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Timberrr book cover Timberrr…A History of Logging in New England 

Winner of Lupine Honor Award




Logging Activity

Photo Gallery


To Purchase Timberrr...

  America's logging industry began almost as soon as the first European settlers stepped ashore, and it remains a major industry today.
   Timberrr… focuses on northern New England, where logging was vital to colonial survival, and where conflicts arose with Britain over pines for ships' masts. 
   Learn how loggers cut trees, transported logs down rivers, and sawed them into lumber. Eleven colorful vignettes portray the day-to-day lives of woods workers.
   Industrial advancements are introduced. The book concludes with thought-provoking issues about the future of our forests.
   This 128-page history features more than 50 photographs and drawings, and includes a timeline, a glossary, and a map.
• REVIEW. Booklist, November 15, 2003 . 
   Gr. 5-8.  "Drawing from dozens of sources, [Cowan] chronicles logging's history and methods... Generously illustrated with black-and-white photos, ... this will spark or support a plethora of research projects, as well as give readers a vivid picture of a colorful, now nearly vanished way of life." John Peters.
Read the complete review.

• from a professional forester in southern Maine:
   "You did a great job and I believe it will be very helpful for children and adults alike to gain an appreciation for logging in Maine."

• from North Maine Woods Association:
   "…it is a great history of New England forests. It will be a fantastic educational resource for elementary aged students!"


   from Chapter 1, "Trees Everywhere!"

   New England colonists found a wide variety of evergreens and deciduous trees. It was, however, the white pine, pinus strobus, that drew their attention. You cannot miss pine trees. They dominate the landscape wherever they grow. … To the colonists, those pine trees were monstrous, much larger than any trees they had ever seen. …
   Cutting and moving those pines was a mammoth undertaking. … Settlers who learned to harvest that timber became America's first lumbermen and river drivers.
   from vignette, "A Day in the Life of a Mast Logger"
   Two choppers are going at it, in perfect rhythm—CHOP-back, CHOP-back. Chips fly through the air. Soon the men scramble off to the side, yelling "TIMBERRR!" Slowly, the mighty pine tilts, then falls with a thunderous roar. … "Yaa-hoooo!" everyone roars, jumping around and swearing a blue streak. "By cracky," roars Clem, "she's sound! The last nine or ten sticks were hollow t' the core."
   from vignette, "A Day in the Life of a Chopper"
   It's 5:00 A.M. "ROLL OUT!" the cookee yells into the bunkhouse. You, and dozens of others, groan. But if you don't get up, Moose will be blazin' mad. He's the head chopper and he means to cut wood. …
   "Don't bother to splash your face this mornin'," you yell to the others. "There's thick ice in the pail again."
   from Chapter 9, "Managing Our Forests Today"
   Gone are the old-time loggers and river drivers. Gone are the oxen and horses and log haulers. … Today, trees are harvested by huge machines—feller-bunchers, skidders, and cut-to-length harvesters. …
   We know a lot more about managing forests than we did a century ago. … Forest management involves much more than trees. It involves listening to public interests and concerns as well. There is much to learn.
Mary's Logging Photo Gallery
A Logging Activity
for Teachers
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