R.P.D.2, Columbiaville, Michigan
Four score years ago, Harry Bahel was a Sawyer, tending the
great white cork pine logs as they were sliced into lumber by the
whining circular saw in an Arcadin Township Mill in Lapeer County
Suddenly something went wrong. The feed bar tripped and threw
the carriage into gear. Poor Harry was wedged between the log and
the whirling saw. It cut him almost in two and a day later he
This young man, who was brave and true, passed on to his Great
Reward at the age of 19 years.
The Lumberjacks talked about the horrible accident for many
years, then the victim’s brother Charles put the words into
Ballad form and it was sung by many a Lumberjack in the Lumber
Camps in Lapeer County, Michigan, in the eighteenth century.
I would like to dedicate the words of this old song to all ALBUM
readers who own and operate Saw Mills.
THE SONG OF HARRY BAHEL
(Tune of The Flat River Girl)
Come all kind friends and parents,
Come brothers, young and old,
A Song I will relate to you,
It will make your blood run cold.
It’s about a poor unfortunate youth
Who’s known both far and near.
His parents reared him so tenderly
Not many miles from here.
In the Township of Arcadie,
In the County of Lapeer,
There stood a little Shingle Mill
That ran about one year.
T’was there this fatal deed was done
That caused many to weep and to wail.
T’was there this young man lost his life,
Whose name was Harry Bahel.
It appeared his occupation
Was a Sawyer in the Mill.
He followed it successfully
Two years, six months, until
The time had come for him to go
And leave this world of care.
No one will know how soon it will be our
To follow poor Harry up There! (last
On the Twenty-Ninth of April,
In the Year of Eighteen Seventy-Nine,
He went to work as usual,
A-fearing no design.
In lowering of the feed bar
Which threw the carriage into gear,
It threw poor Harry out upon the saw,
Which did cut him so severe.
It cut him through the shoulder blade
And half way down the back.
It threw his mangled body out upon the
As the carriage it did run back, (floor
He started for the shanty,
But his strength did fail him fast.
He said, ‘Oh boys, I’m wounded,
And I fear it is my Last.’
His dear brothers, they were sent for,
Likewise his sisters, too.
The Doctor came and dressed his cruel
But alas it proved too true! (wounds,
And when those cruel wounds were
Young Harry seemed to say, (dressed
‘I fear it is my Last, brave boys,
I soon shall pass away.’
Now poor Harry had no kind and loving
To soothe his aching brow. (mother
No father to weep nor to wail.
He lingered on one day and night
Till death did ease his pain.
And now he’s passed over
And never shall speak again.
They put him in his coffin
And started for the grave,
While brothers and sisters mourned the
Of a brother so young and brave. (loss
They took him to the Church Yard
And laid him there to rest.
His body now is sleeping
And now his spirit’s with the Blessed.
He was cut down in manly beauty,
His life had just begun,
His love was yet untasted,
His laurels yet unknown.
He was a jovial fellow
As one would wish to know,
But he faded like the flowers
For it was his time to go.
Now Spring Time has returned again
To wake the bleak domain.
The little birds in the leafy flowers
Sing sweetly once more again.
And Harry’s friends and relations
Will repay the love he fondly gave
By placing wreaths of flowers
All ’round young Harry’s grave!