1989.69.5 | Load of Logs
Load of Logs
1911, 20th century
12.3 x 15.2 cm
Gift of Sylvia Yeoman
This artefact belongs to: © New Brunswick Museum
Keys to History
The skidding crew worked a day behind the axemen and sawyers, preparing trails through the woods and then hauling the logs and timber out. At first oxen were used, but by the late 19th century horses provided the motive power since they were faster, took less time to feed and were more manageable. Harnessed to a small sled with chains holding the front of a large log or several smaller ones, the horse or team of horses was driven down the rough skidding trail, dragging the cargo over stumps, rocks or snow. Their destination was the main road where piles of logs, or skidways, were made, some of which might contain 350 pieces. By the time all the cut was out of the woods and piled, it would be late December or early January.
Source : All in a Day's Work: Lumbering in New Brunswick [Web tour], by New Brunswick Museum (see Links)
An ox pulled more than a horse but was slower, plodding along at 1.5 kilometers an hour.
All the skidding tails were connected to the main woods road like arteries.
Once the rough timber was piled, it was measured by scalers employed by the lumber company.
A good skidder would work only by word of mouth, issuing instructions to a well-trained horse.