The Lumberjacks

Front Cover
Dundurn, May 1, 2007 - History - 320 pages

The 19th century spawned a unique breed of men who took pride in their woodsmen skills and rough codes of conduct. They called themselves lumberers, shantymen, timber beasts, les bucherron -- and, more recently, lumberjacks, working in the vast forests of eastern Canada and British Columbia.

Across the country, farm boys would go to the woods, lumbering being the only winter work available. Immigrants -- Swedes and Finns more often than not -- resumed the trades they had learned so well in the forests of northern Europe. They broke the cold, hard monotony of camp life with songs, tall tales and card games.

Within these pages, author Donald MacKay allows us a glimpse into that moment in our heritage when men entered the virgin forest to carve out an industry from the seemingly endless array of pine, spruce, maple and balsam fir found there.

"[Donald] MacKay's book has many virtues. His prose is clean. He lets the surviving pioneers talk for themselves when they have something to say, but never allows them to get too windy. He separates legends and half-truths from facts ..."
- The Montreal Star

"... a superb marriage of text and pictures, a nostalgic but not sentimental discussion of one of Canada's primary industries, logging."
- The Globe and Mail

"It's marvellous material of a type often ignored by historians ... Such books may do more to help us understand ourselves than all the academic tomes together."
- Atlantic Insight

 

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Contents

1 The Logging Frontier
13
Joe Montferrand
35
3 The Raftsmen
40
The Timber Cruisers
55
Fall Choppers and Sawyers
73
Fall The Skidders
89
Winter The Teamsters
99
Spring River Drivers
120
14 The Bunkhouse Boys
228
La Chasse Galère
238
16 Saturday Night and Sunday
240
Logging Unions
252
The Logger Goes to Town
260
19 Fire
265
20 Ghost Camp
286
Notes
301

The Dungarvon Whooper
144
10 The Bull of the Woods
147
11 Loggers of the Raincoast
158
Cooks and Cookees
198
13 The Migrants
218
Glossary
306
References
312
Index
315
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Donald MacKay has had a forty-year career as journalist, broadcaster and author. Descended from Pictou County settlers, and born and educated in Nova Scotia, he was a wartime merchant seaman, has been a reporter for Canadian Press, and covered major stories in a dozen countries for United Press International. He spent a decade as chief European correspondent for UPI Broadcast Services, based in London, and was general manager of UPI in Canada for five years before turning to writing books.

Donald and his wife, Barbara, live in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.

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