Remembering log harvesting in the 1940s

| July 2009

The article titled “Hidden Truths” (Farm Collector, April 2009) brought back memories of my past. Very good! I think the fixed rings mounted on the bolster standards were a place for four stakes used with the box off when hauling logs. I was involved in doing that in the 1940s and was old enough to snake logs with one horse from the wooded area. The logs were long enough to make three fence posts long enough to reset at least once.

The open metal loop on top of the standard (Schuttler and Stoughton examples) was used to add a chain to stabilize the load. These were American ash logs. I also did this on my own in the 1960s, harvesting Aspen rails for corral fence. I was old enough then to use an ax.

The front and rear wagon gear was spread apart to accommodate the long logs by removing the reach plate bolt and placing it in a rearward hole. A reach was made usually from an oak two-by-four 12 feet long for a 16-foot hayrack. An iron horse was used to pull the wagon and also (with a cable) to snake logs in the 1960s. In those days a good man was expected to cut at least 50 posts a day with an ax. There were three ax men and we needed posts for one mile of fence. Usually 350 were needed.

Your magazine is getting much better and that’s good with the value of the dollar shrinking the way it is.

Malcolm Roffler
Grassy Butte, N.D.

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