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Notre Dame Bay ~ Exploits District

Transcribed by Beverly Warford

Newfoundland Lumbermen’s Association
(1936 - 1956)

Joseph John THOMPSON, son of James and Rachael Thompson of Point Leamington, was the founder and only president of Newfoundland’s first logger’s union, The Newfoundland Lumbermen’s Association. Joe began work at Point Limington Saw Mills at the age of 10 in 1899 for 25¢ for an eleven hour day. The following year, he went to work in the lumber woods where he received $7.00 per month (a man received $10.00 to $12.00 per month). As a result of starting work so early in life, Joe had no opportunity to get a formal education which makes his achievements so much more outstanding.

J.J. THOMPSON worked as a logger until the 1930s when he became a game warden at Point Leamington. He continued his interest in working conditions in the lumber camps and on August 5, 1935 called a meeting of loggers at Point Leamington, at which he offered to form a union, chartered as the N.L.A. on April 11, 1936. Joe had to borrow the $250.00 registration fee from his supporters. The office of the N.L.A. committee of management were originally located in Point Leamington, although they were later relocated to Grand Falls with the registry office continuing in Point Leamington for a number of year. His first union executive was made up of the following:

1st Vice-President GeorgeWHITE
2nd Vice-President
Secretary-Treasurer Obe STUCKLESS
Sr. Grand Marshall William THOMPSON
Stanley RICE
There was no money to pay for any help and many sleepless nights were spent after a hard day’s work, trying to devise ways and means to better the lives of the Newfoundland logger. By the fall of 1936, Joe negotiated the first contract with the Anglo-Newfoundland Development Co. and organized 32 regional councils of the N.L.A. from Trinity Bay to White Bay. The following year he negotiated a similar agreement with the International Power and Paper Co. at Corner Brook.

The first annual convention of the N.L.A. was held at Point Leamington in August 1937. To acknowledge his accomplishments, the town of Point Leamington has named the bridge over the Mill River in his honor.

On October 19, 1938 the Association produced its first newspaper the “The Newfoundland Lumberman” which continued publication until the early 1950s. The following contains extracts from the first edition. Also George H. TUCKER’s memories of working in the lumber woods in the Point Leamington area from 1898 - 1902 which were published in the earlier editions of the paper.

October 19, 1938 President's Message Dear Friends, Fellow Country Men, Workers in and for the Cause of Labor: It is with great pride that I sit down to write this message and send it forth with the first issue of the Newfoundland Lumberman. I am called back in memory now to the day about three years since when I sat down to write up my first Article of Association having very strongly in mind the formation of the Newfoundland Lumbermen's Association. It was then a great venture and I wondered if my efforts would be at all worth while, but now it is an accomplished fact and one of the lumbermen's greatest needs was met in that movement, but the movement itself has sustained some setbacks because of the lack of a paper. Now I am still mindful of the fact that in sending forth this paper that it is still another great venture. The success of this venture can be made possible by the same spirit of co-operation and support that my first venture, the Newfoundland Lumbermen's Association met with in you. That and that alone will keep the Newfoundland Lumberman with us. "Your Own Paper" - Space will not permit me to deal with the many advantages that this paper will afford us, but as time passes we will see just how much value can be set upon it and I am ready to admit that if we use the Newfoundland Lumberman as we should we shall not have cause to regret it. It's so difficult to state anything so that it will be free from misconstruction and I don't want my meaning to be misconstrued when I say that the Newfoundland Lumberman is intended to be and will as far as possible, be used in and for the benefit of the lumbermen. We don't want its pages marred with things that will have no object in view but to knock at someone else. We don't want it to be prejudiced against other papers or persons. We don't want it to be a place where political strife will be engendered or kept boiling or to blow off at something or someone else, but we want it to be a paper entirely devoted to the common cause of labor and to do this we shall have to try and keep its pages free from things that would tend to destroy this purpose. Might I ask you and all to help me to make it a constructive enterprise. I will not hesitate to say that if we keep this in mind and govern ourselves accordingly we will have a paper that we will be able to term as a workman who need not be ashamed. "Connecting Link" - The Newfoundland lumberman will provide you with the means of contacting your fellow workers. You will be able to talk to those who work at your trade, but you do not meet him personally. You will learn through the medium of the Newfoundland Lumberman something of the other fellow's viewpoint and gain from his experience something to help you. In short, it is another link in the great chain of unity which has already done much to help you to act and work together for the welfare of each and all. The need of being organized has been placed before you, and you have accepted it and have benefited by your readiness to take hold of something good. It is now an admitted fact that we need some means of keeping our minds enthused and inspired and inspire us to a continuation of that which we have so manfully begun. And I am now confident that the Newfoundland Lumberman will provide us with that means, but it will not be all easy thing to keep it. It will require our whole hearted support. If we are ready to give that then we will be doing something to substantiate our position. We are sending forth over three thousand copies of the Newfoundland Lumberman with the hope and confidence that it will be taken and treated in a manner such as the cause merits. "Your Co-operation Needed" - The task of putting out this paper is great and it will mean a still greater task to keep it going, but great as it is it will become a pleasure to us if we have your co-operation and goodwill. Perhaps you think that I am concerning myself too much about this paper; if so, please pardon me; but I feel that too much cannot be said about a good thing. Now you may wonder what kind of material will make up the pages of this paper. As I have said it is a paper devoted entirely to the cause of the lumbermen and will naturally deal with the vital question that concerns such. Don't try to make it a dumping ground for personal prejudice or a place to throw up things that would serve no other purpose but to hurt it. If so, you will be disappointed, as such will not mar the pages of this paper. It can be used to clear us misunderstandings or misrepresentation, but not to make them. Help us to keep it as it should be. It will serve its purpose better and will keep our vision of vital necessities clear and thereby enable us to transmit it to others. Determination is the one thing required to make a success of any enterprise or to achieve anything that is worth while. We have, only as an example, to look at the action and the determination of Great Britain's Prime Minister. What a man he has become. Why? Because he was sincere and possessed with a spirit of determination. Through that the world claims him as a Peace Maker, and rightly so, through his timely actions the world can once more settle down and feel a sense of security. The war cloud that was fast gathering over Europe has been lifted. The storm has cleared and once more the value of a man determined to do something has been realized. I wonder if we can appreciate in everything the good derived through a timely action backed by willpower that will not admit defeat. Such is needed in every walk of life but more particularly today in organized labor. We should endeavor to keep before us a personal responsibility, a compelled responsibility that will make us do something and do it in the interest of our fellowman. We form a part of an organization that must not be dispensed with. Without it we represent soldiers without arms or weapons of any kind. "Keep Together" Seeing that I am speaking on terms of organization it may be very fitting for me to relate a very touching little story as told by Mr. V.S. JONES, General Manager of the A.N.D. Co., Ltd., while addressing a delegation of lumbermen and others at Badger on June 27th on the occasion of the Annual General Convention of The Newfoundland Lumbermen's Association. It goes like this: A certain Negro named Sambo, who was very accurate with the ship, was driving along one day on his horse and wagon. He was accompanied by a friend traveller, who noticed Sambo's expertness with his whip. As they drove along they saw a lizard on a wall. Sambo just threw his whip back and brought in action, knocked the lizard down dead. Good shot, said the traveller. Farther on they came to a gate and on the gate post there was a horse fly. Sambo again manipulated the whip to the destruction of the poor fly. But yet further on when they came to a hornet's nest Sambo did not care now to use the whip. His friend traveller wanted to know why, Ay, said Sambo, "They are organized." The story has a good moral. It is this: The Employers have take the place of Sambo and the poor laborer have suffered as the lizard and the horse fly, that is as an individual. You have been one alone and have been defenseless but now you represent the nest of hornets and therefore the action of the whip have been stayed. For God's sake, keep (portion of paper missing)..... In conclusion my first message to you through the Newfoundland Lumberman, I say to you: Whatever else you neglect, don't fail to look well in the future. We shall not always be a true representative of perfectness, but if we are doing our best to help make things better it will be a credit to use even though we may be living under adverse circumstances and conditions that make us the very poorest. It is after all, feeling that inspires action and if that action is actuated by good motives don't be afraid to show it. We are very often rated by our standing in life. I, myself, have been rated as incompetent and such like because I lacked education. This is the cry of those who perhaps have not considered that it is right to try and help rather than to put down. I am working by my convictions and that will help make up for what I lack in ability. I have not yet accepted the thirty pieces of silver for your liberty, nor will I. You can trust me. Fraternally yours, J.J. THOMPSON, President, Newfoundland Lumbermen's Association.
