Michigan – [pictures & films] was Paul Bunyan a real character who was murdered in Bay City?

According to Author/Historian D.Laurence Rogers, Paul Bunyan may have been based on a real person in Michigan. The lumber industry in Michigan was once a booming business. The white pine was like “green gold” and many people became millionaires.  This also attracted  a rowdy, rough element which could have included a character like Paul Bunyan who may have been murdered in Michigan.

The British, and later the Americans, used Michigan’s hardwoods to build merchant and war ships. The original white pines were over 200 years old, two hundred feet in height and five feet in diameter.

 Logging, felling the tree Detoit Publishing ca. 1880sLogging, felling the tree Detoit Publishing ca. 1880

Logging, cutting lengths ca. 1880s Detroit PublishingLogging, cutting lengths ca. 1890 Detroit Publishing

Logging in Michigan, the sled ca. 1880sLogging in Michigan, the sled 1880

“Michigan’s pine became important as the supply of trees in the northeast was used. By 1880, Michigan was producing as much lumber as the next three states combined.”

“The first area where many mills were built was Saginaw. Six rivers converge to form the Saginaw River which empties into Saginaw Bay and then Lake Huron. The rivers are the Chippewa, Tittabawassee, Cass, Bad, Shiawassee and Flint. Rivers played a very important part for the loggers because the lumber had to be floated to the mills and then to market.”

“The logs were far too big and heavy to take from the woods by dragging, so the loggers made ice-covered roads, where the logs could be pulled on sleds. The loads were often extremely big and contests were held between rival camps to see which could stack a load the highest. The logs were taken to the banks of rivers, where they were piled twenty to thirty feet high, awaiting the spring thaw.”

 The Loggers Michigan by ca. 1888 by Detroit Publishing CompanyLoggers 1888 Michigan

“The first group of people to set up lumbering operations were from New England, especially Maine and New York. The forests there were almost entirely cut, so the owners and experienced crews followed the work. Many felt that the huge forests of Michigan would last for many, many years, yet within a 20 year period, 1870 to 1890, most of the trees were cut.”

Lumbering camp in Michigan 1892Lumbering camp in Michigan 1892

 Group of 31 lumberjacks posed outside camp bldgGroup of 31 lumberjacks posed outside camp bldg

Logging a big load 1888 Detroit Publishing CompanyLogging a big load 1888 Detroit Publishing Company

Logging in the pine forest, Horses and oxen pulling logs. Michigan 1900Logging in the pine forest, Michigan 1900

Logging train, Harbor Springs, Mich Detroit Publishing company, 1900Logging train, Harbor Springs, Mich Detroit Publishing company, 1900

Excursion logging train, Harbor Springs, Mich. Detroit Publishing 1906Excursion logging train, Harbor Springs, Mich. Detroit Publishing 1906

Topping Off 1892Topping Off 1892

“When rivers melted, the logs were pushed into the swollen rivers and floated to the mills. At the mills, the logs were sorted in the boom area, each identified by a log mark on the end of the logs. The were then sorted in the boom area, each company’s logs together.”

Dead River saw mill, Marquette, Mich. Detroit Publishing 1906Dead River saw mill, Marquette, Mich. Detroit Publishing 1906

Modern methods in woods at Cadillac ca. 1920 Detroit Publishing Co.Modern methods in woods at Cadillac ca. 1920 Detroit Publishing Co.

Lumber barge, inland route, Cheboygan-Petoskey, Mich. Detroit Publishing ca. 1920Lumber barge, inland route, Cheboygan-Petoskey, Mich. Detroit Publishing ca. 1920

Among the lumberjacks, Northern Michigan Detroit publishing ca. 1900Among the lumberjacks, Northern Michigan Detroit publishing ca. 1900

Logging on the river, Menominee, Mich. Detroit Publishing ca. 1898Logging on the river, Menominee, Mich. Detroit Publishing ca. 1898

Menominee, Mich., logging on the river Detroit publishing ca. 1898Menominee, Mich., logging on the river Detroit publishing ca. 1898

Loading lumber on steamer at lumberyards, Menominee, Mich Detroit Publishing c.a 1898Loading lumber on steamer at lumberyards, Menominee, Mich Detroit Publishing c.a 1898

SOURCES

 

Paul Bunyan:How a Terrible Timber Feller Became a Legend

 

 

Paul Bunyan:How a Terrible Timber Feller Became a Legend


By (author): D.Laurence Rogers

This is a history story and educational book documenting early lumbering folklore and literary origins of the legend of Paul Bunyan. Includes the first Bunyan poem, drawings and cartoons of the world’s most well known heroic figure. Ties to H.L. Mencken and several other authors are described. Explains links of legend to Maine, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and California. interesting reading for History buffs and students.
New From: $18.75 USD In Stock

About Donna R Causey

Donna R. Causey, resident of Alabama, was a teacher in the public school system for twenty years. When she retired, Donna found time to focus on her lifetime passion for historical writing. She developed the websites www.alabamapioneers and www.daysgoneby.me

All her books can be purchased at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.

She has authored numerous genealogy books.
RIBBON OF LOVE: A Novel Of Colonial America (TAPESTRY OF LOVE)
is her first novel in the Tapestry of Love about her family where she uses actual characters, facts, dates and places to create a story about life as it might have happened in colonial Virginia. Faith and Courage: Tapestry of Love (Volume 2)
is the second book and the third FreeHearts: A Novel of Colonial America (Book 3 in the Tapestry of Love Series)
Discordance: The Cottinghams (Volume 1)
is the continuation of the story. .

For a complete list of books, visit Donna R Causey

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