cover of book

When the White Pine Was King: A History of Lumberjacks, Log Drives, and Sawdust Cities in Wisconsin
by Jerry Apps
Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2020
eISBN: 978-0-87020-935-2 | Paper: 978-0-87020-934-5
Library of Congress Classification HD9757.W5A67 2020
Dewey Decimal Classification 338.1749809775

“From the ring of the ax in the woods, to the scream of the saw blade in the mill, to the founding of many of Wisconsin’s communities, Jerry Apps does an outstanding job bringing Wisconsin’s logging and lumbering heritage to life.”—Kerry P. Bloedorn, director, Rhinelander Pioneer Park Historical Complex

For more than half a century, logging, lumber production, and affiliated enterprises in Wisconsin’s Northwoods provided jobs for tens of thousands of Wisconsinites and wealth for many individuals. The industry cut through the lives of nearly every Wisconsin citizen, from an immigrant lumberjack or camp cook in the Chippewa Valley to a Suamico sawmill operator, an Oshkosh factory worker to a Milwaukee banker.
     When the White Pine Was King tells the stories of the heyday of logging: of lumberjacks and camp cooks, of river drives and deadly log jams, of sawmills and lumber towns and the echo of the ax ringing through the Northwoods as yet another white pine crashed to the ground. He explores the aftermath of the logging era, including efforts to farm the cutover (most of them doomed to fail), successful reforestation work, and the legacy of the lumber and wood products industries, which continue to fuel the state’s economy. 
     Enhanced with dozens of historic photos, When the White Pine Was King transports readers to the lumber boom era and reveals how the lessons learned in the vast northern forestlands continue to shape the region today.

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