October 19, 1938 Greetings from President Trades & Labor Council Dear Mr. Thompson, - Upon your request for a note to the first issue of your official journal, "The Newfoundland Lumberman," my first duty is to convey to you and Brother Members of the Lumbermen's Union, fraternal greetings from the Newfoundland Trades and Labor Council; we with you are closely allied. We cannot stand alone. Whether Lumbering, Farming, Papermaking, each and all are contributing to the welfare of our beloved land. This is where we play our part by teaching and practicing the cardinal principal of the brotherhood of man. May I be permitted to quote a few extracts from the greatest book ever written by man on the labor question, "The Conditions of the Working Classes." As for those who do not possess the gifts of fortune, they are taught in God's sight that poverty is no disgrace and that there is nothing to be ashamed of in seeking one's bread by labor. This is strengthened by what we see in Christ Himself, who whereas He was rich, for our sakes He became poor, and Who being the Son of God and God Himself chose to see and to be considered the Son of a Carpenter. Nay, did not disdain to spend the great part of His life as a carpenter Himself. From the contemplation of this divine example, it is easy to understand that the true dignity and excellence of man lies in his moral qualities, that is, in virtue; that virtue is the common inheritance of all, equally within the reach of high and low, rich and poor, and that virtue, and virtue alone, wherever found, will be followed by the rewards of everlasting happiness. The formation of trade unions is the only remedy for man's protection, not only for obtaining a decent wage to support himself and family, but to regulate the hours of labor and improve living conditions. It is the duty of trade unions to take an active interest in the general welfare of the state. Since every business is constituted of money capital and labor capital, it is unreasonable that the former alone as under capitalism should have the entire power of control and the latter be subjected to a state of complete dependence. Men are more than money, and persons more precious than machinery. Until a larger social justice requires minimum wage, laws must enable every male worker to support a family in Christian decency. As exceptional business enterprise and efficiency, directed towards the greater common good, is entitled to an exceptional reward, so labor also should be remembered in proportion to its contribution to industry. We have seen in our own country a great forward movement, men are organizing as they never did before. We may ask ourselves what this is all about. The answer is very simple. In unity there is strength, and if we are to accomplish the objects that we have in mind we must be united and loyal. What are the objects for which we are organizing? The object of our organization is to obtain for every man, woman and child a right to decent living wages, to see that every child is given a chance for an education. To bring about reforms we must use common sense and must strive for industrial peace. The great wave of co-operative efforts of our neighbours of Nova Scotia should be an object lesson to Newfoundlers. We cannot blame Governments for the failures of the past; we must blame ourselves. We were a disunited people. Let us get together and solve our own problems in peace and harmony. Let us educate and cultivate our minds, and brains, and with God's help and our own industry we will reap the fruits of our beloved land that we have lost through lack of organization. Wishing you, your Union and your official organ, "The Newfoundland Lumberman,” every success. A.G. DUGGAN, President, Nfld. Trades and Labor Council, Grand Falls, Oct 9, 1938
October 19, 1938 Poem "The Paper That's Your Own" - Come all ye jolly Lumberjacks, I've something new to show, It is the Newfoundland Lumberman with pages all aglow, With items that concern you, boys, some of which you've never known, Just read it in the pages of a paper that's your own. You've always been neglected and you know it very well, But the saddest part about it, you've never been able to tell, But now the way is open, you can make your troubles known; Just tell it in the pages of a paper that's your own. There's someone interested in your welfare you may bet, But the truth about your condition they've never heard it yet; They seem to think there's something wrong, but facts they've never known. So wake up boys, and tell it in the paper that's your own. The way has now been open, don't let the chance slip by; We've only got a little while to live and then we die; So what you've learned will help someone if you'll but make it known. So why not let them read it in the paper of their own. There's something interesting about your starting first, And going to the Lumberwoods to undergo the worst; The thing is all so different to what it was at home, Yes, tell about the buck-saw in the paper that's your own. Just when you started to use her, did she cause your back to ache? After your first night's sleep in camp did you find it hard to wake? I can almost hear you saying now, oh dear, my poor back bone, Come tell us all about it in the paper that's your own. Yes, what about the flies, my boys, I guess they must be there to help and make your case the worse, did you ever have to swear? Or did you in, a friendly way, say go and leave me alone? Now tell us how you did it in the paper that's your own. Oh, what about the wages, were you always satisfied? Or, when you asked for better pay, were you then denied? If so, what was the trouble, was it because you asked alone? That's something worth relating in a paper that's your own. We know that now you're organized because we've heard it said And that you get better pay and also better fed; That's something you should tell about, I'm sure it should be known, And the proper place to tell it is in the paper of your own. There's yet a little mystery that doesn't seem quite clear, So when you write just tell us, you know we'd love to hear, Especailly of how you organized, was it born among your own? Is it better to be organized, or best to stand alone? We're reaching now a serious point, you must speak both clear and frank, IIf things are better all around, is there anyone to thank? Are you sure its better to work in groups; it is better than alone, Let's hear the story as it is in the paper now your own. Now all my jolly lumberjacks, come speak up, it's your chance, I'm sure that what you tell us it will your cause enhance. Don't be afraid to speak your mind, you're no longer now alone, And besides you've got a paper, try and keep it, its your own. From Point Leamington.
