Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Minnesota Logging Camp (Swanson Series, Part One)

I was able to spend a lot of time with my nieces and nephews this summer. I'm going to do a series of posts from our activities this summer. 

My parents and I took Callie, Ashleigh, Natalie, and Micah to the Forest History Center, an authentic 1900s logging camp. Costumed employees portrayed lumberjacks, camp cook, blacksmith, and clerk.

Accordian player in the bunkhouse

Camp Cook (incidentally, the highest paid person in the camp)

The camp horses--very hard workers

The Blacksmith

The Clerk

The girls were impressed with the checker game.

One tired boy, after he woke up from a nap on Papa's shoulder.

All winter, the lumberjacks would cut the trees and haul them to the river. They were marked (shown below) to record the length, estimated board feet, and logging camp from which it originated, to ensure the right logging camp was credited for the logs.

When spring arrived, log drivers would float the logs down river to the sawmill. They would get their meals from the river wanigan during the log drive. After visiting the wanigan, the girls posed for a picture.

We visited the 1930s Forest Service patrolman's cabin. Nearby is a lookout tower where rangers would spot forest fires.

Callie, Ashleigh, Mom, and I started the long trek up the lookout tower. Halfway up, Ashleigh got a little scared of heights, so I turned back with her. Callie and Mom made it all the way to the top, and Callie even got a certificate of achievement!

The old fire engine was a hit!

Back in the visitor's center, Callie explored a logging truck.

Ashleigh trying her hand at the sawmill.

Natalie in a machine much bigger than her!

This tree was large enough for Micah to walk through.

The Forest History Center is great fun for everyone. If you're ever in the area, you should check it out!

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