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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)

Page 190

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
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
                                        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

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