Those vast sweeps of virgin forests with native white pine standing so tall and so straight now are only left in small patches in the Eastern Ontario Wilderness. Most places have been cut over 2, 3 or more times. Fortunately people like the Shaw family have set aside a small portion of their holding to show the students of today the cathedral majesty of a stand of pine. Shaw Woods Outdoor Education.
Dozens of local family men, who were farmers for three seasons, went to work in the lumber camps during the winter season. That extra cash wage was an important component of a family’s yearly income. It fell to the wife and children to care for the livestock and keep the home-fires burning.
The transport of goods, supplies and often the produce of the lumber and farming industries required good transportation links. In the early days the lumbering companies moved the logs by sleds pulled by oxen or horses to the nearest river or tributary during the winter; using the high water of spring-melt to carry the load of logs downstream.
Hundreds of men serving in all capacities – loggers, lumberjacks, teamsters, cruisers, sawyers, supers, cooks, road men and more, all made it happen.
To prepare you for your read through the LUMBERING section, here is a Glossary which might come in handy. It is taken from John D. Dunfield’s “Where Have All the Sawmills Gone?”
If you know a story or have memorabilia from someone in your family who worked in the bush during the shanty days, please contact this site and tell us all about it.