Category Archives: Forest History & Archives

Forest History & Archives

Monitoring the 1911 shipwrecked Canadian lumber schooner on Sand Beach, Maine

By Catherine Schmitt, Schoodic Institute
US National Park Service
March 21, 2024
Category: Forest History & Archives
Region: Canada, United States

ACADIA NATIONAL PARK, Maine — In addition to causing significant damage across the park, back-to-back storms in January 2024 uncovered the Tay, a shipwrecked Canadian lumber schooner. These wooden sailing vessels carried lumber and coal between New Brunswick, Portland, Boston, and other ports. This wasn’t the first time the wreck, which dates to 1911, was exposed. Every few decades, it seems, Acadia experiences storms with large waves and southerly winds strong enough to erode the dunes and pull sand off the beach. …In January 2024, however, sustained high water levels and repeated flooding from high tides moved the wreck, which broke apart as it battered against the exposed, rocky floor of the beach. In late January, Acadia National Park staff photographed, measured, and mapped the remaining timbers. …The tagging is coordinated by the Shipwreck Tagging Archaeological Management Program (S.T.A.M.P.) of the National Park Service Submerged Resources Center.

Read More

Preserving and sharing the rich history of British Columbia’s forests

By Sandy McKellar
Forest History Association of BC
April 18, 2024
Category: Forest History & Archives
Region: Canada, Canada West

You know me from your daily Tree Frog News email, but today, I’m advocating for something different: membership in the Forest History Association of BC. As the newest member of the board, I want to drive up our membership numbers! Our organization is passionate about preserving and sharing the rich history of British Columbia’s forests and the hardworking individuals who have contributed to the sector over the years. Together we cooperate with libraries, museums, and archives throughout the province to collect, describe, conserve, digitize, curate and communicate forest history. Our mission is clear: to ensure that the legacy of BC’s forests lives on for generations to come. But we can’t do it alone.

We need your support to continue our vital work! By becoming a member of the Forest History Association of BC, you not only gain access to exclusive benefits like our quarterly newsletter filled with meticulously researched articles, but you also play a crucial role in preserving our collective heritage. I invite you to join us in our mission. For $20 a year, or $50 for three years, you can make a tangible difference in safeguarding the history of BC’s forests. Who knows? It might even be your own story that becomes part of our cherished archives.

Together, let’s ensure that the stories about people, places, and the forests of this province—the stories that give meaning to and connect all of us—continue to inspire and educate for years to come.

Read More

BC to provide $250,000 to help preserve iconic Martin Mars water bomber

By Darron Closter
The Times Colonist
March 29, 2024
Category: Forest History & Archives
Region: Canada, Canada West

VICTORIA, BC — The final flight of the Hawaii Martin Mars water bomber is getting a $250,000 boost from the provincial government as the iconic firefighting aircraft travels from Sproat Lake to the B.C. Aviation Museum in North Saanich. Officials on Thursday confirmed a plan that would see the massive aircraft operational by the end of the year so that it can be moved to the museum. The one-time funding from the provincial government to the museum will help establish the aircraft as the centrepiece of its new B.C. wildfire aviation exhibit, …The water bomber, with its 200-foot wingspan, was last active fighting fires in 2015 and was operational on the Island for more than a half century, able to drop 6,000 gallons of water on fires in a single pass. Its final flight is expected before the end of 2024 and will be a multi-phased process that includes passing federal inspections, crew training and test flights.

In related coverage: Historic B.C. Martin Mars water bomber will fly one last time

Read More

Coffee and Conversation discusses forestry train and more

By Michael Oleksyn
Prince Albert Daily Herald
March 18, 2024
Category: Forest History & Archives
Region: Canada, Canada West

John Daisley

Forestry has always been an important part of the history of Prince Albert and the area. The Prince Albert Historical Museum hosted a Coffee and Conversation on Sunday that discussed this topic as well as a forest conservation program. The guest for the afternoon was John Daisley, who is the president of the Forest History Society of Saskatchewan. The organization is composed of people who have an interest in what has happened in the forest for the past century. On Saturday, Daisley spoke about the education program run by the Canadian Forestry Association between 1920 and 1973. “It’s a program that utilized a rail car donated by CN and by CP as an educational tool in southern Saskatchewan, primarily used to promote shelter belts and conservation … and in northern Saskatchewan, along the fringe of the forest promoting fire awareness and conservation of the of the of the forest and the water resources,” Daisley said.

