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A logging camp (or lumber camp) is a transitory work site used in the logging industry. Before the second half of the
20th century The 20th (twentieth) century began on January 1, 1901 (MCMI), and ended on December 31, 2000 (MM). It was the tenth and final century of the 2nd millennium. The 20th century was dominated by significant events that defined the era: Spanish flu ...
, these camps were the primary place where
lumberjack Lumberjacks are mostly North American workers in the logging industry who perform the initial harvesting and transport of trees for ultimate processing into forest products. The term usually refers to loggers in the era (before 1945 in the United ...

lumberjack
s would live and work to fell trees in a particular area. Many place names (e.g. Bockman Lumber Camp, Whitestone Logging Camp, Camp Douglas) are legacies of old logging camps. Camps were often placed next to river
tributaries A tributary or affluent is a stream or river that flows into a larger stream or main stem (or parent) river or a lake. A tributary does not flow directly into a sea or ocean. Tributaries and the main stem river drain the surrounding drainage basi ...
so that the winter's log harvest could be floated to the
lumbermill A sawmill or lumber mill is a facility where logs are cut into lumber. Modern sawmills use a motorized saw to cut logs lengthwise to make long pieces, and crosswise to length depending on standard or custom sizes (dimensional lumber). The "porta ...
s in the spring.


Design

The requirements of the logging industry involved the creation of a working site and housing from the pristine wilderness. The construction of the logging camp consisted of a transformation of the natural environment to the built environment. Logging was seasonal in nature, with farmers often working as lumberjacks during the winter. Camps were placed next to a river so that the logs harvested could be floated to the
lumbermill A sawmill or lumber mill is a facility where logs are cut into lumber. Modern sawmills use a motorized saw to cut logs lengthwise to make long pieces, and crosswise to length depending on standard or custom sizes (dimensional lumber). The "porta ...
s in the spring. By their nature logging camps were temporary work sites used to harvest lumber in remote areas. Once the lumber in a particular area was harvested, the lumberjacks would move on. Primitive sites had two buildings, a
cookhouse A cookhouse is a small building where cooking takes place. Often found at remote work camps, they complemented the bunkhouse and were usually found on ranches that employed cowboys, or loggers in a logging camp. Prior to the 20th century, cookhou ...
and a
bunkhouse A bunkhouse is a barracks-like building that historically was used to house working cowboys on ranches, or loggers in a logging camp in North America. As most cowboys were young single men, the standard bunkhouse was a large open room with narrow ...
. Larger camps also had an outhouse, a barn, blacksmith shop, a File (tool), filer shack (to Saw set, sharpen the saws), office and Trading post, camp store. Lumber cut by the lumberjacks was the source of the materials for the buildings, and camps were built in the fall prior to the winter logging season. Most of the lumberjacks would return to their jobs after the logging season, with a few staying on to log driving, drive logs in the spring. In the United States, logging camps were phased out after World War II, as work crews could more easily be transported to remote logging sites.


Camp food

Lumberjacks could work upwards of twelve hours a day, and lumbering was such physically demanding work that each man could eat between 6,000 to 9,000 calories a day. In one estimation, the average logger consumed of food each day. Quality and quantity were important parts of maintaining the health and productivity of the workers. Meat, other foods high in protein, and fats were served in abundance. Sack lunches were provided to the loggers. During peak season, as many as five meals a day could be served. Camp cooks were important to the morale of the workers. In some cases, workers would follow a Cook (profession), cook to the camp they were working at each season. In Canada, the long distances to the camps and the closure of most access during the winter led to the development of depot farms that would be built near logging camps to supply cereals and vegetables to the loggers as well as food for horses in the form of hay and oats. These farms were often built on poor quality land and had little output other than the camps and self-consumption, and most often closed as soon as the camp did.


See also

* Holt and Balcom Logging Camp No. 1 * Camp 6 Logging Museum


References


External links

*{{Cite web , title=Logging camp , url=https://www.mnhs.org/foresthistory/activities/tours , website=Forest History Center , publisher=Minnesota Historical Society Temporary populated places Logging communities