October 19, 1938 Advertisement The Newfoundland Lumberman - Official Organ of the Newfoundland Lumbermen's Association (J.J. Thompson, President and Founder) Printed and published fortnightly for the Newfoundland Lumbermen's Association by the Blackmore Printing Company, Limited, at their office 11a Mill Road, Grand Falls, Newfoundland - Subscription rates: Newfoundland - $1.00 per year/ U.S.A. and Canada - $1.50 per year.
October 19, 1938 "Our letter box" Editor, The Lumberman. Dear Sir, - We ask you to give space in this, the first issue of the Newfoundland Lumberman, for the publication of the following information regarding the successful achivevements of the Newfoundland Lumbermen's Association at Wareham, Indian Bay, B.B. On August 6th Mr. J.J. THOMPSON, President of the N.F.L.L.A., upon request of many of the employees of the lumbering industry, visited Indian Bay. The reception he met with was indeed a cordial one, and he was immediately requested to organize a Council of the N.F.L.L.A. here at Wareham, in the C. of E. School Room, a meeting was held and was largely attended. Mr. H.B. BURDEN was appointed Chairman for the meeting. Mr. THOMPSON gave a very inspiring address and was cheered to the echo. He pointed out that the Lumbermen's Association was the Association that could best serve those engaged at logging. Alll points of his address were based on facts and truth, and all present agreed that all unions should work in their own spheres. A Council was organized and 90 per cent of the men present pledged themselves to faithfully observe and obey the rules of regulations of the N.F.L.L.A. and that they would give this Association their undivided effort and support in its endeavor to achieve its objects and that they would forward the interests of the Association in every way possible. Here's to the success of the Newfoundland Lumberman. We thank you. Mr. Editior. Yours faithfully, Wareham Council. Wareham, B.B. Oct. 8
October 19, 1938 Advertisement Don't try to fool me about tobacco! Any tobaccco is better than none, we'll admit, but until you try Big Ben you'll never know what it means to be really pipe-happy --- to prefer a pipe to any other smoke. Load up your pipe with Big Ben, and see if it doesn't give you a new idea of the pleasure there is in smoking! 20 cents a full 2 oz. Tin. Tins "R" contain Big Ben Rough Cut - for pipes only. Tins not so labelled contain Big Ben fine cut - for cigatettes and pipes.
October 19, 1938 Advertisement Fall opening! We formally welcome the new season with a splendid display of new fall things. Here, at the biggest and most modern department store outside of St. John's you will find values that will invite comparison anywhere. People of Grand Falls and surrounding districts come here to trade. They find a wider selection of quality goods to choose from, and are rewarded with unparalled savings. Don't hesitate to make use of our mail order serivice when you need anything in dry goods. readymades, men's wear, millinery, hardware, furniture, crockeryware, school wear, footwear, groceries. Agents for Philco Radios and tubes. THE E.V. ROYAL STORES, LTD. The house for value and service.
October 19, 1938 Secretary's report With this issue of the Newfoundland Lumberman I beg to advise that it will be my policy, and I may also say the Newfoundland Lumbermen's Association, to submit a brief report of some special feature of the Association's work in each issue of this paper. For the information of all concerned I may say that my report will be based more or less on the lines of the business transactions of my office and will contain something more of interest, perhaps to the members of the Association, that may not have much contact with the general working of the Associaton. There are some, who, in writing us, do not seem to know just how we are situated. Well, here we are: 1. Our Registry Office is at Point Leamington. 2. The work of the Association is controlled by a Committee of Mangement which consists of seven members, namely: President - J.J. THOMPSON, Point Leamington. Vice-President - N.S. RYAN, Pilley's Island, Treasurer - Obed STUCKLESS, Sr., Point Leamington, Marshall - Obed STUCKLESS, Jr, Point Leamington and three other members - Elias MARSH, Point Leamington, Roland MENCHENTON, Norris Arm (portion of paper missing) When writing personal letters, use the home addresses of each, but official correspondence may be sent to Head Office. The work of the Association is progressing, and with the facilities which we have at the present time it is safe to say that we can take care of the Lumbermen's interest. In the meantime, there is quite a lot each member can do to assist us and one of the chief things now is to support our official organ, The Newfoundland Lumberman. All correspondence intended for the paper or in connection with same shoudl be addresssed to: The Newfoundland Lumberman, P.O. Box 78, Grand Falls.
October 19, 1938 Cases in Point Just to show you that Company officials have been ready to co-operate with us in any movement to rectify errors made, we propose giving you in each paper an account of one or more special cases that have been dealt with. Our idea in doing this will not be to blow our own horn but to make it clear that there is consideration where it is sought and it may help us not to be too quick to condemn before we have a right to do so. We may not be able to give dates but the truth of the cases can be vouched for. First, a man comes down from Millertown who had been cooking and was paid off to the rate of $60.00 a month, where it should have been $70.00 per month. The case was brought to tthe general woods manager, Mr. H.S. CROWE, who immediately made it right and had a cheque sent to the person in question for the balance due him. Another case that required our attention was that of Mr. Jess NEAL, who in the summer of 1937, after the A.N.D. Co., Ltd., signed an Aggreement with the Newfoundland Lumbermen's Assocation, did not fully understand the terms of the said Agreement, (Portion of paper missing) .......others in Mr. Ford BALL's camp telegraphed the information. Mr. NEAL signed the telegram and was therefore rated as a trouble maker but in reality he was just seeking for his rights. He was told that he was not wanted. He came back to Badger this past summer, 1938, but could not get employment and it was made clear to him that they had no fault to find with his work but they did not want him because he tried to make trouble. The President met him at Badger and took up the matter with Mr. H. COLE, the woods manager there, who reconsidered the case and employed Mr. NEAL agian. He was sent back to Mr. Ford BALL's camp, in company with Mr. MENTENTON, the Union delegate. He was put to work and the next report states that Mr. NEAL is one of the best men in the camp. Look out for other cases in the next issue. In the meantime, anyone who have such informaiton, kindly let us have it. We willl pass it on.
October 19, 1938 Advertisement George L. Baggs - General Dealer - Fresh and salt fish and vegetables. General Trucking between Grand Falls and Point Leamington - - - Point Leamington, Nfld.
October 19, 1938 Advertisement Congratulations to Lumbermen's Association on the publication of their paper - Full stock of groceries and provisions always in stock - J.M. SHARRON, General Dealer, Point Leamington.