Read More

Trails and Tales – the Alberta Forest History Association’s latest newsletter

Forest History Association of Alberta
March 12, 2024
Category: Forest History & Archives
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Alberta Forest History Society is excited the share the latest Trails and Tales newsletter. Packed with articles and fabulous imagery, this 100-page newsletter includes an overview of our 2023 AGM. You will also find these headlines:

  • The Origin Story of the Photographic Survey Corporation
  • Who was James Alexander Hutchison?
  • Bertie Beaver Turns 65
  • 70 Year Anniversary of the Forestry Trunk Road – Crowsnest to Bow River
  • National Forest Week Celebration in Slave Lake
  • Mackenzie Region of Northwest Alberta, Forestry Capital of Canada for 2024!
  • Forest Management and Wetland Stewardship Initiative Wins Award
  • Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee Medal
  • NAIT Class of 1968 & 1969 Reunions
  • Book review of Vertical Reference and Trees Against the Wind
  • Silvacom – Looking at 40; Spray Lake Sawmills Turns 80; Zavisha Sawmills Turn 80
  • Alberta Pacific Forest Industries Celebrates Three Decade Milestone
  • Early Air Patrols in the West
  • Retirements/Obituaries/Forestry Photo Corner/Forest History Corner

Read More

SOOKE HISTORY – Sawmill had humble beginnings on Goodridge Peninsula

By Elida Peers
The Sooke News Mirror
March 9, 2024
Category: Forest History & Archives
Region: Canada, Canada West

The Sooke Forest Products Sawmill in the early 1950s was located on the beautiful wooded Goodridge Peninsula. Christian Helgesen bought the peninsula, so his son’s sawmill could expand, and the site has had a remarkable history. It was used by First Nations people before immigrants brought commercial industry to Sooke Harbour and Basin. …When Helgesen’s son Harry started a sawmill on Helgesen Road after he returned from the Second World War in 1945, it became apparent that he needed more space to store logs, and the relocation began. …as the operations expanded, its structures occupied the entire peninsula, and the waiting log booms extended further into the basin. …Sooke Forest Products Sawmill went on to become one of Canada’s most efficient cedar mills, employing 400 men in shifts around the clock. Its ownership changed repeatedly, including Bill Grunow, Hershell Smith, and CPR, and in its later days, it became Lamford Forest Products.

Read More

The Simcoe County Forest — A Century of Growth and Renewal

Orillia Matters
February 28, 2024
Category: Forest History & Archives
Region: Canada, Canada East

The Orillia Museum of Art and History Speaker Series hosted Graeme Davis, registered professional forester, County of Simcoe, to speak about The Simcoe County Forest — A Century of Growth and Renewal. He shared what has been done over the last century to restore a landscape once devastated by logging and forest clearing practices to the vibrantly reforested Simcoe County Forest we have today, now Ontario’s largest community forest. Way back, this land was covered in stands of massive, stately white pine. Those who came to log the white pine forests claimed there was enough pine to last at least 700 years. There were over 200 sawmills in the county and railways to ship the pine during the heyday of logging. By the late 1800s [the] white pine forests were gone. The pine had been felled, cut and shipped on boats to England to be used as masts for British Navy ships.

Read More

The comeback of Notre Dame: American builders help to restore iconic Paris landmark

By Keir Simmons, Laura Saravia and Henry Austin
NBC News
April 15, 2024
Category: Forest History & Archives
Region: United States

PARIS — Five years ago a fire brought Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral to its knees, destroying the vaulted wooden ceiling and spire. In Hatfield, Massachusetts, carpenter Hank Silver watched in horror as flames shot into the air and rapidly spread over the fabled Gothic building’s roof, known as “The Forest” because of its long planks of 800-year-old wood. Soon, Silver joined an army of skilled craftsmen from around the world and went to the building’s aid. Now Paris’ soaring medieval landmark is ready to serve as a symbol of the French capital. “It’s a once in a millennium experience,” he said in an interview. …Silver, who is part of Carpenters Without Borders, a team of volunteers who restore historical structures the world over, is one of a handful of craftsmen from around the world who are trained to carry out the work of rebuilding Notre Dame.

