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Near Mercer in Iron County, Wisconsin — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Roddis Line – Life in Camp

Iron County Heritage Area

 
 
Roddis Line – Life in Camp Marker image. Click for full size.
By Paul Fehrenbach, August 14, 2012
1. Roddis Line – Life in Camp Marker
Inscription. The railroad pushed into northern Wisconsin in the 1870s, opening the deep forests for harvest. Now hardwoods such as maple, oak, spruce, cedar, balsam, birch and aspen could be cut.

More logs could be shipped by rail than by water so more men were needed to cut and move the timber to the rail lines. Camps became larger and lumberjacks worked year round.

Life in the woods was constantly busy. Men rose t 4 o’clock in the morning. Equipment, horses and tools were readied for the day. Breakfast was hurried and the men were in the woods by daylight. Lunch was brought out to the men by cook’s helpers. The men returned to camp after dark. After a hearty meal, and pipe of tobacco, the day was over and the bunkhouses were full of tired, snoring loggers.

After the foreman, the cook was the most important person in camp. Without tasty food and lots of it, the men grumbled and refused to work. A good cook attracted good lumberjacks. The food was more important than the money to them.

No talking was allowed at the table. The men could eat as much as they wanted, but quickly. Even without talk, the noise in the dining area was deafening. Imagine over 100 men using tin utensils on tin plates, wolfing down their food in fifteen minutes!
 
Location. 46° 4.914′ 
Left Hand Photo: Inside bunkhouse image. Click for full size.
By Paul Fehrenbach, August 14, 2012
2. Left Hand Photo: Inside bunkhouse
N, 90° 16.263′ W. Marker is near Mercer, Wisconsin, in Iron County. Marker is on County Route FF half a mile north of Turtle Flambeau Dam Road, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Butternut WI 54514, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 7 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Roddis Line – Nelson Camp 1 (1925-1930) ( here, next to this marker); Roddis Line – Early Logging ( here, next to this marker); Roddis Line - Roddis Lumber and Veneer Company ( here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Roddis Line – Nelson Camp 1 (1925-1930) ( here, next to this marker); a different marker also named Roddis Line - Roddis Lumber and Veneer Company ( here, next to this marker); Flambeau Trail – Turtle Flambeau Flowage Dam ( approx. 1.7 miles away); Roddis Line – Turtle-Flambeau Dam ( approx. 1.8 miles away); Flambeau Trail – Two Ways to Go ( approx. 7.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Mercer.
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceRailroads & Streetcars
 
Upper Right Photo: Dining area in camp image. Click for full size.
By Paul Fehrenbach, August 14, 2012
3. Upper Right Photo: Dining area in camp
Lower Right Photo: Washing clothes image. Click for full size.
By Paul Fehrenbach, August 14, 2012
4. Lower Right Photo: Washing clothes
Roddis Line – Life in Camp Marker image. Click for full size.
By Paul Fehrenbach, August 14, 2012
5. Roddis Line – Life in Camp Marker
Marker is on a six-sided kiosk with five other adjoining markers.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 14, 2012, by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin. This page has been viewed 266 times since then and 24 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on September 14, 2012, by Paul Fehrenbach of Germantown, Wisconsin. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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