The First Logging - Grand Valley State University

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The First Logging Railroads in the Great Lakes Region
Author(s): Carl Jay Bajema
Source: Forest & Conservation History, Vol. 35, No. 2 (Apr., 1991), pp. 76-83
Published by: Forest History Society and American Society for Environmental History
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3983941
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The First Logging
in the
Railroads
Great Lakes Region
Carl
hasalwaysbeena
Transportation
major,if not the major,cost that
GreatLakeslumbermenfacedin
converting"sawlogsinto currency?''1
Duringthe middleof the nineteenth
centurylogs were skidded(dragged
directlyon the ground),movedon
sleighs, and/or truckedon wagons to
streamswherethey could be floatedto
sawmills.Not only werethese modes
of transportationcostly, they werenot
alwaysreliable.Warmwinters,called
"open' often made sleighingimpossible
and truckingthroughthe slush and
mud too difficult.
Some loggers, facedwith long
expensivehauls overlandand unpredictableweather,attemptedto lower
their costs by using logging railroadsto
transportlogs to streamsor directlyto
sawmills.WinfieldScott Gerrish'sLake
Georgeand MuskegonRiverRailroad,
which began operatingin 1877,has
oftenbeenclaimedto be the firstlogging
railroadin the GreatLakesregion.2
Gerrishreportedthat he thought of
using a railroadto transportlogs after
he saw a small Baldwinlocomotiveon
exhibit at the CentennialExposition at
Philadelphiain 1876.3 The open winter
of 1878-79 focussedattentionon
Gerrish'slogging railroadand led
numerousother Michiganlumbermen
to imitatehim. Gerrish'splace in
lumberingand railroadhistoryis
76
Jay
Ba
jema
securebecausehis successfuland wellpublicizedexperimenttriggeredthe
rapidexpansionof logging railroads
in Michiganand other regionsof the
country.
However,Gerrishwas not the firstto
transportlogs by rail, or by steam
locomotive,in Michigan. LeslieArndt
and othershaveclaimedsince 1973
that the Pinconningand Kaiserville
Railroad(laterknown as the Glencoe
and Pinconning),which began operating in 1873 in Bay County,was the
state'sfirststeamlocomotivelogging
railroad.4The geographerRandall
Rohe, in his technologicalhistoryof
the use of tramwaysand pole railroads
in the GreatLakes,has tracedthe history of logging railroadsback to 1855.
He reportsthat "Theearliestknown ...
wooden railroad[used]for logging in
the GreatLakesregionis one built
duringthe summerof 1855 at Tawas,
Michigan"on the shoreof LakeHuron.5
Considerabledocumentaryevidence
shows that lumbermenlogging along
the GrandRiverin Michigan'sOttawa
County had alreadybuilt and operated
threelogging railroadsbefore 1855the yearthe firstpart of the Tawasloggingrailroadwas builton the east sideof
the state. The fourthlogging railroad
constructedin OttawaCounty began
using a steamlocomotiveto haul logs
on wooden railsin 1857.The historyof
these long-forgottenlogging railroads
Forest&Conservation
History35 (April1991)
is an importantfirstchapterin the use
of railroadsto haul logs.6 These lines,
some of which ran morethan two
decadesbeforeGerrish'soperation,
werethus the firstlogging railroadsin
Michigan,and possibly in the Great
Lakesregionor eventhe United States
as a whole.
In short, a closer look at the history
of logging railroadscontradictsthe
"heroiclone innovator"theorythat
shapesmost publishedaccountsof
W. S. Gerrish's"invention."
Log transport by rail insteaddevelopedthrough
multipleindependentinventionsactuallya transferof technologiesand gradualevolutionenforcedby
economic competition.7
Some historianshaveclassifiedlogging railroadsby basic type into pole
roads,tramor stringerroads,and steam
railroads.8But Michiganlumbermen
employedthese variantsin manydiverse
ways. Some ran gearedShaylocomotives on wooden pole roadsin 1880;
othersused horsesto drawlogging cars
on iron railsas late as 1910.9The history of railroadsused to haul logs as
well as other commoditiescan best be
understoodby focusingon specific
innovationsin technologyand business
organization.Duringthe mid-to-late
nineteenthcenturyin Michigan,important changesoccurredin: the materials
used to constructrails(wooden poles,
woodenrails,strapironon wooden
rails,ironandsteel);sourcesof power
(animal,steam,diesel);typesof locomotives(steam-powered
enginesvaried
byweight,numberof drivers,conventionaldriversversusgeared,horsepower
andspeed);thegaugeof track(narrow,
standard,broad);andtherolesof parin broader
ticularloggingrailroads
railnetworks(free-standing,
branch,
mainline).
TheEarliestHorse-Drawn
LoggingRailroads,1850
Thecompletionof theIllinoisand
MichiganCanalconnectingChicago
withtheMississippiRiverin 1848
openedup a hugeprairiemarketfor
pinelumberfromMichigan.Lumbermenin theGrandandMuskegonriver
valleyscouldnot getlogsto theirsawmillsfastenoughto supplyChicago
merchants
withlumberforcustomers
in
theWest.Thecityshippedoutthirtyninemillionboardfeetof lumberin
1849, almostdouble the previousyear's
deliveries.The lumberexportedfrom
Chicagoincreasedalmostsevenfold
duringthe firsteight yearsthat barges
plied the canal, reaching136 million
In 1850 two lumboardfeet in 1856PO
bermenin the GrandRivervalleytried
to speed up the processof movinglogs
fromthe skidwaysin the pine foreststo
the bankinggroundsnext to the river
by havinghorsespull carloadsof logs
along wooden rails. One of these railroadspenetrateda few miles into the
pineriesof AllendaleTownshipjust
downstreamfromEastmanville(see
map). This railroad,built underthe
directionof Dr. TimothyEastman,was
lateroperatedby Chicagolumberman
The other railroadwas
JabezBarberP1
built about the same time, 1850, from
the head of a bayoueast a few miles
into the forestYThese firsttwo experimentalhorse-drawnlogging railroads
in Michiganmust havebeen at least a
partialsuccessbecauseby 16 February
1853 the GrandRiver Timespublished
the followingadvertisement:
Noticeto Contractors
Wewillreceiveproposalstillthefirstday
of
of March,next,fortheconstruction
thetwoandone-halfmilesof railroad
Bayou,
runningfromthebankof Stearn's
on Sec.5, to thecentreof Sec.16,in T 7,
and
N. R. 15W.Thegroundis favorable
is veryconvenient.
thematerial
with
Eachproposalmustbe accompanied
person
thenameof atleastoneresponsible
of contract.
as suretyforperformance
maybe seenat
Plansandspecifications
ouroffice.
GILBERT& CO.