October 19, 1938 Advertisement The best is none too good! We don't think that any old thing will do for a lumbermen. No, Sir! We know that your job demands the best! That is why we always stock the better quality clothing for the Lumbermen. Something "cheap" is never "just as good." You will find superior clothing at all of our stores. Buy better quality - it pays. Goodyear Humber Stores - Deer Lake, Bishop's Falls, Grand Falls Station
October 19, 1938 Mother council of N.F.L.L.A. Gives Inspiring Message Editor, The Lumberman - Dear Sir, - It is with a feeling of pride that we ask space in the first issue of the Newfoundland Lumberman to say something about the Nfld. Lumbermen's Association as this is the Mother Council of the Nfld. Lumbermen's Association. Here at Point Leamington the Association was born and for that reasons we want to say just how glad we are for the Lumbermen's Union. We know what the result of unorganized labor is and having lasted, to our sorrow, the bitter fruits of hard work with small pay, no one to interest themselves in our behalf, we feel now in a position to say that the value of having an organization such as we have is beyond doubt the very best thing that ever happened for us lumbermen. We don't regret in the least our actions in rallying to its standards and for the information of those who wish to know what we think of it all we say that we must stand by the Nfld. Lumbermen's Association. It's the salvation of the Lumbermen. To lose it will be bringing destruction to ourselves. We don't think that all the fault of our past hardships was actually due to the companies for whom we work, but it was to a large extent due to ourselves. Sure we were behind and it was our duty to step up a bit, and just as soon as we stepped up then they gave us a push ahead. Now we want to stay to the front and the only way to keep there is to keep organized. We mean to keep in one organization. That is the only way to success. Too many organizations for the lumbermen will eventually carry them back to their former positions. We understand that under the present Trade Union Act that any seven men can obtain a Charter of registration and be officially recognized as a Trade Union. We think that this should be seriously considered by the Commission of Government and some way found to regulate the formation of Unions. It's just possible that under the present Act, because it allows us the liberty, we may do ourselves a lot of harm. As a rule we have been slow to observe the right thing to do and it seems very clear that the law in this respect does not assist us to do the right thing. The Lumbermen are just beginning to take notice of these things to those who had the courage to organize us and bring those things to our notice. We say again to all of you let us stand firm by those who are working for us as leaders. They are worthy of our undivided support. Point Leamington Local Council, No. 1, is giving that support because we know now of its worth. Trusting that this will help to inspire someone else to greater efforts, we are,Yours in the fight, Point Leamington Council
November 9, 1938 In the Good Old Days Some personal reminiscences of life in the lumber woods at Point Leamington forty years ago by George H. TUCKER - The Newfoundland Lumberman has revived latent memories of the logging days dating back to 1898, which, whether we like to "believe it or not" is forty years ago. I gathered from a short conversation I had with Mr. J.J. THOMPSON that he and I have something in common in that our lumbering adventures began in the same neighborhood, the same occupation, I think in the same camp and with the same company, only about two or three years apart. Conditions in the lumbering industry in Newfoundland have undergone some radical changes since those far off days of the fall of 1898, when I found myself in a logging camp at the head of Long Lake in the Western Arm Waters of New Bay. It was all very novel and interesting to me after spending my boyhood years in Port de Grave, Conception Bay, where trees were conspicuous by their absence. Little I worried about the meager monthly pittance that was termed wages and for which I worked from before daylight until "lights-out" time at 9 p.m. all through the winter until early spring, when "chop was in" and the camp "broke up". I have little knowledge of how long the old mill at Point Leamington had been shut down previous to the revival of operations of which this camp at Long Lake formed a part. I have hazy recollections of other camp crews cutting to the West and to the South of Long Lake that winter, and from which Bill EASTMAN, the walking boss, paid us his first visit about the month of January. Finding sour bread in galore, he fired our cook, rolled up his sleeves, pitched into bread making and showed us how bread could be made, then, after a few days, swung around to me and said, "Now kid, it's up to you until I can find a good cook," and was my face red? However, I set my teeth, said "O.K." and for a couple of weeks I was chief cook, tin pan and pint washer. After this, one of the teamsters, who was driving "Doll", the old red mare, was induced to do the cooking. He did not feel inclined to take tips from the kid on bread making, and very soon we were back again to our sour bread, which the crew kicked about, but Eastman fixed matters during his next visit. The camp menu varied very little, as the provisions consisted entirely of flour, beef, pork, beans, peas, molasses, tea, oleo butter with bread soda, and yeast to assist in the manipulation of flour, and not always were the grades of first quality. On recalling snatches of the old yarns told during the winter of Lewis, Keary, Cromwell, Clarke and others who operated for the pioneer lumberman, J.W. PHILLIPS, a decade or two previous to the winter of 1898-99, I am convinced that the Lumbermen's Association is most fortunate in having such a historic setting for its birth-place. I wish it well and congratulate you, Mr. THOMPSON, and your fellow lumbermen upon your achievements and the cordial spirit existing between the Captains of the industry and yourselves. As to the historic aspect of Pt. Leamington, from a lumbering point of view, I think it would be interesting to hear what some of the old timers, a few of whom must still remain, could tell of the logging days of fifty years and more ago. I think the 1898-99 ventures must have been successful for the promoters as it apparently was the revival of another decade of lumber activity in Pt. Leamington. The other teams besides the red mare Doll were Maud, the Black Mare and a heavy red ox. Joe WALKER was one of the old time boss choppers (saws were little used in those days) and his stumps were left as square as if the tree had been sawn down. He belonged to the J.W. PHILLIPS regime and he kept the camps informed politically of the doings of winter, More Rind and the Reads. The season passed away as rapidly and pleasantly that I was eager to get back to the woods in the Fall of 1899 and so found myself that season in George ANDREWS’ camp on Keary's Brook chaining with Nathan FEENER who was then driving "Harry", one of the best of the group of horses recently purchased for the Company by the later horseman, Jim SHEA, of Glenwood. (To be continued).
