The history of Columbia County, Wisconsin, containing an account of its settlement, growth, development and resources; an extensive and minute sketch of its cities, towns and villages--their improvements, industries, manufactories, churches, schools and societies; its war record, biographical sketches, portraits of prominent men and early settlers; the whole preceded by a history of Wisconsin, statistics of the state, and an abstract of its laws and constitution and of the constitution of the United States
Judson, W. B.
Lumber manufacture, pp. 185-191 PDF (3.4 MB)
1HISTORY OF WISCONSIN. is a subject upon which but little can be definitely said. Pine trees can not be counted or measured until reduced to saw-logs or lumber. It is certain that for twenty years the forests of Wisconsin have yielded large amounts of valuable timber, and no fears are entertained by holders of pine lands that the present generation of owners will witness an exhaustion of their supply. In some sections it is estimated that the destruction to the standing timber by fires, which periodically sweep over large sections, is greater than by the axes of the loggers. The necessity for a state system of forestry, for the protection of the forests from fires, has been urged by many, and with excellent reason; for no natural resource of the state is of more'value and importance than its wealth of timber. According to an esti- mate recently made by a good authority, and which received the sanction of many interested parties, there was standing in the state in 1876, an amount of pine timber approximating 35,000,000,000 feet. The annual production of lumber in the districts herein described, and from logs floated out of the state to mills on the Mississippi, is about 1,200,000,ooo feet. The following table gives the mill capacity per season, and the lumber and shingles manufactured in 1876: D ISEASON LUMBER SHINGLES .CAPACITY MANUFACTURED MANUFACTURED C A P A C I T Y ° I N 1 8 7 6 . I N 1 8 7 6 . Green Bay Shore.---------------------206,000,000 138,250,000 85,400,000 Wolf River-------------------------- 258,503,o00 138,645,077 123,192,000 Wisconsin Central Railroad---------------72,500,000 31,530,000 132,700,000 Green Bay & Minnesota Railroad- -...... 34,500,000 17,700,000 10,700,000 Wisconsin River----------------------222,000,000 139,700,000 lO6,250,000 Black River. -...... . IOI,OO0,O00 70.852,747 37,675,000 Chippewa River-----------------------311,000,000 255,866,999 79,250,000 Mississippi River - using Wisconsin logs_ 509,0o0,0o0 380,067,000 206,977,000 Total--------------------------1,714,500,000 1,172,611,823 782,144,000 If to the above is added the production of mills outside of the main districts and lines of rail. way herein described, the amount of pine lumber annually produced from Wisconsin forests would reach T,500,000,ooo feet. Of the hard-wood production no authentic information is obtainable To cut the logs and place them upon the banks of the streams, ready for floating to the mills, requires the labor of about i8,ooo men. Allowing that, upon an average, each man has a family of two persons besides himself, dependent upon his labor for support, it would be apparent that the first step in the work of manufacturing lumber gives employment and support to 54,000 persons. To convert i,ooo,ooo feet of logs into lumber, requires the consumption of 1,200 bushels of oats, 9 barrels of pork and beef, io tons of hay, 40 barrels of flour, and the use of 2 pairs of horses. Thus the fitting out of the loggin~g companies each fall makes a market for 1,8oo,ooo bushels of oats, 13,5oo barrels of pork and beef, 15,ooo tons of hay, and 6oooo barrels of flour. Before the lumber is sent to market, fully $6,ooo,ooo is expended for the labor employed in producing it. This industry, aside from furnishing the farmer of the west with the cheapest and best of materials for constructing his buildings, also furnishes a very important market for the products of his farm. The question of the exhaustion of the pine timber supply has met with much discussion during the past few years, and, so far as the forests of Wisconsin are concerned, deserves a brief notice. The great source of supply of white pine timber in the country is that portion of the northwest between the shores of Lake Huron and the banks of the Mississippi, comprising the 190
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