Related coverage: Notre Dame Restoration Nears Completion

Read More

Only You Can Prevent Wildfires: Smokey Bear Turns 80 This August

By Wendy Altschuler
Forbes Magazine
March 20, 2024
Category: Forest History & Archives
Region: United States

The origins of Smokey Bear date back to World War II when the U.S. needed to come up with a solid plan to prevent human-caused wildfires. In 1942, the USDA Forest Service put together the Cooperative Forest Fire Prevention program, collaborating with the National Association of State Foresters and the Ad Council. As with many advertisements of the time, wildfire prevention slogans worked in tandem with the war effort with mottos like, “Forest Fires Aid the Enemy.” …In 1944 a charming black bear became the face of wildfire prevention efforts. …In 2001 we were gifted with a new iteration, “Only you can prevent wildfires”. …The real life Smokey Bear lived in Washington D.C.’s National Zoo from 1950—1976, where he received so much hand written fan mail that he was designated his own zip code. When Smokey Bear finally passed, he was buried in New Mexico near where he was originally found at the Smokey Bear Historical Park.

Read More

THIS DAY IN FIRE HISTORY: Weeks Act’s suppression focus sets stage for catastrophic fires

By Hunter Bassler
Wildfire Today
March 1, 2024
Category: Forest History & Archives
Region: United States

The “most important law in the creation of eastern national forests” was established on this day 113 years ago. The Weeks Act, signed into law by President William Howard Taft on March 1, 1911, allowed the federal government to purchase private land to protect the headwaters of rivers and watersheds in the eastern United States. The act nationalized the U.S. Forest Service, as neither federal nor state  governments owned substantial forested lands east of the Mississippi River before the act’s passage. According to the Forest History Society, in just 10 years Congress had rejected more than 40 bills calling for the establishment of eastern national forests. …The Weeks Act not only paved the way for the National Forest System, but also established the nation’s first interagency wildland firefighting effort, an effort that continued and worsened the settler colonial practice of fire suppression through bans of cultural fire usage.

Read More

Mount St. Helens After the Eruption

By Adam Sowards
History Link
April 17, 2024
Category: Forest History & Archives
Region: United States, US West

On May 18, 1980, Mount St. Helens erupted and drastically changed the surrounding environment. Despite the devastation to plant, animal, and human communities, ecological recovery developed over time. Scientists saw the landscape as an ideal place to study ecological processes, while the timber industry wanted to hasten the forest’s rebound. Weyerhaeuser Company and the Forest Service planted trees, but on the new 110,000-acre Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, nature was allowed to replant at its own pace with scientists closely observing the results. The tensions among managers about how much intervention was permissible and warranted has been constant since the eruption. Through the years, recreationists have sometimes clamored for more access to the region. In the decades after the eruption, scientists have argued for and closely monitored how ecological systems have reconstituted themselves with minimal human intervention. The 1980 eruption provided a large-scale experiment that has taught scientists and land managers much about ecological disturbance and ecosystem management.

Read More

Tillamook Forest Center hosts forestry history event April 27

By Chas Hundley
The Banks Post
April 16, 2024
Category: Forest History & Archives
Region: United States, US West

OREGON — A presentation titled “Unearthing Forgotten Forestry Narratives” with a focus on historic work done in Oregon by foresters will be held at the Tillamook Forest Center Saturday, April 27 at 1 p.m. The presentation, a joint effort by Maxville Heritage Interpretive Center and the Vernonia Pioneer Museum, is sponsored by the State Forests Trust—formerly the Tillamook Forest Heritage Trust—and is free to attend. “Join the Tillamook Forest Center as we invite Maxville Heritage Interpretive Center and the Vernonia Pioneer Museum, to share their records and contributions their communities have made in Oregon forestry,” the forestry center said on social media. A Facebook event with more information has been created. Following the presentation, audience members will be invited to share their own forestry stories. “Share your heritage, personal accounts, physical artifacts, or simply join us to hear rarely told stories,” the center said.