December 15, 1938 In the Good Old Days By G.H. TUCKER - In this camp on Keary's Brook of which George ANDREWS was the foreman in the fall of 1899, there were three other horses besides "Harry", which Nathan FENER was driving, and which I said was one of the best of the group of fine horses purchased for the operating company by Jim SHEA of Glenwood. I have often wondered why FENER selected me for his "chainer" that winter as there were several husky and experienced men in the camp of thirty who were more suited physically for the job than myself. However, we got along well together and I look back on it as the best winter of my brief lumbering experience. "Harry" was a model horse for logging as he was particularly lively on the main road and for "yarding" purposes could not be excelled. He did not like deep snow and on several occasions, when he got tripped up or got down in the snow, FENER would charge me to hold his head down while he slacked up his harness, when he would invariably get himself on "Terra Firma" again. That did not happen very frequently as we guarded against it by giving plenty of space for turning and by swamping good hauling roads. On one particular occasion when we were taking logs off a steep hillside south of the camp with the "French rig" bob sleds, FENER asked Sam PARMITER, who was driving "Skylark" the best one of SHEA's horses, to help us get a "double" out of a bad spot and in doing so the sled which had a link connected between the two "dashboards" twisted around and ran downhill with the heavy double log carrying "Skylark" backwards until it collided with another tree, relieving the desperate situation and saving a valuable horse. We did not try to get much more of the good timber from that bad spot by horses after that. Besides "Skylark", driven by Sam PARMITER there were "Little BILL", driven by Tite BUDGELL and "Maud", the black mare, driven by Joe SHIRRAN. In our gang, besides FENER and myself, were George THOMPSON of Southern Arm, who was the "Swamper" and Milichi MOORES and one other who were the two choppers. I remember quite clearly what friendly rivalry existed each night just before "lights out" time when the foreman would call for the number of logs hauled each day by different teamsters; from thirty-five to fifty, according to size, hauled to the driving water was considered a fair day's work. When "yarding" logs for "main road" hauling late in the season the number of temporarily browed would be higher. Harry ANDREWS was cook, and I can taste those delicious beans now. After supper each night, but Saturday, the "heathens" would dash for the "digging seats" round the tables and "fish out" their stacks of "gunbeans" for which they jovially gambled with the fascinating 45's, while the "Puritans" covered their heads in green "topes" and predicted sudden destruction on all and sundry. When the cards would become too sticky to handle with ease, the bran sack in the barn was resorted to and a new lease of life given them once more. In this way the months flew past, and on every Saturday night the "young bloods" from all the camps headed for Point Leamington, about seven or eight miles away, from which return to camp was again made, generally after midnight Sunday, and usually when the going was bad, there would not be time for sleep that night which was badly needed. On one occasion, "believe it or not", one of a gang of twenty or more who was talking "a tandem" said that he covered the length of "Four-Mile" Lake walking asleep and when he reached the shore at the head of the lake he struck his toe against a stump and suddenly awoke. Much of the logging done on Keary's Brook that winter was over roads that had been cut fifteen or twenty years before and along which the great pine stumps bore mute evidence of the forest wealth of that day. However, the younger growth that had survived the axe man then had developed in "Gurt Bull Saplins", as Uncle Eph. ROWSELL used to call them, and provided more than one winter's cutting in that neighborhood. I am wondering if that fertile country has been destroyed by our forest enemy, fire, or whether the fine stands of matured pine, spruce, and fir are still there intact. Pine logs to be sawn in three inch deals were the main object of those days. And so the time came around once more when the "chop was in", main roads cleaned up and the camp "broke" until the fall of the year, when the ill-fated Lucerne came to load pine deals and being late, her arrival set back somewhat the woods operations of the winter of 1899-1900. (To be continued)
January 11, 1939 In the Good Old Days Some personal reminiscences of life in the lumber woods at Point Leamington during the winter of 1899-1901 By Geo. H. TUCKER - The woods operations for the winters of 1899-1900 were about to begin when the "Lucerne" arrived to load pine deals and as winter had set in and Point Leamington waters were frozen over, everything in the line of camp work was suspended, excepting portaging which had been started after the lakes had frozen. Uncle Joey WOODFORD (transcriber's note - should be WOODWORTH) made alternate trips in the meantime to the various camps with a team of oxen, partly to break the roads and keep them open while loading the ship under adverse conditions proceeded. As the South West Arm of New Bay was solidly frozen, the Captain would not take the risk of going up to the pier at Point Leamington. He broke a channel in the ice and stopped his ship about a mile and a quarter down, and the lumber was taken to her side from the yards on hand slides first, and after a day or so, horses were used until the cargo was completed, and she steamed away from there on a voyage which turned out to be her last, as she was lost with all hands on her way back to Newfoundland from Antwerp with a load of coal. It was rumored that wreckage of her had been found in the neighborhood of Bay de Verde and Baccalieu but nothing definite was ever known of what happened to her or where she was actually lost. It was reported that there were three certified captains on board besides the one in charge. One or two peculiar incidents regarding her are recalled. The mess room steward, a young Englishman named Richards, who had a uncanny presentiment that she was going to be lost, decided to desert her before she pulled out and he managed to get all his belongings on shore previous to her leaving and hide them under an upturned boat nearby. As it was night when she backed away from her loading place, he scaled her sides and jumped on the ice and made his way to the shore where he was taken in by some neighbors. After this he spent the winter in George ANDREWS' camp on Keary's Brook, where he entertained the crew with his wit and humor until the "chop was in" towards the spring of 1900. I am wondering if he is still in Newfoundland. While the ship was on her way to Twillingate, presumably for clearing purposes, she struck a rock and some of the crew wanted to leave her there, but were induced to stay on and were afterwards lost with her. Most of the men who worked on loading her were paid with the amount of their time written on slips of paper, and a fellow who went by the name of CAMPBELL and who hailed from St. John's, blew in at Point Leamington, gathered up the time checks and was not heard of after by those who had been tricked. Efforts were made by some of the poor dupes to locate him, but to no avail. He succeeded in cleaning up a tidy sum as the value of time amounted to about nine or ten dollars per man, and quite a number of men were employed loading. The hourly rate was the ridiculous amount of ten cents and that was lost to those who did want "truck". (To be continued)
January 25, 1939 In the Good Old Days Some personal reminiscences of life in the lumber woods at Point Leamington during the winter of 1899 -1900 by G. H. TUCKER - After the Lucerne had pulled out from her loading niche in the ice of South West Arm, very little time was lost by the company's manager, Mr. Arthur SHIRRAN, in getting his camp crews lined up for the 1899 -1900 winter's logging operations. Some shuffling of men of various jobs had in the meantime taken place, a few of which I remember. Harry ANDREWS was given charge of a camp located on the south side of Little Lewis Lake, into which Keary's Brook drained. Malachi MOORES was cook in that camp. Nathan FENER was foreman in the camp at the head of Long Lake. George ANDREWS was again in charge of Keary's Brook camp and to my delight I was selected as one of his teamsters to drive "Harry" my favorite horse. As FENER was looking after the company's horses that fall I think he recommended me to look after his star horse, which irritated some of the older teamsters as they would have liked to have been given Harry to drive. I well remember the morning that Tite BUDGELL and I started off from the stores at Pt. Leamington with our "ote" sleds loaded with stock for the camp at Keary's Brook, Tite with "Little Billy" and myself driving Harry. The morning was clear and sharp with the temperature just above zero. We were advised to keep close together as some of the marshes over which the portage road followed were not considered too firm, and as Little Billy was the steadier of the two horses, Tite was told to take the lead - but keep together. Everything went well nearly all the way and particularly over the lakes, when we trotted along abreast and chatted pleasantly. The surface of the lakes was good and especially that on the Four Mile. On one or two occasions, Tite seemed to be impatient with his horse and would increase his speed with a touch of his whip. Harry needed no whip. A slight tightening of the reins with his name quickly spoken and he was electrified at once to trotting speed. However, I was not anxious to create any more friction than I knew existed and therefore kept somewhat to the rear until we reached the head of the last lake on the road when Tite and Little Billy took the lead again with Harry and I following close behind. We were within a few hundred yards of the camp when I noticed Little Billy stumble slightly, pick himself up again and slip out of sight around a bend in the road. As the road at this point was down grade and apparently safe, the weight of the load caused Harry to change his step into a slight trot, when suddenly his two fore legs went into a bog hole (which apparently had been broken by Little Billy), and the loaded sled piled on top of him. Like a flash I imagined FENEER saying "hold his head," which I did instantly, but there was no FENER to slacken up the harness and every struggle of Harry made the situation more desperate. He was down and I was helpless and alone. Knowing that the camp was not far away, I yelled for Tite but got no response. How long I was in that predicament I cannot remember, but to my relief I managed some way to cut or slacken the harness. After this I freed his head when he struggled, trembling with fright, to the solid road once more. I might have thought unjustly of Tite but I have always felt that he knew Harry was down and that he should have held close as he was advised to do. When I related to him what happened after getting to the camp, he made a joke of it, but it was more than a joke to me and I have never forgotten it.