GRAND HAVEN, FEB. 9, I853
This thirdrailroad,built from
Stearn'sBayousoutheasttoward
Robinsoncenter(see map) was successfulenough to operatefor at least
eight years03The standsof pine timber
that these firstthreehorse-drawn
logging railroadspenetratedwere
probablyexhaustedand the railroads
abandonedby 1864. None of thesethree
railroadsappearon an 1864 plat map
of Muskegonand Ottawacounties,
Loggingrailroadsin OttawaCounty,
beforethe CivilWar
Michigan,
t
-
--
t
Muskegon
Co.
O
~~~~~~~~Ottawa
_|
I
Co.
Lake
Spring
(Big Bayou)
in
A
r
miles
5
t
\
\
>
>
Eastmanville
@~~~~~~~~~~~
~~~~~~~~Bayaour
sRobinson
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~4
H
Map
6
Area
LoggingRailroads 77
althoughthe routesof four other railroadsin centraland easternOttawa
County are identified4
By 1858 logging railroadswereso
numerousin the GrandRivervalley
betweenGrandRapidsand Grand
Haventhat a Milwaukeecitizentraveling on a GrandRiversteamboatwrote:
"Tofacilitatechopping,everyowner
has his own railroad,extendingback
from the riverto his heavytimber.One
man has his regularlocomotive,though
the horse is the generalmotivepower.'5
TheBlendonLumber
andItsSteam
Company
LoPinotwveRailroad(1857)
The fourthrailroadto be built in
OttawaCounty was the firstlogging
railroadin the GreatLakesregionto
employa steamlocomotive.The white
pine forestin BlendonTownshipwas
one of the largestin OttawaCounty
and stood severalmiles from the Grand
River,the neareststreamthat could
float logs. John Ball found this tractof
white pine duringthe Michiganland
rush of 1836, afterleavingNew York
with one thousanddollarsin gold and
nine thousandin bank draftstucked
awayin his saddlebags06
Ball, who was servingas a timber
cruiserand land agent for severalinvestors from Troy,New York,traversedthe
forestsof Allegan, Ionia, and Ottawa
countiesduringthe fall of 1836.
Afterspendinga day cruisingtimber
from Grandvillein KentCounty to
BlendonTownshipin OttawaCounty
he recordedfindingonly one smalltract
of pine. He and his companioncamped
out that night and "sleptas well as the
trampingdeer and howlingwolves
would let us."The next day they took a
morenorthernrouteback and had not
gone far beforecoming into a dense
forestof pines. They spent the rest of
that day and part of the next mapping
the pine forestbut had to returnto
Grandvillefor suppliesbeforecompleting their survey.A few days latertheyreturnedin the rain and snow to make
a thoroughinvestigation
of thelands,
findingsome2,500 acresof goodpine
almostin a body,on a partof which
therewassomegoodwhiteoak.Oneoak
treewassevenfeetin diameter
witha
78
clearbodysayof seventyfeethighanda
finespreading
top,thelargesttreeI ever
sawin Michigan.Itwassawedandsent
eastfornavypurposesY7
John Ball purchasedthe twenty-five
hundredacresof pine and oak with
some of the ten thousanddollarshis
New Yorkinvestorshad givenhim to
buy land for them. When the financial
panic of 1837 depressedlumberprices,
Ball opened a law practicein Grand
Rapids,wherehe continuedto serve
as land agent for the investorsin
New York.
It took morethan fifteenyearsfor the
financialsituationto improveenough
to give those investorsan incentiveto
begin logging theirtract.Economic
conditionshad changedso much by
1855 that a ChicagoJournalcorrespondentwrote:
TheLansingburg
Co.arenowprepared
to carryon theirlumbering
operation
withgreatfacility.A locomotive
with
carshavebeenplacedupona
necessary
trackof somethreemilesin length,
backfromtheriver,to an
extending
extensive
tractof pineland,ownedbythe
in thetownof Blendon,in this
company,
county.Withthisarrangement
theyare
enabledto banka verylargequantityof
logsdaily.Theselogsareraftedto the
millbeforementioned
formanufacture
intolumber.22
is a smallplace,celebrated
Lansingburg23
andthelarge
onlyforitsrailroad,
amountof lumberandlogsthatis sent
therefrom.24
Thereareno other contemporary
news accountsof the operationof the
BlendonLumberCompanyrailroad.
Fortunately,some of the operationsof
this railroadcan be reconstructedfrom
letterswrittenby two individualswho
Thelumberwealthof Michigan,and
thisportionof thestateis inespecially
workedfor the company.25
I knowof no moreadmirable
calculable.
Duringthe winterof 1855/56 the
localityfortheactiveandenergetic
prose- lumbercompanybuilt a small sawmill
cutionof thebusinessthanthis.A frame in the centerof BlendonTownshipand
sawmill,a steamboilerandengine,and
used that mill primarilyto saw timber
oneraftof logson theGrandRiver,confor the railroad.The railroadinitially
stitutessufficient
capitalto makeany
had
wooden rails,26but the Blendon
ownerrichin a fewyears.18
LumberCompanylaterreplacedthese
In responseto this new economic cli- with railsmade of used strapiron.27
mate, Ball'sinvestorshad him arrange
The BlendonLumberCompanyrailfor a cash assessmentof theirtimber39 roadwas threemiles in length when it
They also instructedhim to beginnego- was firstconstructedand laterattained
tiations for acquiringa right-of-wayon
a length of eight miles. The railroad
which a railroadcould be constructed
carriedlogs fromthe forestsin Blendon
fromtheir foreststo the GrandRiver.
Townshipnorthwestto BlendonLandHenry Hart surveyedthe right-of-way
ing just inside GeorgetownTownship
duringFebruary1856 and purchasedit
on the GrandRiver"wheretherewas a
for F.B. Leonard,T. C. Brinsmade,and high bank, down which the logs were
J. E. Whipple,the New Yorkinvestors, rolledinto the river."28
who then organizeda lumbercomThe steam locomotivepurchasedby
pany.20Newspapersfirstreferredto
BlendonLumberCompanyhad four
theirfirmas the LansingburgCompany, drivingwheels, operatedon standard
but it soon becameknown as the Blengauge trackand was built in 1850
don LumberCompany.21
They purfor the MichiganCentralRailroadby
chasedadditionaltimberand employed Locksand HavenLocomotivebuilders
Capt. S. R. Noyesof Lansingburg,New
of Lowell,Massachusetts.29
Blendon
York,as their agent from 1855 to 1865. CompanyemployeeHarleyBement
Twonewspaperaccountsdocument
described"theold St. Joe [as] a big
this company'suse of a steamlocomofreightenginewith a tenderand water
tive to haul logs startingin the spring
tank?"30
Duringthe springand summer
of 1857:
monthsthis engine made "fouror five
trips a day overthe trackthroughthe
WelearnthatCol.Nortonhasleasedthe
dense woods of Blendonand Georgesteamsawmillrecentlyerectedbyhim,at
town"to BlendonLanding.Bement
Nortonville,
to theLansingburg
Company,fora termof tenyears,fora
describedthe operationas follows:
consideration
thatbidsfairto highly
remunerative
to theowner.