Read More

Missoula’s long history with lumber mills, wood products takes last gasp

By David Erickson
The Missoulian
March 22, 2024
Category: Forest History & Archives
Region: United States, US West

On the morning of March 14, there were two large wood products businesses operating in Missoula County, the last remaining vestiges of a timber processing industry that powered the region’s economy for a century and a half. Within the span of six days, both Pyramid Mountain Lumber in Seeley Lake and Roseburg Forest Products’ Missoula particleboard plant had announced they were shutting down permanently. The closures mark the final knockout punch locally to an industry that helped build Missoula and put food on tables here for over 150 years. The settlement of the Hellgate Trading Post was renamed Missoula Mills in 1866 due to the importance of logging and the mills in what is now Bonner and Milltown. …Missoula has a long history of absorbing the shock of huge industrial wood products businesses shutting down due to unfavorable economics. The timber of western Montana helped build the town and fuel its economy…

Read More

The origins of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest are rooted in the national conservation movement

The USDA Forest Service
March 1, 2024
Category: Forest History & Archives
Region: United States, US West

The origins of the Gifford Pinchot National Forest are firmly rooted in the national conservation movement that swept this country at the beginning of the 20th century. Working together, Gifford Pinchot, Chief of the Forest Service, and President Theodore Roosevelt set aside millions of acres of new national forest lands. In 1907 President Roosevelt established the vast Rainier National Forest along the Cascade Range in Washington. To better administer these lands, the southern portion of the Rainier became a Columbia National Forest in 1908. …Despite proximity to the urban centers of Portland and Vancouver, public use of the Columbia National Forest in 1908 was very limited. Indian peoples continued the traditional use of their summer camps in the extensive berryfields. Prospectors worked their mining claims in the Spirit Lake region with little success. Sheepherders from Klickitat County brought thousands of sheep for summer forage. Loggers from the Midwest, living in camps along the Wind River, cut timber that would be milled into lumber for houses back east.

Read More

The Legacy of timber: A historical journey through Truckee’s lumber industry

By Jerry Blackwill
Sierra Sun
February 25, 2024
Category: Forest History & Archives
Region: United States, US West

Hobart Mills Sawmill

Truckee, California, has a rich history shaped by the lumber industry. The town was originally established as a vital hub for the Central Pacific Railroad. Additionally, in the 19th century Truckee played a pivotal role in the development of the American West. Truckee’s lumber was a cornerstone of its economic growth leaving an indelible mark on the town’s landscape and identity. The lumber industry traces its roots back to the mid-1800s when pioneers recognized the abundance of Sugar Pine and other pine in the surrounding forests. The demand for lumber skyrocketed with the construction of the First Transcontinental Railroad and Truckee became a strategic location for the supply of wood to fuel the locomotives and build the tracks. Large sawmills were established, transforming Truckee into a bustling center for logging and milling.

Read More

National Park Service Turns To Forest Service For Help Restoring 19th-Century Schooner

The National Parks Traveler
February 26, 2024
Category: Forest History & Archives
Region: United States, US West

SAN FRANCISCOWhen it came time to restore a late-19th century schooner at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, the National Park Service placed a call to the U.S. Forest Service. The ship is the C.A. Thayer, a vessel that first launched in 1895… was used to carry lumber from the Puget Sound into San Francisco and Los Angeles, and Australia. The wooden-hulled, three-mast schooner is routinely restored as part of preventive maintenance, but finding the right size and dimensions for lumber can prove challenging and costly. …Through a Federal Free to Use request the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest was able to donate the trees for the ship’s restoration. …The Cedar and Douglas Fir were felled after it was concluded that the trees were a hazard in the campground due to root rot. Their time on the forest might have been coming to an end, but a second life was waiting.

Read More

Local Explorers Discover Shipwreck Lost in 1886 collision off Holland, Michigan

Michigan Shipwreck Research Association
March 25, 2024
Category: Forest History & Archives
Region: United States, US East

Explorers from the Michigan Shipwreck Research Association have discovered the remains of the remarkably intact steamship Milwaukee, lost after it was rammed in 1886 forty miles from Holland in 360 feet of water. …At 135 feet long with three decks the Milwaukee was sized to fit the dimensions of Welland Canal locks between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. …In 1883, lumberman Lyman Gates Mason of Muskegon purchased the Milwaukee for exclusive use hauling his company’s lumber to Chicago. …Late afternoon of July 9, 1868, the Milwaukee left after unloading a cargo of lumber and set a course back to Muskegon for another load. A nearly identical ship, the C. Hickox, operating for a different Muskegon lumber company left Muskegon that evening for Chicago with a full load of lumber on its deck and towing a schooner barge also fully loaded. The lake was calm, but there was some smoke blowing across the water from forest fires. Both ships sailed such an exact course that at about midnight, when each was off Holland, they were bearing straight for each other.

