The New England loggers and river drivers were a unique breed of men. Working with their axes and peaveys through Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, they contributed mightily to the development of the United States. The daily life of the loggers was hard - working in deep icy water fourteen hours a day, sleeping in wet blankets, eating coarse food, and constantly risking their lives. Their pay was very low, yet they were proud to call themselves loggers. When they came out of the woods after the spring drives, they ebulliently spent their pay carousing in the staid New England towns. Robert E. Pike, who as a youth worked in the woods and on the rivers, writes affectionately and knowingly, with humorous anecdotes, of every detail of lumbering. He describes the daily life of the logging camps, giving a picture of the different specialist jobs: the camp boss, the choppers, the sawyers and filers, the scaler, the teamsters, the river men, the railroaders, and the lumber kings. His descriptions bring the reader vividly into the woods, smelling the tangy, newly cut timber, hearing the boom of the falling trees. "The author's lively prose matches the temper of his subject...This is basic history, geography, psychology, economics, and folklore all rolled into one top-quality volume.
" - R. S. Monahan, New York Times Book Review
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(211mm x 142mm x 25mm)
WW Norton & Co
Publisher: WW Norton & Co
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US Kirkus Review »
Despite its occasional rough language, or even because of it, younger readers also will enjoy this roaringly good history of the now vanished days of the Maine lumberjacks. In the epic days celebrated here, it was man and axe versus timber. And they were giant men, rather proud to do without women. A man cared for his axe like royal cutlery. Pike has a high time recounting tales of camp life, modes of falling trees, hauling timber by ox-team, riding the rivers, and the general strategy of working valleys or up near the timber line. Camps being communities unto themselves, he describes rough and ready medical treatment by camp bosses (some of it quite funny), and the deviltry and horseplay provoked by an hour's idleness. Nostalgia steams out of the chapters as loggers sweat off their morning chill and send up their first cry of "Timber-r-r.!"... Hickory-smoked vignettes. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Robert E. Pike
Robert E. Pike died in 1997.