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Lumber 91

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LUMBER 91. Land fit only for forests.—The country near the upper Great Lakes is not as good for farming as that of the southern and western part of the North Central States. It is hilly; parts of it are very rocky, and in spots it is sandy and swampy —very different from the smooth, level fields of the corn country and the wheat country. If the trees are cut down, the ground cannot easily be made into fields. Therefore, most of the land is still in forests of pine, spruce, hemlock, and maple.

92. The camp and the winter hundreds of men from the wheat country and from the corn country go into these forests of the Great Lake region to cut down trees. They take with them teams of horses, and provisions to last the whole winter,—sacks of flour and boxes and barrels of groceries for themselves; and for their horses, bales of hay and sacks of oats and corn. When they get to the forest, melt for weeks at a time, but becomes deeper and deeper, until often it is two or three feet deep. But the deep snow only levels the rough places, and makes it easier for horses to pull the huge piles of logs to the banks of the streams. By spring, thousands of logs have been piled along these streams. When the snow melts, the snow water raises the stream. The logs are then rolled into the water to float they build log houses. Each house has bunks along the walls and a big stove. Here the men camp all winter long.

93. The log drive and the sawmill.— Now begins the work. The ringing sound of many axes chopping at the tree-trunks is followed by the crash of falling trees. The logs, when stripped of branches, are piled on sleds and hauled away over the snow. The snow in these forests does not away with the current. Thus they go down to the sawmill many miles away.

Sometimes as the logs float down stream, they get caught against rocks or in narrow places, and hundreds of them pile up, mak ing alog jam. Then it is hard and dangerous work to start the logs again. When they finally reach the sawmill, they lie in the river or mill pond until pulled out to be sawed into boards and other kinds of lum ber. (Fig. 106.) Many towns in eastern Minnesota, northern Wisconsin, and north ern Michigan have nothing to sell but lum ber. Great trainloads are hauled away to be used in building houses and barns in the almost treeless wheat and corn country. Many big steamers carry lumber from the shores of Lake Superior to Chicago, and to cities on Lake Erie.

94. Northeastern lumber region.—On the map of North America (Fig. 48), you will find some highlands between the Great Lakes and the Atlantic Ocean. Perhaps you can find out the names of the states in which these highlands are located. (Fig. 64). This country is rough and snow-clad in winter, very much like that around the Great Lakes. Much of it is in forests, like those of the Lake district. The lumbering is done in the same way as in the Lake country. Sailing vessels carry lumber from the mills near the mouths of the Kennebec and Penobscot Rivers in Maine (Fig. 228) to Cuba, South America, and Europe.

North of the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River in Canada is still more of this rough, forested country. Ottawa, Montreal, and Quebec have a great many sawmills. Every summer ships sail down the St. Lawrence, loaded with lumber for Europe. (See Fig. 64.) 95. Southeastern lumber region.— In that part of the Appalachian Highlands which is south of Pennsylvania, snow never covers the ground very long at a time, and the lumbermen cannot use sleds to haul logs as they do near the Great Lakes. Instead, they use wagons. Many of the trees in the southern forests are of oak. There are also forests of fine tall trees of the hard yellow pine that we so often use for floors. The people in these southern states cut a great deal of lumber and ship much of it to countries over the sea. The best-known lumber ports are New Orleans, Mobile, and Savannah. Can you find them? (Fig. 64.) 96. Western lumber region.—In the western part of the United States, there are forests of wonderful big fir, pine, and redwood trees. One of the redwoods is so large that a tunnel has been cut right through and a stagecoach drawn by six horses can drive through the tunnel. There are whole forests of redwood trees and sugar-pine trees in California, Oregon, and Washington, many of whose trunks are six or seven feet through, and ten or twenty or thirty times as tall as a man. How can men get such huge logs to the sawmill? There is no snow over which sleds can be dragged. They are hauled to a railroad by many oxen, or by engines that pull them along by ropes. In some of the steeper places, the logs slide down the mountainside on tracks, or flumes, made of smaller logs.

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