February 11, 1939 In the Good Old Days By George H. TUCKER - About a week or two after getting settled down to camp routine at the beginning of the winter of 1899-1900 the Company's Manager, Mr. Arthur SHARRON, in making his initial camps visit asked me to accept the position as log scaler, which I did. I remember with what reluctance I severed my attachment with "Harry" and handed him over to Jonas RICE who worked him all through that winter and I think the following winter in the same camp. It was with mixed feelings of regret and pleasant anticipations that I took my departure from the boys at the camp on Keary's Brook and went back to Point Leamington to get ready to make my first weekly scaling at all the camps. On the way out I felt curious to know why I was selected for this new job and the manager told me it was because I had helped Skipper Isaac STUCKLESS with loading the "Lucerne" to calculate the board measurements of a lot of irregular clear pine deal cuttings which were of good (portion of paper missing) ...... were used to fill the breakages in stowing the deal cargo. I recalled then the incident of the day when I was sent with Mr. STUCKLESS to help him "tally" the numerous and different sized deal ends. He found it very difficult and tedious alone so together we decided to make up a table of individual piece contents and to our satisfaction it accelerated the measuring and checking remarkably and because of it I was considered as eligible for log scaler, which position I held during that winter and the following one of 1900-1901. I cannot look back on these winters with the same pleasant recollections as of those spent before and after in the camps at the actual woods work. There were a camp or two on the Mill River in one which I think Jim ANDREWS was foreman. This route I would cover on Mondays, generally getting back to the settlement before night. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of the week would be taken up scaling over the circuitous route covering the camps on the Western Arm Waters, consisting of George SHARRON's on Little Brook, George ANDREWS' on Keary's Brook, John SHARRON's on Big Lewis Lake, and Harry ANDREWS' on Little Lewis Lake; then out to Western Arm and across to the office at Point Leamington where each camp's scalings would be totaled on Friday's and Saturdays, after which the routes would again be covered the following week. I look back on the job now as being monotonous and lonely as compared to the individual camp life. Scaling also exposed one to a great deal of danger during and after mild freshets in traversing the country, and hardships because of the intense cold endured scaling logs on the open lakes in stormy weather. Billy FITZGERALD, the Company's blacksmith, who was one of the old-time lumbering associates of Mr. FOOTE, who was the Office Manager was my company at the "Cottage" on Fridays and Saturdays. Mrs. WHALEN, afterwards Mrs. Joe SHARRON, was housekeeper. At the beginning of the winter of 1901-1902 I was relieved from scaling and was located in John SHARRON's camp at the foot of Ocean Pond, well in on the Western Arm Waters. This was one of the old-time hard winters and bad for lumbering because of the enormous amounts of snow which fell that year. ****** P.S. It was with the keenest regret and sadness that I read of the article in your issue of the Jan. 25th referring to the passing of my old-time lumbering friend, Nathan FEENER, and I wish to express through the Nfld. Lumberman my heartfelt sympathy to his relatives and friends. G.H.T.
March 8, 1939 In the Good Old Days Some personal reminiscences of life in the lumber woods at Point Leamington during the winter of 1901-1902 by Geo. H. TUCKER - My recollections of the winter of 1901-1902 through which we logged from John SHIRRAN's camp at the foot of Ocean Pond are somewhat hazy, partly, I think, because the neighborhood lacked the familiarity of the Keary Brook areas, and partly because of the difficulty encountered due to the excessive snow falls of that year. This made operations exceedingly hard and expensive. We got away to a comparatively early start, as atmospheric conditions were favorable during the latter part of November and the early part of December, so that the surface of the lakes and marshes were frozen firmly enough to get over the long "portage" with horses and loads of supplies. Everything went along with a swing and prospects of a good winter's work looked promising until Christmas drew near, when much discontent was created through the camps over the dictatorial pronouncement of Joe Eastman, who was "walking boss" that year, "that no men were to leave the camps for Christmas". Other winters all the men having their homes within reasonable distance, were allowed the privilege of going home for Christmas. They would come back invigorated for the winter's work, and it afforded them the opportunity also of cleaning up and refitting for the winter that was to follow. Many expressions of antagonism and disappointment were made particularly by the younger element because of the injustice which they felt the company’s representative was showing towards them, especially as a threat was attached to the order saying that any man who ignored it would be "fired". Christmas Day fell on Monday and as I was one of the "choppers" of a team's crew, I remember us getting into a good spot of young pine saplings and towards the end of the week we had cut and prepared several loads ahead and on Saturday, shortly after lunch hour, I stuck my axe into a pine stump and told my "buddie" (who incidentally was a Fortune Harbor man), that I was going home for Christmas. "You'll be fired.” he said. My answer was "I am risking that, but I do not want to influence the rest of the men; that is why I am not going to the camp tonight." He was a good sort and begged me to stay back but I told him that my blood would not permit me to submit to such ill-advised treatment, as I considered there was no justification for the unkind order. I asked him to take my axe to the camp if I did not come back, after which I left, alone, to walk to my home about twelve or fifteen miles away. I was clipping along at a good pace when about half-way between Big Lewis Lake and Keary's Brook camp, I met Joe EASTMAN who was on his way to the camp at Ocean Pond. After looking me over, he asked where I was going. I answered "home for Christmas". He said, "didn't you get the orders?” I said, "sure, but I could not compel myself to knuckle down to them." He looked flabbergasted and confused, and after passing a few remarks regarding the rest of the men, I proceeded towards home where I reached a good while after dark, as the walking was none too good. My folks were surprised, as they did not expect me. The usual settlement gossip soon went around that I had got special permission, with some saying that I didn't. John SHIRRAN, the foreman (who had left the camp on Saturday morning presumably to get supplies), when he heard that I was out, sent me word that he wanted to see me. I called to see him and after he had expressed himself on the drastic regulations, suggest that I go back to the camp on Tuesday morning. I agreed, on one condition, that if any of the other men form Leading Tickles or any of the outlying settlements had broken the order as I did, that they would not be discriminated against. He agreed and we started for camp on foot the next day, from which date the winters operations seemed to go "haywire."