Forest&Conservation
History35 (April1991)
Eachcarcoupledfarenoughapartto put
ontwotier[s]of logs,sixteenfeetlong.She
hadfromsix to eightof thesecarsand
putfromthreeto eightthousand[board
feet]in a car.Thewheelswerethesame
heightasthoseof allflatcarsatthattime.
Shecarriedanengineerandfiremen
whenshesuppliedtheLitchfield
mill.
About100,000[boardfeet]a dayhadto
be putin so youcanreadilyseethiscould
notbe doneon a crookedroadanda
poortrack.3'
The financialtimingof Blendon
LumberCompany'stechnologicalinnovation in haulinglogs was horrendous.
The panic of 1857 soon made it virtually impossiblefor lumbermento make
a profit,and manywest Michigansawmills shut down.32
Fortunatelythe depressionin lumber
priceswas short-lived.With its railroad
investmentalreadymade, the Blendon
LumberCompanyproceededto build
one of the largeststeam sawmillson
the GrandRiverat BlendonLandingin
1858. The only reasonfor constructing
such a largesawmillat this somewhat
isolatedlocation would be to take
advantageof the logs coming down to
the GrandRiveron the company'srailroad.33The loggingrailroadwas usedto
haul hardwood-white oak, hickory,
ash, cherry,and blackwalnut logs-as
well as white pine.34The white oak
was used as railroadand car timberand
in the buildingof numerousships.35
Anotherprofitablecargo for the logging railroadwas cordwood,which
was sold for firewood.36
The slowly improvingfinancialconditions after 1857 wereinterruptedby
the secessionof the southernstatesand
the Civil War.The war depressedthe
Chicago lumbermarketduring 1861,
butpricesbeganrisingin 1862, marking
the beginningof what one Michigan
lumbermancalled "elevenfat years."37
The BlendonLandingSawmilland
perhapsthe BlendonLumberCompany
did not benefitfrom the boom, however.Duringthe next two years,the
mill'sowner joined the Union Army
and becamea prisoner-of-war;in May
1864 the mill was sold to a Boston
businessman;and finallythe mill
burneddown two monthslaterduring
a dry summerof manyforestfires,
some of which may also havedestroyed
partof the timberownedby the Blendon
LumberCompany.The 16 August 1864
GrandRapidsDaily Eagle advertised
a salvagesale of the sawmill'smachinery.38The mill itselfwas neverrebuilt.
The logs still beingdeliveredto Blendon
Landingweredumpedinto the Grand
Riverand floateddownstreamto one
of the sawmillsin the Nortonville/Mill
Pointarea.39In 1865 BlendonLumber
Companysold the remainingpine and
oak on their land, along with the logging railroad,to JohnHaireof Georgetown, Michigan.40
Wasthe BlendonLumber
Railroadthe First
Company
SteamLoggingRailroadto
Operatein the UnitedStates?
The BlendonLumberCompany's
steamrailroadapparentlyceased operation about 1870.41The best estimate
of pine and hardwoodlogs and lumber
deliveredto Blendon'sLandingon the
GrandRiverby this railroadduringits
approximatelyfourteenyearsin operation is betweenforty and sixty million
boardfeet.42
Overallthe BlendonLumberCompany'sexperimentusing a steamlocomotiveto haul logs severalmiles to the
GrandRiver,beginningin 1857,was
probablynot much of a financialsuccess becauseof depressedeconomic
conditionsduringthe panic of 1857
and the early Civil War.The company
also facedexpensivewear and tear on
its equipment-the locomotive,car
wheels, and wooden rails(laterreplaced
by strapiron)- causedby haulingheavy
logs.43
Ironically,the BlendonLumber
Companysurmountedobstaclesboth
economic and technical,only to succumb in the end to historicalaccidents
that kept the companyfrom exploiting
the newly improvedmarketsor its own
improvedtechnology.
The BlendonCompanynonetheless
deservesrecognitionforrunninga steam
logging railroadseventeenyearsbefore
the Glencoeand PinconningRailroad
used a steamlocomotiveto haul logs to
LakeHuron in 1874.44The Blendon
experimentalso predatedby two decades W. S. Gerrish'soperationof what
was apparentlythe firstconsistently
profitablesteamlogging railroad,the
LakeGeorgeand MuskegonRiverline,
which began in 1877.4S
MichaelKoch, in his classic book
on the historyof logging railroads,46
contendsthat the firstlogging railroad
in the United Stateswas constructed
in 1852 in New Yorkstateand used
a steamlocomotiveto haul the logs.
KochunfortunatelymisquotedWilliam
E Fox, who wrote:
Thefirstrailroad
forhaulinglogswas
builtin 1860byFox,Weston& Bronson,
in thetownof Lindley,
SteubenCounty,
NewYork.Itwasconstructed
of wooden
rails,andwasequipped
withplatform
carsanda locomotive
whichboreon its
cabthename"Bullof theWoods"[and
hauled]logsto thebankof theTioga
River.47
The BlendonLumberCompany's
steam locomotivelogging railroadpredatedthis railroadby threeyears.A
searchfor documentaryevidenceof the
earliestlogging railroadsin a number
of statesfound none that employeda
steamlocomotiveat an earlierdate (see
table). Thus, the BlendonLumber
Company's1857 freestandingsteam
logging railroadis the oldest documenteduseof steamrailroadtechnology
to haul logs in the United States.
AdditionalLoggingRailroads
in OttawaCounty
An 1864 plat map of Muskegonand
Ottawacounties,which showsthe Blendon LumberCompanyrailroad,also
identifiestwo other lumberrailroadsone operatedby StephenLowingfrom
Ohio Dock on the GrandRiverto
BlendonTownshipwith Cole'ssawmill
at its inlandterminus,and one operated
by GeorgeWeatherwaxfrom his river
landingin GeorgetownTownshipinto
the pineriesof that township.48There
are no loggingrailroadsidentifiedon
the plat map of OttawaCountypublished in 1876,49althoughthereis fragmentaryhistoricalevidencethat other
horse-drawnlogging railroadsran in
Blendonand Allendaletownshipsduring the 1870s and early 1880s.50
That a total of six logging railroads
werebuiltbetween1850 and 1864 along
the GrandRiverin OttawaCounty
suggeststhat the two constructedfirst
weresuccessful.Only the successof
the initialexperimentswould have
inducedinvestorsto commit the capital
necessaryto build four morelogging
railroads,threeof which weremore
than two miles in length.
