Logging and Forest Products

The 19th-century logging industry reshaped the landscape of central and northern Wisconsin, provided a livelihood for thousands of workers, and formed the roots of today's thriving paper industry. By the late nineteenth century, Wisconsin was one of the premier lumber producing states in the U.S., and from 1890 to 1910 forest products led Wisconsin's developing industrial economy.

Despite its obvious potential, logging was only a minor activity for the first white settlers, who actually brought lumber with them from the East at great expense. Throughout most of the 1830s, logging was carried out on a small scale around Prairie du... more...

Original Documents and Other Primary Sources

Link to article: The development of the lumber industry in Western WisconsinThe development of the lumber industry in Western Wisconsin
Link to article: More than 100 articles on logging and the lumber industryMore than 100 articles on logging and the lumber industry
Link to article: Recollections of logging the Chippewa Valley, 1844-1916.Recollections of logging the Chippewa Valley, 1844-1916.
Link to article: An 1886 visit to the Menominee community of KeshenaAn 1886 visit to the Menominee community of Keshena
Link to article: A Made-to-Order Farm to lure settlers northward, 1921A Made-to-Order Farm to lure settlers northward, 1921
Link to article: Recollections of Old SuperiorRecollections of Old Superior
Link to article: Lumberjack tales of Paul BunyanLumberjack tales of Paul Bunyan
Link to article: Peshtigo's priest recalls surviving the firePeshtigo's priest recalls surviving the fire
Link to article: Community-building in the northern forest in the 1880s.Community-building in the northern forest in the 1880s.
Link to article: A lumberjack recalls an 1898 forest fireA lumberjack recalls an 1898 forest fire
Link to article: A rafting trip down the Wisconsin River in 1868A rafting trip down the Wisconsin River in 1868
Link to article: Rafting lumber down the Wisconsin River in 1849Rafting lumber down the Wisconsin River in 1849
Link to article: Peshtigo residents look back, 50 years after the Great FirePeshtigo residents look back, 50 years after the Great Fire
Link to article: A lumberjack describes living conditions in lumber camps in the 1850sA lumberjack describes living conditions in lumber camps in the 1850s
Link to artifacts: A mid-1800s birchbark maple sugar containerA mid-1800s birchbark maple sugar container
Link to book: The wild animals of Paul Bunyan's NorthwoodsThe wild animals of Paul Bunyan's Northwoods
Link to book: Wisconsin's earliest forest conservation plea, 1867Wisconsin's earliest forest conservation plea, 1867
Link to book: Proceedings of the Forest History Association of Wisconsin (1996-2006)Proceedings of the Forest History Association of Wisconsin (1996-2006)
Link to book: A guide to the Great Lakes lumber industry, 1886A guide to the Great Lakes lumber industry, 1886
Link to book: Proceedings of the Forest History Association of Wisconsin (1986-1995)Proceedings of the Forest History Association of Wisconsin (1986-1995)
Link to book: The marvelous exploits of Paul BunyanThe marvelous exploits of Paul Bunyan
Link to book: Report on the Menominee at Termination, 1958Report on the Menominee at Termination, 1958
Link to book: An 1875 history of the Chippewa ValleyAn 1875 history of the Chippewa Valley
Link to book: Memoirs of an Interpreter among the Ojibwe, 1840-1900Memoirs of an Interpreter among the Ojibwe, 1840-1900
Link to book: Folklore and folktales collected by Charles E. BrownFolklore and folktales collected by Charles E. Brown
Link to book: A Guide to CCC Camps in Wisconsin, 1937A Guide to CCC Camps in Wisconsin, 1937
Link to book: Descriptions of Wisconsin disasters and catastrophes, 1848-1948Descriptions of Wisconsin disasters and catastrophes, 1848-1948
Link to book: Proceedings of the Forest History Association of Wisconsin (1976-1985)Proceedings of the Forest History Association of Wisconsin (1976-1985)
Link to book: Stockbridge and Munsee Testimony, 1892Stockbridge and Munsee Testimony, 1892
Link to book: The history and traditions of the Chippewa ValleyThe history and traditions of the Chippewa Valley
Link to images: Increase Lapham examining a meteorite, ca. 1868Increase Lapham examining a meteorite, ca. 1868
Link to images: Prairie du Chien merchant and judge James H. Lockwood, 1856.Prairie du Chien merchant and judge James H. Lockwood, 1856.
Link to images: An advertisement tries to attract settlers to the cutover region.An advertisement tries to attract settlers to the cutover region.
Link to images: Life in the logging camps, as shown in historic photographs.Life in the logging camps, as shown in historic photographs.
Link to images: Pictures of the cutover lands in northern WisconsinPictures of the cutover lands in northern Wisconsin
Link to manuscript: The lumber company makes its case against Deitz, 1906The lumber company makes its case against Deitz, 1906
Link to manuscript: John Deitz makes his case, 1906John Deitz makes his case, 1906
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