I noticed that the Newaygo Logging Festival (Eventful link w/ map) happens this weekend. Several recent conversations and excursions of my own have driven home how profoundly the logging industry has shaped Michigan. Like miners, the timber trade roamed from river mouth to natural harbor up and down our Great Lake shoreline, into connected lakes and with the coming of the railroad, across the entire Lower & Upper Peninsulas.
At every stop, when the trees were gone, the land was left cleared and ready for villages and farms. Many of those working in the timber trade turned to farming and town building, and the names of the founders of these towns (and the owners of the dry goods stores) were often the names of the principals of the lumber companies.
Over Labor Day Weekend, I think it would be neat if Michigan were to somehow remember and honor the role of logging and loggers played in creating our state.
…and when it’s not such a lovely, last weekend of summer out there, be sure to check out some Michigan lumbering history and this really cool collection of Michigan logging photos from MichiganEpic.org.
Seriously, these logging photos are great!