Use file > print in the menu bar to print this page.

1989.69.97
This artefact belongs to: © New Brunswick Museum
Photograph
Log Jam, Big Black River
1911, 20th century
13.4 x 29.8 cm
Gift of Sylvia Yeoman
1989.69.97
This artefact belongs to: © New Brunswick Museum

Keys to History:

The chief danger of the log drive lay in the formation of logjams in the narrower confines of the feeder river or brook. It took a brave man or group of men to confront and break a jam holding back thousands of gallons of water.

There were three types of jams: a centre jam which started in the middle of a river, a side jam which built out from a snag on shore, and a jam all the way across a river.

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

What:

Jams could be several meters high, not counting the logs driven into the river bed by the timber pressure from above.

Where:

Log jams were most frequent on narrow and shallow waterways, which usually had numerous obstacles to snag passing logs.

When:

The tip-off to those downriver that a jam was forming was the sudden disappearance of the log flow.

Who:

The foreman shouted orders and listened with his men for any shift or groan that might signal the movement of the jam.

© Musée McCord Museum