LoggingRailroads 79
Firstuse of railroadsto transportlogs priorto 1877
Animalpower
Michigan
California
Illinois
New York
Maine
Pennsylvania
Virginia
Georgia
New Hampshire
Florida
North Carolina
Steamlocomotive
1850
by 1854 (gravity)
1856/57
Free-standing
railroad
Mainline
railroad
1857
1871
1862
1860
December1860
1860
1864
by 1869
1870
1870
by 1873
by late 1877
1867
by 1873
Sources
Michigan:
Hopkinsoperateda logging railroadin 1850 fromthe headof SpringLake,GrandRivervalley
(see advertisementfor someoneto operatethis railroad,GrandRiver Times,6 August1851,plus letter
to the editorby Edwin Thayer,"TheFirstLoggingRailroadin Michigan;'AmericanLumberman1449
[28 February1903]: 18). TimothyEastmanoperateda loggingrailroadin 1850 to GrandRiverin Allendale township(see Thayer,"FirstLoggingRailroadin Michigan").The BlendonLumberCompanyoperateda steamlocomotiveloggingrailroadfrom BlendonTownshipin OttawaCountyto GrandRiverin
1857 (GrandRiver Times,6 May 1857,p. 2, plus Thayer,"FirstLoggingRailroadin Michigan").The
Detroitand MilwaukeeRailroadoperateddaily log trainswest to HunterSavidge'smill at Mill Point
(SpringLake)in the fall of 1860 (see GrandHavenNews, 19 December1860, p. 3).
in the RedwoodEmpire;"
seeS. T. Borden,"Arcata
California:
& MadRiver:OneHundredYearsof Railroading
Railroader
TheWestern
17(June1954):4, andLynwoodCarrancoandHenryL. Sorensen,Steamin the
Redwoods(Caldwell,Idaho:CaxtonPrinters,1988).
A loggingtramroad
at Ullin,Illinoisin 1856/57.A steamlocomoIllinois:
usingmulesandoxenwasconstructed
tivewasputon thisrailroadin 1862.(JamesBell,who operateda sawmillin Ullin,citedbyM. L. Saley,columnist
fortheNorthwestern
Lumberman
43 [3 February
1894]:3).
andtheGrandTrunkRailroads
Maine:BoththeAugustaandKennebec
operatedloggingtrainsin 1860according
to a newsaccountin theBrunswickTelegraph
(citedbyM. Kochin Steamand Thunderin the Timber[Denver,
Colorado:WorldPress,1979],p. 102).
Pennsylvania:
WrightandPieroperateda steamlocomotivein 1864at themouthof CallenRun,a smalltributary
F.Kline,Jr.,Dinkies,DamsandSawdust:TheLogging
of theClarionRiverin Jefferson
county(seeBenjamin
Railroadsof Pennsylvania
[Lancaster,
Pennsylvania:
privately
printed,1975],p. 1265,citingtheRidgewayAdvocate,7 January1897).
in EmanuelCountyduring1867.GeorgeGarbuthuseda Fifield
Georgia:MosesWadleyoperateda tramroad
steamlocomotivenearOgeechee,EmanuelCounty,beginningin 1870(seeletterto editorin Northwestern
Lumberman
11[27 April1878]:4).
NewYork:Fox,WestonandBronsonoperateda steamlocomotivein thetownof Lindley,SteubenCounty,beginstates(Steamand Thunderin the Timber,p. 22). Inthe 1976facningin 1860,not in 1852as Kochmistakenly
similereprint(Harrison,New York:HarborBooks,1976)of W.Fox's1901Historyof theLumberIndustryin the
Stateof New York,thiscitationappearson page52. Thus1852wouldbe aneasyerrorto makewhentranscribing
thereference.
NewHampshire:
WilliamGove,"NewEngland's
FirstLoggingRailroad:
Brown'sLumberCompany-Whitefield,
NorthernLogger21 (no. 10,April1973):18-19,42-45.
New Hampshire;'
two loggingrailroads
remembered
thatusedlittleuprightengineson
Virginia:Oneanonymous
correspondent
woodentracksin 1869,buthe didnot givethenamesof the companies.He pointedout thatat leasttwo Virginia
railroadhaulcompanieswereusingironrailsin 1878-JacksonandCo. of Suffolk,who operateda fourteen-mile
ingbothlogsandlumber,andJohnL. RosserandCo.,who hada six-milerailroadfromtheirmillon theA & C
Lumberman
11[20 April1878]:4).
canalbackthoughtheirswamp(letterto editorsignedH., Northwestern
"HorseRailroadsforHaulingLogs;'(anonymous
Florida:
recorrespondent,
[Jacksonville,
Florida]Republican,
printedin TheLumberman's
Gazette2 [no.10,April1873]:127).Also"Wooden
Railways;"
(anonymous
correspondent,TheLumberman's
Gazette3 [no.1,July1873]:23).
NorthCarolina:
railroadnear
Greenleaf,
JohnsonandSonwereusingtwo locomotives
to haullogson a three-mile
Lumberman
11(20 April1878):4.
to a letterto theeditorsignedH., in theNorthwestern
Edenton,according
TheFirstMainlineRailroad
to OperateLogTrainsin the
GreatLakesRegion
Duringthe latterpart of 1860 the
firstmainlinerailroadpenetratedthe
white pine forestsof Michiganthanks
to HunterSavidge,a Mill Pointlumberman,who paid the Detroit and
MilwaukeeRailwayto run a train
80
loaded with logs from the banking
groundto his mill each day.51This log
trainoperatedon the Detroit and Milwaukeemainlinefromthe banking
groundswest of Nunica to Mill Point
(now SpringLake)adjacentto Grand
Riverin OttawaCounty.The daily
supplyof logs enabledSavidge'smill to
stay open while other mills closed for
the winterwhen ice in the riverscut off
their supplyof logs.