April 5, 1939 In the Good Old Days Some personal reminiscences of life in the lumber woods at Point Leamington during the winter of 1901-1902 by G.H. TUCKER - After the Christmas "episode" of the winter of 1901-1902 in the camps at the foot of Ocean Pond in the Western Arm Waters of New Bay, the logging progress became clogged and the spirit of good will and co-operation that preceded Christmas had been "rubbed out" and that of "laissez faire" took its place. Some change of men had to be made also as some of the Leading Tickles fellows had gone home for Christmas and did not come back partly because conditions were getting bad owing to the heavy falls of snow that occurred about that time. Two of the teams in our camps were old "Frank" and "Kate", the big mare, - neither of them very lively. I was asked to drive "Frank" which I did reluctantly, as I much preferred chopping - although it was harder work. "Frank" was slow but willing, and when handled properly could pull great loads. He was also good in deep snow, and on several occasions was needed where "Kate" got stuck in bad places. I remember one particular fine butt piece of pine tree that Jack TILLEY could not get "Kate" to move owing to the bad place where it fell and he asked me to try "Frank" on it, which looked ridiculous, as "Kate" towered over him in weight and stature. Uncle Steve SHERRON was swamping for Tilley and knew how to condition a hauling load. I made some suggestions which he carried out, after which we attached "Frank" to the big log and with one effort he took it to the main road. Uncle Steve, looking on, said: "By gum," after which "Kate" hauled it to the "landing." There was some fine timber growing in that neighborhood and I think it was the first time being logged over and I doubt whether it has been logged over since, as the drive from there to tide water must have been prohibitive in cost. Operative conditions were backward for various reasons, and, to make matters worse, John SHERRON, the foreman of our camp, became very sick and was confined to camp for a long while. There were no doctors available in those days, and I often wonder why there were not more fatalities. I saw Abe BUDGELL, one of the choppers, in George ANDREW's camp on Keary's Brook , bury the bit of his axe in his instep, through the tongue of his "larrigans" and heavy socks, and there was no doctor near to treat the wound, which was a bad one, but in a comparatively short while Abe was back on the job again. I am glad to see that full provision is being made in the new Forest Policy, lately outlined by Commissioner EWBANK, for all such emergencies which I know the "Lumbermen's Association:" will see carried out. I have no doubt that the big wood operating companies have had adequate medical provision for their employees all through their activities. After one of the big snow falls in late February, which retarded operations, I was sent with "Frank" to the stores at Point Leamington for camp supplies. When we got to Big Lewis Lake we struck bad going as the weight of snow on the original ice has pressed it down causing the river water to flow over it, then it froze on top, making a crust. Some places were strong enough to bear "Frank" but others were not, and he would flop through to the ice, about two feet below, which frightened him, causing him to rear. It was imperative that we should carry on, as the camp supplies were low; so I started to lead him over the bad spots but while doing so he jumped on my right foot, which put me out of commission for the rest of the winter. We succeeded some way in getting to the settlement, after which I put him in a barn and went to my home to have my foot treated which was badly bruised and swollen. Some other teamster was employed to take him back to camp with his load of supplest. Shortly after this the logging operations were suspended for that year, but in late April I found myself at the foot of Ocean Pond once more taking part in my first, last and only log driving experience.
April 26, 1939 In the Good Old Days Some personal reminiscences of life in the lumber woods at Point Leamington and particularly of the "log drive" from Ocean Pond in the Spring of 1902 by Geo. H. TUCKER - The thrilling article, "White Water Men," in your issue of March 8th has revived many of the familiar phrases associated with log driving of the old days, very little of which I knew anything about until the spring of 1902 when I decided against the wishes of my old parents, to earn what I considered was "easy cash" on the "log drive" beginning at the foot of Ocean Pond and out to tide water in Western Arm, New Bay. It was understood that this was going to be a long drive, and to take advantage of the freshets, caused by the melting snow of early spring, "driving" was started that year before the end of April. I remember leaving Point Leamington with some other men on the 26th to "stump it" the whole way to Ocean Pond. The country was in a bad condition about that time with the lakes neither "open nor fast" and it took us until dark of that day to reach Kearny’s Brook which was an ordinary two and one half or three hours walk, over the winter's portage road. We were "dead beat" so we "boiled up" and lay down for the night in an old temporary "side camp" with a roaring fire in front, and it could not have been very long before we were all so “solid" asleep. When we awoke before dawn we were covered with about eighteen inches of snow which had fallen during the night. We were indeed caught "napping" as the snow had started while we were sleeping and had put our fire completely out. The wind had also veered around and blew the snow in over where we were laying but we were all quite warm under our green "topes" as the temperature was not very low that night. By daylight we were ready to continue our tramp to Ocean Pond via the side Big Lewis Lake and we reached our destination that evening "gummed out," but after a good night's rest in one of the winter logging camps we were ready for work on the river next morning, the 28th, when I soon received my driving baptism by immersion in the icy cold river water. There had been no logs "landed" on the ice of Ocean Pond that winter for economic reasons which I had soon found out. The winter's cut was "browed" along the riverbanks and our first job was "rolling." Much difficulty was experienced in this as the logs were frozen in a solid mass of ice due to the heavy snow falls and occasional thaws that occurred during the early and late winter, but no time had to be lost getting the logs in the river, icy and all as they were. We were on the river from daylight until dark every day except Sunday and I had the hard luck, on my first day, to slip off any icy log to my throat in the river. Drenched and shivering I was helped by my "buddies": to wring my clothes, which I put on again and kept working in that condition all through the day. There was no going to camp to change in these days, so it was up to everybody to be careful and look after number one. I did not fare too well after my dip as I contracted a heavy cold, which was very near finishing me, but I was determined not to give in if possible, although I was not used to that kind of life as many of the men were. One particular morning, while feeling rotten, I left the camp without breakfast and when lunch time came I was too sick to eat anything, so I had no food all through that day. When it was time to go back to camp, I was nearly all in from hunger and exhaustion. I reached camp, more dead than alive, dragged myself up into my top bunk which was near and somewhat raised above a gloriously hot sheet iron stove which was used in the camp in addition to the cooking stove chiefly for drying clothes. When I got in that bunk I was sick, wet, hungry and generally exhausted, so that I did not divest myself of even my cap or my mitts, but I lay as I came off the river, driving boots and all on, and to the tune of the clink, clink of the tin pans of the men at the tables, I fell asleep after hearing one of them say, "Tucker is finished." But he was mistaken because when " turn out" was called by the cook before daylight next morning, I got out, ate a good breakfast, went on the river and was in the "pink" for the rest of the drive. I have never forgotten the effects of that hot sheet iron stove on my sick body that night. Some doctor may have his opinion and I have mine, I was sweat cured over night with my clothes and body perfectly dried out when I awoke from a perfect sleep."
