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Remember When: Lumberjacks

December 1, 2012 by Hubbard County Historical Museum Director

Lumberjacks enroute to work (2)

Those accustomed to a 40 HP motor to propel their boat over a Park Rapids Region lake would doubtless think twice about investing in a bateau.

But the bateau was an important means of transportation to the lumberjacks who practiced their art in the woods hereabouts years ago,

This boatload of woodsmen is being transported across Fish Hook Lake to a point near their work area after a visit to Park Rapids.

Those oars, by the way are 12 feet long and, according to an old timer who has pulled on one, weighed “just under a ton.”

The fellow in the extreme stern of the craft is Joe Wilson who worked for his brother cousin George. one of the leading lumber men in this region.  (Photo Courtesy Bill Mueller)

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A bateau is typically a shallow draft flat bottomed boat that is pointed at both ends, they were made in various sizes and were good and stable for river travel. The bateau in the old photo appears to be hauling twenty men to work.

We have a set of really long oars in the museum.  I am not sure they are twelve feet long..but they are longer than normal oars.

Updated Info from Ken:

Joe Wilson was a first cousin to George Wilson not a Brother, they came to Hubbard County from Apsley in Eastern Ontario.   Joe ran a Grocery Business later in life that became Red Owl Brands and was bought out by John Stennes.   The store was between the current BP gas station and the old Fullers Whosale Tackle building now an art gallery on Highway 34. The Bateau was most likely heading to a Logging Camp on the Potato River located accross the river from the current Rapid River Logging Camp,   My Grandfather Harold Wilson worked there for his Uncle George Wilson circa 1912.

 


1 Comment

  1. Ken Wilson says:

    Joe Wilson was a first cousin to George Wilson not a Brother, they came to Hubbard County from Apsley in Eastern Ontario. Joe ran a Grocery Business later in life that became Red Owl Brands and was bought out by John Stennes. The store was between the current BP gas station and the old Fullers Whosale Tackle building now an art gallery on Highway 34.
    The Bateau was most likely heading to a Logging Camp on the Potato River located accross the river from the current Rapid River Logging Camp, My Grandfather Harold Wilson worked there for his Uncle George Wilson circa. 1912

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