Forest&Conservation
History35 (April 1991)
Soon, however,the startof the Civil
Wardepressedthe Chicagolumber
marketand collapsedIllinois banks,
probablyproducingthe same economic
losses for Savidge'smainlinelogging
trainas for the BlendonLumberCompany'slogging railroad.Sawmillshad
also been constructedalong the route
of the Detroit and MilwaukeeRailway
at such locations as Muir and Ionia in
Ionia County and Berlin(now Marne),
Coopersville,and Nunica in Ottawa
County.52Both the railroadand the
Chicagolumbermerchantscould make
a betterprofittransportingsawn boards
from these mills than by transporting
whole logs by rail. As a result,Savidge's
logging-trainexperimentdid not lead
othersto employmainlinerailroadsto
transportlogs to their mills.53
This firstexperimentin the operation
of logging trainsby a mainlinerailroad
precededby ten yearsthe 1870 use of
log trainsby the Flint and PereMarquetteRailroad,the earliestsuch use
documentedin the previouslypublished
Severalother Michigan
literature.54
commoncarrierrailroadsbegan operating log trainswithin two yearsafter
the Flintand PereMarquettebegan
operatingdaily log trains.55
ReplacingMythwith Fat
The businessinvestorsand lumbermen who attemptedto haul logs by rail
in the GrandRiverValleyof Michigan
beforeand duringthe Civil Wardid
not take the time to recordtheir successes and failurespublicly.Their
attemptswere so completelyforgotten
that by 1881 a correspondentof the
NorthwesternLumbermanwriting
from GrandHavencould stateconfidentlythat the firstlogging railroad
on the GrandRiverwas built by Whitney and Stinchfieldin 1878.56At the
turn of the centuryEdwin Thayer
attemptedto get the historyof the
BlendonLumberCompany'srailroad
incorporatedinto both the national
historyof lumberingand the local history of the GrandRivervalley,57but
his effortswereignoredand forgotten
locally as well as nationally.The standardhistoryof OttawaCounty mentions
none of the six logging railroads
that operatedbeforeor duringthe
Civil War.58
Numerouslumbermenconstructed
and operatedanimal-poweredfreestandinglogging railroadsduringthe
1850s, 1860s and early 1870s in
Michigan.59The constructionand
operationof steamlocomotiveson logging railroadsnot connectedto any
mainlinerailroadwas not attempted
again in Michiganuntil 1873 when the
Pinconningand KaiservilleRailroad
began operating.60
It took the open winter of 1877-78
for WinfieldScott Gerrish'sLake
Georgeand MuskegonRiverlogging
railroadto make a profitsufficiently
obvious to stimulatethe construction
of numerouslogging railroadsin
Michiganduringthe springand summer of 1878. By the time the last logging branchline was built in Michigan
by the LakeSuperiorand Ishpeming
Railroadin 1957,61morethan five
hundredlogging companieshad constructedseveralthousandmiles of
trackinto the forestsof Michigan.62
Conclusion
One of the most importanttechnological developmentsin the history
of logging in the nineteenthcentury
involvedthe use of railroadsto transport
logs.63A reviewof the documented
historyof logging railroadssupports
the conclusionthat America'slogging
railroadera began in OttawaCounty,
Michigan,with the introductionof
horse-drawnlogging railroadsin 1850
and the introductionof a steam locomotiveto transportlogs in 1857.The
historyof the numerousexperiments
with logging railroadsbetween 1850
and 1877 documentsmultipleindeSelectively,some
pendent"inventions."
experimentsfailed-for economic or
technologicalreasons.The successes
multipliedwheneverthey encountered
a fortunatecombinationof feasible
technologyand economic opportunity.
Despitethe well-deservedhistorical
reputationof W. S. Gerrishas an early
operatorand innovatorin the use of
railroadsto transportlogs, he was not
A
the "heroic"lone inventor.
This paperis dedicatedto the memoryof
RichardFlanders,professorof anthropology
at GrandValleyStateUniversity,who died in
1989.His intellectualcuriosityaboutBlendon
Landing,now a ghost town, firststimulated
me to beginstudyingthe environmentalhistory of loggingin the GrandRiverValley.
I wish to thankForrestMeek, RandallRohe,
PaulTrap,RobertVandevusse,and SamBreck
who haveprovidedme with assistancevaluable in the writingof this paperand in other
projectson the environmentalhistoryof
loggingin Michigan.
in the
1. WilliamG. Rector,Log Transportation
GreatLakesLumberIndustry1840-1918
(Glendale,California:ArthurClark, 1953);
BarbaraE. Benson,Logsand Lumber:The
Developmentof the LumberIndustryin
Michigan'sLowerPeninsula,1837-1870
(MountPleasant:CentralMichiganUniversity Press,1989);Mark E. Neithercut,"The
WhitePineIndustryand the Transformation
of Nineteenth-Century
Michigan"(Ph.D.
dissertation,Universityof BritishColumbia,
1984).
2. RollandH. Maybee,Michigan'sWhitePine
Era: 1840-1900 (Lansing:MichiganHistorical Commission,1960), pp. 37-41; Willis
Dunbar,Michigan:A Historyof the Wolverine State,1sted. (GrandRapids,Michigan:
Eerdmans,1965), pp. 473-74; SamBreck,
GraydonMeintsand EvanGarrett,eds., One
HundredFifty Yearsof MichiganRailroad
History(Lansing:MichiganDepartmentof
Transportation,n.d. [1987]).
FirstSuccessful
3. Hudson Keenan,"America's
LoggingRailroad' MichiganHistory44,
(September1960):292-302.
4. LeslieE. Arndt,"1973LoggingTrain'Natural'
for BayCounty,"TheBay City Times,Sunday
edition,3 August1975,p. 3B; LeslieE. Arndt,
The Bay CountyStory:Memoirsof the
County's125 Years(BayCity,Michigan:
HuronNews Service,1982), pp. 122-23;
FredC. Olds, "Michigan'sFirstLogging
Line:A New Claim' TheInside Track
8 (Nov./Dec. 1977): 19-20; MichaelKoch,
Steamand Thunderin the Timber:Sagaof
the ForestRailroads(Denver,Colorado:
WorldPress,1979), p. 22.
S. RandallRohe,"Tramways
and PoleRailroads:
An Episodein the TechnologicalHistoryof
the GreatLakesLumberEra,"UpperMidwest History5 (1985):19.
6. A previouseffortwas madearoundthe turnof
the centuryto drawattentionto the attempts
of lumbermento userailroadsfortransporting
logs to the GrandRiverin OttawaCounty
between1850 and 1870. See articleby Edwin
Thayer,who workedfor the BlendonLumber
Companyas a shippingagent,"FirstLogging
Railroad:InterestingReminiscencesof the
Old BlendonLumberCompany'sLine;'
GrandRapidsHerald,5 September1899,
p. 4. See also a letterto the editorfromEdwin
Thayerentitled"TheFirstLoggingRailroad
in Michigan,"AmericanLumberman1449,
28 February1903, p. 18.
7. Formoreon thesegeneraltheoriesof technologicalchange,see GeorgeBasalla,The
Evolutionof Technology(New York:CambridgeUniversityPress,1988);Donald T.
Campbell,"EvolutionaryEpistemology,'in
PaulSchillp,ed., The Philosophyof Karl
Popper,vol. 1 (La Salle,Illinois:Open Court,
1974);J. Hugill and D. BruceDickson,eds.,
The Transferand Transformation
of Ideas
and MaterialCulture(UniversityStation:
TexasA&M Press,1988);and EverettM.
