LAKE HURON

Inkjet print of digital illustration on canvas

Millions of years ago, glacial movement in the Midwest created the lakes. The consequent mineral movement contributed to the development of rich soil, which directly fed into the expansion of old growth forests. The role of water in transporting timber cannot be overstated, and the distribution of sawmills along the banks of Lake Huron was strategic. Six rivers (the Chippewa, Tittabawassee, Cass, Bad, Shiawassee and Flint) converge to form the Saginaw River, which empties into Saginaw Bay and then Lake Huron. Logs were pushed into rivers and floated to the mills. At the mills, the logs were sorted in the boom area, each identified by a log mark on the end of the logs. The end point of all this effort was the sawmill, typically located at the mouth of the river, on the Great Lakes.

 

Pictured: a high rigger cuts off the top of a tree while felling timber ca. 1920; a team of loggers returning from unloading their timber into the river in 1853; felling the top of a stripped tree ca. 1859;  a logging crew sitting atop a precariously stacked pile of logs ca. 1932; Canadian lumberjacks ca. 1936.

© 2020 Alison Burnell

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