May 25, 1939 In the Good Old Days Some personal reminiscences of life in the lumber woods of Point Leamington, and particularly of the big log drive from Ocean Pond in the spring of 1902 by G.H. TUCKER - There was plenty of water on the section of river between Ocean Pond and Big Lewis Lake during the early part of May which produced good driving conditions, so that the winter's cut of John SHIRRAN"s camp on the north side of the river and Jimmy EARLE's on the south was soon down the two and a half miles of quick water to Big Lewis Lake. I think it was called "Birdy Brook" from the fact that "bubble threaders" or "white water" men, who were almost as active as birds on logs, were in constant demand to clear the river under difficult conditions. One of those "Bird Men" was Bill THOMPSON and we watched him one morning perform a feat which no other man on the river would attempt. There was no boat in use on that part of the river and a big "boat pile" of logs had got hung up on a rock in the middle of the river about opposite EARLE's camp from which we were operating. Jimmy EARLE was driving (portion of paper missing)...... any man his day in camp who thought he could clear the pile. It was early in the morning when Bill THOMPSON volunteered for the job, and going up the river he selected a suitable small size log, maneuvered it down through the "white water" and to the log pile, held it across the rock while he cleared the pile to the last log, swung off his own log, jumped on it slightly towards the rear and balanced himself with his "poke pole," steered it through the "boiling" water, which was swirling to his knees, to a point of the river several hundred years below, where he alighted to the shore "like the bird" while the other drivers in the vicinity cheered him for his perilous feat. He then went to the camp for the day. With the "rear of the drive" down through "Birdy Brook": and into Big Lewis Lake, we shifted from EARLE's out to Johnnie ROBERTS' camp at the east end of the lake, when "sweeping": was started under adverse conditions. Prevailing easterly winds retarded progress while valuable time and water were wasting away. The crude equipment used for "sweeping" consisted of a raft of logs on which a capstan or winch was fixed and from which a long line and anchor was carried ahead by a boat, from which the latter would be dropped and "heaving in" would begin. At the rear of the raft, which was called the "head works," was a pocket or sweeping boom into which stray logs over the surface of the lake were being collected. Eventually the tedious task of "sweeping" was accomplished and all the logs were at the dam and boomed across its outlet, when "sluicing" the winter's cut of three big camps began in earnest for the next lap of the long drive, to Keary's Lake. This was when and where some major interruptions occurred, the first of which being a serious "blow out" at the dam. This happened on a Sunday morning when a heavy "head of water" was on, and every man on the job, including the cooks were rushed out to save a situation which was vital to the success of the drive and incidentally, to the summer's work at the mill. After a strenuous effort on everybody's part and with the use of trees, boughs, turf sods, and large stones, the gaping hole in the base of the dam was temporarily closed, to the relief of those in charge - and driving continued. About this time Arthur SHIRRAN and the famous Dick CLARKE, two great lumbermen of that day, appeared on the scene, the former, I think, taking charge of operations. I had heard plenty of the latter as being one of the old miracle men of former logging days. My first impression of him still remains, although being well up in years, about that time, he appeared to be as lithe and agile as any man in his teens, was as straight as a whip and as easily poised on a small log, in still or swift water, as any "bird" could be. His vocabulary was typical of the old river men, and he lived up to his reputation.
June 14, 1939 In the Good Old Days Personal reminiscences of life in the lumber woods at Point Leamington and particularly of the "big log drive" from Ocean Pond in the spring of 1902 by G.H. TUCKER - Before the serious "Blow Out" at the dam on Big Lewis Lake occurred, "sluicing" had been in progress for some days and drivers had been detailed, in small groups, along the sides of the river down to the next lake, "tending channel" at doubtful points of keep the logs moving regularly and to prevent "jams." George SHEPPARD and I were located at a place a few hundred yards below "Joe EARLE's Falls." This was a thickly wooded deep water point and at first I considered it absurd for two men to be apparently wasting time there as to my inexperienced mind, there was nothing in sight to check the run of logs. I was soon relieved of that impression however when a big "three logger" that had sneaked its way through the "flume" and down over the falls shot its top end up on the bank where we were standing and its big butt swung across the river and got caught on the other side instantly a "jam" was in the making. George SHEPPARD was a wiry little man and could work like a "trojan" which he was obliged to do in the span on several occasions. Our equipment consisted of two "peavies," one axe and one "pike pole." In this instance the axe had to be used to cut through the section of long log that was causing the trouble as other logs were rapidly "plugging up" all around us. As the pressure on the "key log" increased the danger and difficulty of cutting increased also and each stroke of the axe weakened the log which had interrupted the steady run down river. Fortunately for George, who had lost his footing when the log broke, I had been ready to grab a small over-hanging spruce tree with one hand and I caught his arm with my other while the logs, which had been temporarily hung up, broke loose and surged away almost carrying my "buddie" with them. It was a very "close shave" and one that I did not see repeated any more for the spring. Our axe was lost in the meantime. For a while George was a bit unnerved and I recall now that his brother, Noah Sheppard, had lost his life log driving farther out on the same river a spring or two before; I think in the neighborhood of Twin or Trout Lakes. The drive was going along very well about this time with the log's tumbling rapidly over Earle's Falls a plenty when suddenly we noticed that the run had stopped completely. After waiting for a while we went up river to investigate and found that a real "jam" had taken place about half way between the Falls and the dam at a place which I think was called the Whale's Back. There were no telephone communication along the river's sides at that time and the men sluicing at the dam did not know, for a good while that a big "jam" was piling up just below them. When they got the information the dam was shut down as the water had started to back up quite a distance. Much valuable time was lost on that "hand up' as it was of major proportion and I will never forget hearing Arthur SHIRRAN, some days after, called out "Get to the shore, she's hauling." Much strategy had been resorted to and a lot of hard work put in on a task that looked hopeless to me, who was a "greenhorn driver." The logs were piled high and dry with very little water running underneath while the work of picking out the key logs to release the "plug proceeded. Eventually the big job was accomplished, the dam opened up and the shout form Arthur, "She's hauling". It was indeed a grand spectacle to see the great mass of timber writhing, twisting and cracking while it appeared that the land around was moving. That was the last big jam for the spring and it was a great handicap to the drive as the precious water was rapidly running away with the main body of logs a long distance from tide-water, its destination.

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