Rogers,Diffusionof Innovations,3rd ed.
(New York:FreePress,1983).
8. E. F. Guild, "LoggingRailroads"Michigan
Engineer4 (1883):58-61; RalphC. Bryant,
Logging:ThePrinciplesand GeneralMethods
of Operationin the UnitedStates,1sted.
(New York:Wiley& Sons, 1914),pp. 242-48.
and PoleRailroads."
9. Rohe,"Tramways
10. GeorgeW. Hotchkiss,IndustrialChicago,
vol. 4, LumberInterests(Chicago,Illinois:
Goodspeed,1894), p. 193.
11. The only historicaldocumentationfor the
existenceof this railroadis Thayer,"First
LoggingRailroadin Michigan."
12. Hopkins& Brothers,who operateda sawmill
at Mill Pointas the villageof SpringLake
was then called, builtthis animal-drawn
loggingrailroad.In an advertisementdated
1 August1851and run in the GrandRiver
Times,6 August1851,p. 3, Hopkinssought
someoneto get in fivemillionfeet of saw
logs usingtheirequipment,which included
fiveyokeof oxen, one span of horses,and
two miles of track.This loggingrailroadis
also mentionedin Thayer,"FirstLogging
Railroadin Michigan."
13. Anonymous,Historyof Ottawaand Muskegon Counties,with Illustrationsand BiographicalSketchesof Some of Its Prominent
Men and Pioneers(Chicago,Illinois:H. R.
Page& Co., 1882), p. 103, statesthat Charles
H. Clarkbuiltthe horserailroadfor the
Gilbertsin 1853. ThomasGilbertsold the
railroadto Ferry& Son when Gilbertdecided
to moveto GrandRapidsin 1855/56. That
this railroadwas still in operationas late as
1861is documentedby an obituaryfor the
wife of one of the railroad'sworkers(Grand
HavenNews, 5 June 1861,p. 3).
14. I. Gross,Map of the Countiesof Ottawaand
Muskegonand Partof Allegan,Michigan
(Philadelphia,Pennsylvania:
Geil, 1864;
reprinted,Muskegon,Michigan:Muskegon
GenealogicalSociety,1986).
15. MilwaukeeDaily Sentinel,4 June 1858,
reprintedin GrandRapidsEagle, 11June
1858, p. 3.
16. JohnBall,Autobiographyof JohnBall, compiledby KateBallPowers,FloraBallHopkins,
and LucyBall (GrandRapids,Michigan:
Dean-Hicks,1925), pp. 133, 140-43.
17. Ibid., p. 143.
18. Correspondenceof the ChicagoJournalon
GrandHaven,the lumbertrade,the Detroit
and MilwaukeeRailway,etc., as reprintedin
theGrandRapidsDaily Herald,29 May
1855,p. 2.
19. LeoC. Lillie,HistoricGrandHavenand
Ottawa County(GrandHaven,Michigan,
1931;reprintedGrandHaven,Michigan:TriCitiesHistoricalSociety,1980).
LoggingRailroads 81
20. HenryHartto F.B.Leonard
et. al.,recorded
5 March1857,Book M, pp.104-105,
Register
of DeedsOffice,OttawaCounty,
GrandHaven,Michigan.
21. Theincorporation
records
of Michigan
includeno recordof eithertheBlendonLumberCompany
ortheLansingburg
Company
(letterto theauthorfromtheCorporation
andSecurities
Bureau,
MichiganDepartment
16October1987).
of Commerce,
22. GrandRiver Times(Grand
Haven,Michigan),6 May1857,p. 2.
23. Lansingburg,
wherethecompany
dumpedits
logsintotheGrandRiver,becameknownas
BlendonLanding.
24. GrandRiverTimes(Eastmanville,
Michigan),
14October1857,p. 1.
25. A one-paragraph
historyof theBlendon
in the
Lumber
Company
railroad
published
GrandHaven Tribune,16 August1899,p. 4,
in theGrandRapidsHerald
wasreprinted
andledto a seriesof articleson thislogging
"First
railroad.
Oneis Thayer,
LoggingRailA secondhand
accountof
historical
road."
Comof theBlendonLumber
theoperations
'America's
writtenbyC.Waffel,
panyrailroad
FirstLoggingRailroad,GrandHaven
so
Tribune,3 October1899,p. 4, contained
manyerrorsthattwomenwhohadworked
wrote
fortheBlendonLumber
Company
lettersto theeditor.Theynotonlycorrected
other
theerrorsbutwenton to describe
of thelumbercompany.
See
operations
EdwinThayer,
letterto editor,GrandHaven
Tribune,10October1899,p. 4, andHarley
C. Bement,letterto editor,GrandHaven
Tribune,27 December
1899,p. 4.
in his 10October1899letter
26. EdwinThayer,
to theeditorof theGrandHaven Tribune,
that"thestringers
recalled
uponwhichthe
woodenrailswereplaced,weremadefrom
timberadjoining
thetrack,treesfromsixteen
to twentyinchesin diameter,
flattedupon
bothsides,laiduponcrossties,
likewise
in theground,and
flattedandimbedded
insteadof beingspikedto thetieswithiron
werefastened
to the
spikes,thestringers
crossties
withstoutoakpins,twoinchesin
diameter
throughholesboredwitha two
inchaugerintothecrossties
beneath:'
27. Thayer,
"First
inMichigan,"
Logging
Railroad
p. 18.Piecesof thestrap-iron
railhavebeen
anddugupbyGrand
plowedupbyfarmers
ValleyStateUniversity
archaeologists
investiwhichis nowa
gatingBlendonLanding,
ghosttown.I havebeenshownsuchpieces
andbyProfessor
byGerritElzinga,a farmer,
Richard
anarchaeologist.
Flanders,
There
areno archaeological
remains
of therailroad
land.Thisis
gradeabovethesurrounding
becausethelandwassubsequently
probably
plowedbythefarmers
whopurchased
it fromthelumbercompany.
Theonly
gradethatstillexistsis a cutjustwestof
BlendonLanding.
28. Anonymous,
letterto Saginaw
columnist,
AmericanLumberman1266,26 August
1899,p. 24.
29. Thislocomotive
wasknownas "OldSt.Joe"
according
bothto Thayer("First
Logging
Railroad"
[1899])andthe1882vanitycounty
82
history,Historyof Ottawaand Muskegon
Counties.
Thecompilers
of anothercountry
history,the IllustratedHistoricalAtlas of
Ottawaand KentCounties,Michigan(Chi-
cago,Illinois:Belden& Co.,1876;reprinted
GrandRapids,Michigan:
GrandRapids
PublicMuseum,1975)erroneously
stateon
page36 thatthislocomotive
waspurchased
fromtheDetroitandMilwaukee
In
Railway.
