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Northrop, E. B.; Chittenden, H. A., Jr. (ed.) / The Wisconsin lumberman, devoted to the lumbering interests of the northwest
(July, 1874)

"Looking pine" in Wisconsin,   pp. 352-354 PDF (944.1 KB)


Page 352


2he Wisconsin Lumberman.
"LOOKING PINE" IN WISCONSIN.
"Oany arway from men and towns
To the ilentwildernes."
Among lumbermen and in lumber-
ing districts there may be found a
class of men about whose duties the
public knows very little. These men
are known as "land lookers," whose
duty is to go into the wilderness and
there make a close estimate of the
amount of pine on each sub-division
of a section, and then determine
whether it will pay to "enter" or
rather purchase, the land thus esti-
mated. These men are either em-
ployed by some mill owner or else go
into the wilderness on their. own ac-
count, and when desirable land is
found sell their " minutes," (as their
statement of the quality of land and
amount of pine is called), to some
land speculator who will enter the
land giving them a third or one-half
interest in the purchase.
Land lookers generally go in par-
ties of two or three, going into the
"woods "-as our readers must al-
low us to call the trackless wilder-
ness where they operate-with teams
as far as available, and then the men
pack their outfit and travel on foot,
guided only by the compass, to the
desired location where they are to
operate, or estimate, as they call
their avocation.
A land looker's outfit consists of
one good heavy blanket, a small axe,
small compass-sometimes a shelter
tent-and provisions, whichconsist
principally of flour, salt pork and
tea, making a pack of seventy-five
or one hundred pounds which the
men, by   a packing-strap, fasten
across their shoulders. Although the
fatiguing and lonesome march is
taken up through the woods without
a line or path to guide the land-look-
er; the first case where one has been
lost or wandered far from his desti-
nation has yet to be found and re-
ported. When the party have arriv-
ed near their destination they " take
up " some section line and follow it
to a section corner, when by a
moments' inspection they can tell
exactly where they are, by the mark-
ing on the corner-post, or in case
that has rotted away, by the mark
on the bearing-trees. Perhaps our
reader will ask what is a bearing-
tree? It is a tree marked by the
United States surveyor to assist in
perfecting the identity of section
corners. There are generally four of
these trees at each corner each
faced, or blazed, on a line with the
corner and then marked with
characters and figures showing the
range, township, and section, while
their size, description, and location
of the compass, together with the
distance from the section corner is
recorded in the records which are
denominated "field notes," a cory
of which every land looker can pur-
chase by townships at the United
States land office or at the school
land office at Madison. In addition
to these corner bearing-trees there
are two quarter-post bearing-trees
to locate the quarter-post, which are
faced toward the post, one on each
side, and marked so as to fix the lo-
cation of the post in case it should
rot out or get moved. In addition
to these posts and bearing-trees the
section lines are marked by blazing
trees every few rods standing near
352
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