Read More

Back Roads from Wisconsin’s Past

By LeeAnne Bulman
Agri-View
March 20, 2024
Category: Forest History & Archives
Region: United States, US East

SHANAGOLDEN, Wis. – Remembering his ancestral home in County Limerick, Ireland, led Thomas Nash to name his Ashland County paradise “Shanagolden.” The lumber town situated in the woods near Glidden, Wisconsin… Shanagolden began as an intentional lumbering community in 1901 when the Nash Lumber Company bought 40,000 acres in Ashland and Sawyer counties of Wisconsin. The company owners were Thomas Nash, his sons Guy and James Nash, and William Vilas. Thomas Nash was the founder of the Nekoosa Paper Company; he intended to use the lumber to supply a paper mill he planned to build at the new town site. In the early days of paper production, pulp wood was ground with a stone. But by 1901 the chemical sulfite was being used to process the wood. Rather than ship wood to Nekoosa, Nash thought the sulfite method would be more efficient and thus profitable to make pulp in the northern woods.

Read More

Michigan Maritime Museum to host presentation on Great Lakes logging history

By Van Buren
WSJM
March 7, 2024
Category: Forest History & Archives
Region: United States, US East

Coming up this month at the Michigan Maritime Museum in South Haven will be a presentation on the history of the region’s logging industry. Museum Education Director Ashley Deming tells us “Rivers, Lakes, and Lumber: Michigan’s White Pine Lumber Industry and its Waterways” is the next installment of the Working Waterfront Lecture Series. The guest speaker will be environmental historian Rob Burg. “We’re really excited to have him here talking about all of his research related to Michigan’s white pine lumber industry and their relationship to the water that that industry really relied on,” Deming said.”It’s going to be a fascinating presentation about the industry’s growth and bust.” …Burg’s presentation will be on March 20 at 6:30 p.m. at the Michigan Maritime Museum.

Read More

Harvard Forest exhibits offer information on history through dioramas

By Carla Charter
The Greenfield Recorder
March 3, 2024
Category: Forest History & Archives
Region: United States, US East

At Harvard Forest in Petersham, visitors can learn about the forest and its history through dioramas dating back to the 1930s. The dioramas and the museum that was built for them was the idea of Richard T. Fisher, who was named director and primary professor when Harvard decided to create a forestry school in Petersham. … “The dioramas took 10 years to build with seven people working full-time,” Hart continued. “The reason it took so long is that each tree and branch was created with one wire, then they would continue to coil [the wire] over one branch to get a thickness. It was built the way trees grow, thicker and thicker. The first seven dioramas are a historical series with the same composite landscape, changing from 1700 to the 1930s and showing how landscapes changed. Originally called The Harvard Forest Models, the dioramas were unveiled in 1937 for Harvard’s tercentenary in Cambridge. 

Read More

Børsen fire: When was the Copenhagen stock exchange built and what material was it made of?

By Maite Knorr-Evans
As.com
April 16, 2024
Category: Forest History & Archives
Region: International

COPENHAGEN — Early on Tuesday morning, the Børsen, Copenhagen’s stock exchange, caught fire, reminding many in the city and spectators online of the 2019 Notre Dame fire in Paris. The two buildings have some key features in common, namely their age. The Børsen, constructed between 1619 and 1640, is newer than the French cathedral, but because of its age, reconstructing the building presents unique challenges. The materials used to build the Børsen are difficult to come by four hundred years after its initial construction. One of the building’s most affected parts is its iconic spire… made from intertwining four dragon tails, collapsed. While the building is made of red brick, the spire, which stands at 140 feet, features three golden crowns above the tails, representing the short-lived union of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden. …The exact material used to build the spire is unknown, but many speculate that like Notre Dame, it was carved from wood and coated in lead.

Read More