1899EdwinThayerrecalled
thatGeorge
Pratt,a locomotive
engineer
whoworkedon
theDetroitandMilwaukee
claimed
Railway,
to haverunthelocomotive
on theMichigan
Centralaround1840whenthethelatterline
extended
westonlyas faras AnnArbor.This
mustalsobeerroneous.
Therostersof
locomotives
ownedbytheMichigan
Central
in thepossession
Railroad
of theRailway
andLocomotive
Historical
Society,Westford,
Massachusetts,
lista locomotive
called"St.
Joe"in 1855thatwasbuiltbyLocks&
Havenin 1850.Thislocomotive
doesnot
appearon the1858rosterof Michigan
Central
locomotives.
30. Bement,letterto editor,GrandHavenTribune,27 December
1899,p. 4.
31. Ibid.
32. Benson,LogsandLumber,
pp.216-17
33. TheU.S.Censusreported
thatthislargesawmill,ownedbyLitchfield
& Co.,employed
fourcircular
saws
thirty-five
men,operated
in additionto uprightsawsandwasproducingfourmillionfeetof pinelumber
Thecensusalsoreported
thata
annually.
steamsawmill,builtseveral
milesinlandat
theendof therailroad
byStoresandWyman
in 1856,hadtwelveemployees
andwasproducing1.3millionfeetof sawedpinelumber
SeeUnitedStatesCensus,1860,
annually.
forSchedule
"Manuscript
Five:Products
of
Stateof Michigan,"
Industry,
heldbytheU.S.
CensusBureau
(Washington,
D.C.),entries
forOttawaCounty,BlendonTownship,
p. 2;
andforGeorgetown
Township,
p. 1.
34. Theeditorof theGrandHavenNewsspoke
highlyof thequalityof Blendonoakand
EdwinThayercontended
thatthewhiteoak
takenfromBlendonwasthefinestwhiteoak
in Michigan(GrandHavenNews, 16July
"First
1862,p. 3; Thayer,
LoggingRailroad
in Michigan,"
p. 4).
35. Thefirstship,builtin 1861andnamedin
honorof theMajorRobertAnderson
who
commanded
FortSumter,
wasloadedwith
blackwalnutlumberandsentthroughthe
Welland
Canalto Liverpool,
England.In
1863and1864theUnitedStatesArsenalat
Troy,NewYork,contracted
forseveral
hundredthousand
feetof oak,blackwalnut,and
hickorytimberto beusedin theconstruction
of guncarriages
"FirstLogging
(Thayer,
in Michigan,'
Railroad
p. 4).
36. GrandRapidsDaily Democrat,25 April
1867,p. 4.
37. H. Brinks,"TheEffectof theCivilWarin
1861on Michigan
andMining
Lumbering
Industries,"
MichiganHistory44 (March
1960):101-108;
Benson,LogsandLumber,
p. 219.
Forest&Conservation
History35 (April 1991)
38. A. C. Litchfield,ownerof the BlendonLanding Sawmill,becamean officerin the Union
Armyand was capturedby the Confederate
Army(GrandRapidsEagle,28 March1865,
p. 2, reportshis release).Bostoncapitalist
JamesW. Conversepurchasedthe Blendon
sawmillin May 1864 (GrandHavenNews,
4 May 1864,p. 3), but it burnedtwo months
lateron 28 June,duringa weekwhen forest
fireswereragingoverthousandsof acresin
centraland easternOttawaCounty(Grand
RapidsEagle,30 June 1864, p. 1). Afterthe
fire,the mill equipmentadvertisedfor sale
included"threeboilers,24 feet long, four feet
in diameter,with two 16 inch Fluesin each;
FireFronts,Grates,CastIronSteamand Mud
pipes,All in Good Order.Also a SmokeStack,
50 feet long and four feet in diameterwith
all the stayirons.... two engines,shafting
and othermachineryin a damagedcondition.
Also a quantityof brick.The propertywill
be sold at a GREATBARGAIN"(Grand
RapidsEagle, 16 August1864,p. 3.)
39. See the GrandHavenNews, 10 August1864,
p.3.
40. At this time the logs werefloateddown to the
old Whitesawmillat Mill Pointownedby
EdwardCole andJohnHaireand to the
Norton sawmill,then operatedby Fred
Ranney(see Thayer,letterto editor,Grand
Haven Tribune,10 October1899).
41. Thayer,"FirstLoggingRailroadin Michigan' p. 18.
42. This estimateis basedon the following
information:The BlendonLumberCompany
madea ten-yearcontractwith the Norton
mill in 1857 (GrandRiverTimes,6 May
1857,p. 2.). News accountsindicatethat the
Norton sawmillcut only BlendonLumber
Companylogs duringthis period.The 1860
U.S. Censusreportsthat the Norton mill was
cuttingsix millionfeet annually(U.S.Census,
1860,"Manuscriptfor ... Michigan,"entries
for OttawaCounty,SpringLakeTownship).
This contractmusthavebeen carriedout
until at least 1864 as the plat map of Ottawa
Countyfor that yearshowsextensivelog
boominggroundsownedby the Blendon
LumberCompanynearNortonville.Two
other sawmillsalso cut BlendonLumber
Companylogs. The sawmillat the inlandterminusof the loggingrailroadcut morethan
one millionboardfeet annuallyand operated
from 1856 to 1870 (U.S.Census,1860,
"Manuscriptfor ... Michigan' Ottawa
County,BlendonTownship;and U.S. Census, 1870, "Manuscriptfor ScheduleFive:
Productsof Industry,Stateof Michigan'
held by the U.S. CensusBureau[Washington,
D.C.],entriesfor OttawaCounty,Blendon
Township).The Litchfieldsawmillthat
operatedat Blendon'sLandingfrom 1859
until it burneddown in June 1864 cut four
millionfeet annually(U.S.Census,1860,
"Manuscriptfor . . . Michigan' entriesfor
OttawaCounty,GeorgetownTownship).
43. One witnessto the majortechnological
problemsthat lumbermenfacedin usingrailroadsto carryveryheavylogs was Richard
E. Butterworth,co-ownerof Butterworth&
LoweCo., in GrandRapids,Michigan.His
U.
45.
46.
47.
48.
49.
company
wasmanufacturing
railroad
construction
carsas earlyas 1873,andrailroad
carsdesignedspecifically
forcarrying
logsas
earlyas 1878.SeeAnonymous,
"Carsfor
Logging'Northwestern
Lumberman
16
(11December
1880):1.
SeeRohe,"Tramways
andPoleRailroads."
