“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Stillwater in Washington County, Minnesota — The American Midwest (Upper Plains)

Controlling A River Of Logs

Controlling a River of Logs marker image. Click for full size.
By McGhiever, May 19, 2018
1. Controlling a River of Logs marker
Inscription.  From 1856 to 1914, the St. Croix Boom was the logging industry center on the St. Croix River–the place where logs cut from northern forests entered the marketplace.

Each spring, loggers harnessed the river's powerful current to float their winter cut downstream. That log drive ended at the Boom Site, where logs entered a complex series of channels and holding pens that extended for miles. Workers sorted logs to determine ownership and measured board feet. Owners then arranged for timber to be milled locally or transported farther downstream.

When the Boom Site closed on June 12, 1914, over 13 billion board feet had passed through. Imagine over 2 million railroad cars stretched across the United States six times! This lumber (transformed into houses, barns, fence posts, doors, and other building materials) made settlement of the treeless Great Plains possible.

Sorting Logs
Hundreds of companies used the St. Croix River to float logs downstream each year. Once in the water, there was no way to prevent one company's logs from mixing with another's. To resolve issues of ownership, each logging camp registered
Three-sided St. Croix Boom Site marker image. Click for full size.
By McGhiever, May 19, 2018
2. Three-sided St. Croix Boom Site marker
unique bark and log marks and hammered these into logs–a process similar to branding cattle. There were over 2,000 unique marks in the 58 years of the Boom Site's operation.

Natural channels and high cliffs made the Boom Site perfect for sorting.
Erected by Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, National Park Service.
Location. 45° 5.103′ N, 92° 47.144′ W. Marker is in Stillwater, Minnesota, in Washington County. Marker can be reached from Saint Croix Trail North (State Highway 95 at milepost 101). Touch for map. The marker is on the plaza at the south end of the parking lot. Marker is in this post office area: Stillwater MN 55082, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Life at the Boom (here, next to this marker); Geology of Minnesota (approx. 0.4 miles away); Tamarack House (approx. 1.4 miles away); The Warden's House (approx. 1.9 miles away); St. Croix Lumber Mills / Stillwater Manufacturing Company (approx. 2 miles away); 1965 Easter Sunday Floodwater Crest (approx. 2.1 miles away); 114 North Main Street (approx. 2.2 miles away); 1884 Upper St. Croix River Log Jam (approx. 2.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Stillwater.
Also see . . .  St. Croix Boom Site. (Submitted on March 16, 2019, by McGhiever of St Paul, Minnesota.)
Categories. Horticulture & ForestryIndustry & CommerceWaterways & Vessels
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Credits. This page was last revised on March 18, 2019. This page originally submitted on March 16, 2019, by McGhiever of St Paul, Minnesota. This page has been viewed 36 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on March 16, 2019, by McGhiever of St Paul, Minnesota. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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