1964.147L | Lumbering Camp at Ferry Bank, Oromocto, New Brunswick

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Lumbering Camp at Ferry Bank, Oromocto, New Brunswick
About 1897, 19th century
21.1 x 27.2 cm
Gift of George I. Higgins Estate
This artefact belongs to: © New Brunswick Museum
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Keys to History

In the early days, all a timber crew needed was a team of oxen, a couple of felling axes, a broadaxe to square the trunk, a few barrels of pork and flour, and perhaps a keg of rum. Accommodations consisted of a round-log cabin hardly more than four or five feet high, with a birch bark roof and fir branch floor and a fire either in the middle or at one end. Farmers, tired of struggling to make a living from the land, abandoned their agricultural pursuits for the woods, enticed by the promise of money and the vaunted privileges of the new life.

By the second half of the 19th century, the rough accommodations had given way to something a bit more livable. Camps in more isolated locations might have several housing complexes and employ over 100 men full time. The essential features of the camp were the bunkhouse and the cookhouse, along with a designated space to protect camp supplies.

Source : All in a Day's Work: Lumbering in New Brunswick [Web tour], by New Brunswick Museum (see Links)

  • What

    The lumberjack's clothing consisted of warm underwear, wool pants and socks, shirts and, if needed, a machinaw jacket to cut the wind.

  • Where

    Oromocto is located approximately 150 kilometres up the St. John River from Saint John.

  • When

    This photograph was taken in 1897.

  • Who

    The men of the lumberwoods, although a rag-tag bunch with their shaggy hair and beards, were often noted for their kindly nature and noble attitudes.