interest in woodworking, baking and anything else that peaks my curiosity.

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