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Lumberjacks of Canada

The term Lumberjack has been replaced by Logger for professional people who cut down trees in order to harvest lumber. Lumber is just a fancy term for wood that has been cut to be used in construction or the manufacture of paper and furniture. The term Lumberjack is now mostly meant to refer to people who adopt woodcutting as a competitive sport. While woodcutting and wood-gathering have been a human occupation from time immemorial, lumberjacking as a mass profession started in Scandinavia, Canada, and the northern United States a few hundred years ago. Lumberjacking was tough, hard work requiring huge amounts of strength and endurance. It was seasonal work not possible when the mountainous regions where the best timber was to be found got snowed out. Lumberjacks had to take the work as it came and had to move into the logger camps when the season started. As a result, they came to be known as hardworking, hard-drinking chaps. It was Scandinavian loggers who formed the bulk of the industry when serious logging on the North American continent started in the US state of Maine. This caused the cultivation of the lumberjack image of tall, blond-haired, very muscular, red-faced giants. Lumberjacks traditionally used axes to cut down trees and a team of two lumberjacks could also use a crosscut saw to saw through the trunk of a tree. Some of the other skills needed for lumberjacking included high climbing or tree topping where the lumberjack used iron hooks and rope to climb up a tree, cut down its branches and the tree top as he climbed, and attached rigging and pulleys to the tree so that it could be used as a spar. Attaching chokers or steel cables to felled logs in order to roll it down the mountain to a landing area was another set of skills. Sometime, the tree would be transported by water to sawmills and tree rolling became a skill. Lumberjacks would wear spiked boots called caulks or corks to stay on a log when rolling it down river.

Canada lies in the north part of the continent. Its capital is Ottawa. Much of Canada is c9vered with thick forests. Theses are found in the north around Hudson Bay and in the Rocky Mountains. Here the summers are short and warm, but the winters are long and cold. Now covers the ground or six or seven months in the year. The most important trees of these forests are the Pine and Fir. They have tall, straight trunks. Their side branches are sloping. This helps the heavy snow to slide off. The leaves are like sharp, green needles. Even in winter the trees o not lose their leaves. The wood of these trees is soft. It is easy to cut. Some is used to make houses, furniture and matches. But most of the wood is used for making paper for newspapers and magazines. The cutting own of trees is one mainly in winter. This work is called Lumbering. The men who cut down the trees are called Lumberjacks. They live in camps in the forests. In the camp there are many log-cabins or huts. The men sleep in some of these cabins. Then there is a kitchen and dining-room. In other cabin the men can watch television, listen to music or read when they have finished their work. But their lives are difficult and lonely. The Lumberjacks use large saws worked by electricity. After trees are felled, side branches are cut off. Then the trunk is cut into several pieces called logs. The logs are dragged across the snow by tractors. They are left on the ice of the frozen rivers. When spring comes it becomes warmer, the ice in the rivers melt and the logs float down the river. The lumberjacks work is not yet over. They must see that the logs get safely to the saw mills. Sometimes the rivers are so crowded with logs that pile up, one on top of the other. This is called a

High climbers and whistle punks were both phased out in the 1960s to early 1970s when portable steel towers replaced spar trees and radio equipment replaced steam whistles for communication.[when?] The whistle punk's job was to sound a whistle as a signal to the yarder operator controlling the movement of logs and act as a safety lookout. and a good whistle punk had to be alert and think fast as the safety of the others depended on him. At the mills the bigger logs are cut into planks. such as whistle punk. with more experienced loggers seeking to move up to more skillintensive positions such as yarder operator and high climber. During the short summer they become farmers and fishermen. Chokersetters and chasers were often entry-level positions on logging crews. The logs then move down the stream again. They return to their families and homes. and finally attach pulleys and rigging to the tree so it could be used as a spar so logs could be skidded into the landing. chaser. This pulp is used for making paper. The chokersetters attached steel cables (or chokers) to downed logs so they could be dragged into the landing by the yarder. This is a very dangerous job. called tie hacks. The high climber (also known as a tree topper) used iron climbing hooks and rope to ascend a tall tree in the landing area of the logging site. The saw mills re built on the banks of the rivers. Later. When winter comes to an end and he logs reach the mills the lumberjacks work is over. The smaller ones are crushed to make wood pulp. used saws to fell trees and cut to length. where he would chop off limbs as he climbed. Tie hacking was an important form of logging in Wyoming and northern Colorado and the remains of tie hacking camps can be found on National Forest land. the actual felling and bucking of trees were also specialized job positions done by fallers and buckers. they go back o their lumber camps in the forests and start to cut down the trees. and a broadaxe to flatten two or all four sides of the log to create railroad ties. or supervisory positions such as hooktender. These lumberjacks. The remains . If the lumberjack falls into the water. The chasers removed the chokers once the logs were at the landing. Reason for flourishing lumberjacks in Canada A specialty form of logging involving the felling of trees for the production of railroad ties was known as tie hacking. chop off the top of the tree. The lumberjacks have to climb over the logs to free them. and high climber.Log-Jam. Despite the common perception that all loggers cut trees. the four categories of lumberjacks are: high riggers sawyers or buckers skidders haulers Modern Lumberjacks The division of labor in lumber camps led to several specialized jobs on logging crews. portable saw mills were used to cut and shape ties. When inter comes again. Fallers and buckers were once two separate job titles but are now combined. he can be crushed by the moving logs.

and built a culture around masculinity. their physical strength and masculinity. they took special pride in their work. Men earned praise for their skills in doing their work. chain saws replaced crosscut saws. There tie hacks attempted to float logs down to the Laramie River for the annual spring tie drives. a decaying splash dam exists near the Old Roach site as well. Logging camps were located in isolated areas that provided room and board as well as a workplace. When not at work. In addition. and guarded their individualism. and for being aggressive. and the splash dam was used to collect winter snowmelt to increase the water flow for the tie drive. In a period of industrial development and modernization in urban areas. for being competitive. At the peak in 1906 there were 500. the business was undergoing major changes. Wyoming[9] and Old Roach.000 lumberjacks. logging remained a traditional business in which the workers exhibited pride in their craft.of flumes can be seen near Dubois. they played rough games. With few females present other than the wives of cooks and foremen. told tall tales. lumberjacks lived an independent life style that emphasized manly virtues in doing dangerous tasks. Colorado. By 1940. and won reputations for consuming large amounts of food. Tomczik (2008) has investigated the lifestyle of lumberjacks in 1840-1940. Their camps were a bastion of the traditional workplace as they defied modern rationalized management. and managers installed modern industrial methods . as access roads and automobiles ended residential logging camps. using records from Maine and Minnesota logging camps.