DanielCarey,"Michigan's
Foremost
Unique
Michigan
History32 (September
Logger,'
1948):301-302.
in theTimber,
Koch,SteamandThunder
p. 22.
WilliamF.Fox,Historyof theLumber
in theStateof New York,Sixth
Industry
AnnualReportof theNewYorkForest,Fish,
andGameCommission
(1901;facsimile
reprint,
NewYork:HarborBooks,
Harrison,
1976),pp.51-52.Kochprobably
confused
thedate1860withpage52 andrecorded
the
dateas 1852.
The1864mapshowingallthreelinesis
I. Gross,Mapof theCounties
of Ottawa,
pp.41,46, 47.Thelineoperated
byStephen
Lowingis notmentioned
in theLowing
FamilyHistorybook(typewritten
copy,
Michigan
HistoryRoom,GrandRapids
PublicLibrary,
GrandRapids,Michigan).
Noris Lowing's
in anyof
railroad
mentioned
in
theentrieson localhistorycontained
manuscript
volumesthatwerecompiledby
thelateDorothySkinner
a Lowing
Hubbard,
familydescendant.
However,
JoanneMcClow,
anotherLowingdescendant,
her
recalled
uncletellingherthattheywerehikingon an
oldrailroad
grade,justwheretherailroad
is drawnon.themap(shemadethisremark
in a personalinterview
withtheauthoron
29 April1988,beforeshehadseena copyof
themapidentifying
thegrade).A searchof
theGrandRapidsandGrandHavennewspaperspublished
between1857and1867
turnedupno newsaccountmentioning
these
loggingrailroads,
butadditional
information
on theseandotherriverlandingscanbe
foundin DonaldLinebaugh,
"Grand
River
Landings,
OttawaCounty,Michigan"
(Master's
thesis,Collegeof Williamand
Mary,1982).
Atlasof OttawaandKentCounties,
Michigan.
S0. Ibid., p. 36; Anonymous,Historyof Ottawa
and MuskegonCounties,p. 102;J. Pierson,
"HistoricalNote"'MichiganHistory 11
(October1927): 667-68.
Sl. GrandHavenNews, 19 December1860,
p. 3. MichaelKochin his Steamand Thunder
in the Timbercontendsthat the Augusta&
KennebecRailroadas well as the GrandTrunk
Railroadoperatedlog trainsin Maine sometime during1860 (p. 102). Kochcites the
BrunswickTelegraphin supportof his claim
but does not indicatethe dateson which the
news accountsdocumentingtheseevents
werepublished.
52. GeorgeHotchkiss,Historyof the Lumber
and ForestIndustryof the Northwest(Chicago, Illinois:G. Hotchkiss& Co., 1897),
p. 331, erroneouslystatesthat the eraof railroadbuildinginto the forestsof Michigan
beganabout 1860-62, with the construction
of the Flintand PereMarquetteRailroad.
The Detroitand MilwaukeeRailwayreached
Muir in 1857 and penetratedthe pine forests
of OttawaCountyin 1858.
53. The Detroit& MilwaukeeRailwayhauled
logs againin 1864 when a sawmillburned
down nearCoopersville.The millownerMr.
Storrsdecidednot to rebuildand had his logs
hauledwest to Mill Point,wheretheywere
dumpedintothe bayou(nowSpringLake).See
GrandHavenNews, 10 August1864,p. 3.
54. SaginawCourier,30 December1870,
reprintedin ForrestB. Meek, Michigan's
TimberBattleGround:A Historyof Clare
County:1674-1900 (Clare,Michigan:Clare
CountyBicentennialHistoricalCommittee,
1976), pp. 134-36.
55. These additionallog carrierswerethe Jackson, Lansing,and SaginawRailroad,the predecessorof the Mackinawdivisionof the
MichiganCentralRailroad,runningbetween
RifleRiverand Wenona(WestBayCity),
documentedin the GrandRapidsDaily
Eagle,3 November1871,p. 4; the Grand
Rapids,Newaygo,and LakeShoreRailroad
betweensouthernNewaygoCountyand
GrandRapids,reportedin the GrandRapids
Daily Eagle,25 July 1872, p. 1; and the
lonia, Stanton,and NorthernRailroad
betweenMontcalmCountyand Ionia, mentioned in the Ionia Sentinel,6 December
1872, p. 6.
56. "GrandHavenGrist;'NorthwesternLumberman, 19 (25 February1882):2.
S7. See Thayer,"FirstLoggingRailroad"(1899)
and "FirstLoggingRailroadin Michigan"
(1903).
S8. Lillie,HistoricGrandHavenand Ottawa
County59. See Rohe,"Tramways
and Pole
Roads."
60. On this operationsee the above-citedArndt,
'1973 LoggingTrain";Arndt,Bay County
Story,pp. 122-23; Olds, "Michigan'sFirst
LoggingLine"'pp. 19-20; and Koch,Steam
and Thunderin the Timber,p. 22.
61. JeanWorth,"LS&IBuildingRailroadin
Hauntsof Hiawatha' Miningjournal, 21
September1957,p. 8.
62. ForrestMeek and CarlBajema,"Logging
Railroadsof Michigan,1850-1964:An
AnnotatedBibliography,"
manuscript.
63. These railroadsweresignificantnot only in
the historyof technologybut in landscape
historyas well, becausethey mademajor
contributionsto the rapiddemiseof the forests
that had coveredmuchof Michigan'spresettlementlandscape.In additionto the work
of scholarsalreadycitedhere,othersignificant historiesof loggingand deforestationin
Michiganare:TheodoreJ. Karamanski,
Historyand CulturalResources:Logging,
Miningand PioneerAgricultureon the
OttawaNational Forest,Michigan(Chicago,
Illinois:Mid- AmericaResearchCenter,
LoyolaUniversityof Chicago,1984);TheodoreJ. Karamanski,HistoricalRecords
Study:CulturalResourceIdentificationand
Evaluationfor the HiawathaNationalForest,
Michigan,vol. 1 (Chicago,Illinois:MidAmericaResearchCenter,LoyolaUniversity
of Chicago,1984);KennethD. Lafayette,
"TheWayof the Pine:ForestIndustriesof
MarquetteCountyDuringthe WhitePine
Era, 1848-1912"(authormanuscript,Marquette,Michigan,1987). Researchis needed
on the differentialimpactsof loggingrailroads
on variousregionsand treespecies,as well as
on the rateand extentof deforestation.For
example,loggingrailroadsencouragedclearcutting,whereasthe lateruse of trucksmade
selectivecuttingmorefeasible.Sourcesfor
suchresearchincludelumberbusinessrecords
in archives;businessjournals;surveyrecords;
maps, and fieldsurveysof abandonedlogging
railroadgrades.
LoggingRailroads 83
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