Vintage logging – Log drivers
Each Saturday morning I review 10 vintage logging, forestry and saw milling photos. This week’s review of vintage photos takes a look at the people of the rivers and other waterways who kept the logs moving.
Be sure to click on each picture to see the larger images.
Before we had log trucks, we had log drivers herding felled timber downstream to waiting sawmills. Instead of roads, they used natural thoroughfares provided by rivers and lakes.
A depiction of events while logging the Ottawa River.
On the headwaters of one of the streams of the Ottawa River watershed, Ontario, Canada.
The view is quite spectacular. The logs are toppled down to the river below, signalling the beginning of the long trip downriver to the mills.
The strayed logs found on the river banks are retrieved and pushed back into the rushing waters.
One terrible spring in the days before the Workmen’s Compensation Act, 130 men died on the various tributaries of the Ottawa River. Drivers were buried where they died, their graves marked by crude wooden crosses and their boots nailed to a nearby tree. Drowning was one of the two leading causes of death throughout the early decades of the industry.
One section of the wannigan on its way down the North Fork of the Clearwater River. The wannigans followed the log drive crew to supply them with food and sleeping quarters during the drive which took 2 to 3 weeks. Source: Clearwatermuseum.org
Man with pole manipulating floating logs with huge pile of logs behind him.