Michigan – the white pine was green gold, made millionaires

“Many men made huge fortunes from the logging industry. These men are often called lumber barons, and Michigan had many. There also many other results of logging, including the growth of cities around the mills, the quick spread of farming (the land was easier to clear) and the change in Michigan’s environment after the trees were gone.”

For every success story, there was one of failure or tragedy. Lumbering was dangerous and risky work. Men who worked in the camps were injured or killed. Investments in timber never paid off. Sawyers lost jobs as the mill burned to the ground. The logging era in Michigan still holds a fascination and glamour for many. The millions and millions of board feet of Michigan lumber truly helped build this country, but we will never see this again, as the trees are now gone.

In 1941, photographer/journalist, John Vachon, visited Michigan and took many pictures of the remnants of the once booming Michigan lumber industry.

Residents of Trout Creek, Michigan, lumber town of the upper penninsula by photographer John Vachon 1941Residents of Trout Creek, Michigan, lumber town of the upper penninsula by John Vachon August 1941

Residents of Trout Creek, Michigan, lumber town of the upper penninsula by photographer John Vachon 1941Residents of Trout Creek, Michigan, lumber town of the upper penninsula by John Vachon2 August 1941

Old lumberjack. Trout Creek, Michigan John Vachon 1941
Old lumberjack. Trout Creek, Michigan John Vachon 1941

Lumber mill. Trout Creek, Michigan by photographer John Vachon 1941Lumber mill. Trout Creek, Michigan by photographer John Vachon 1941

Logs at lumber mill. Trout Creek, Michigan by John Vachon, August 1941Logs at lumber mill. Trout Creek, Michigan by John Vachon, 1941

Deserted lumber camp. Ontonagon County, Michigan by photographer John Vachon Aug. 1941Deserted lumber camp. Ontonagon County, Michigan by photographer John Vachon Aug. 1941

Deserted lumber camp. Ontonagon County, Michigan by photographer John Vachon Aug. 1941Deserted lumber camp. Ontonagon County, Michigan by photographer John Vachon2 Aug. 1941

Sidnaw, Michigan. Upper penninsula lumber town John Vachon August 1941Sidnaw, Michigan. Upper penninsula lumber town John Vachon August 1941

Baraga County, Michigan. Upper penninsula by John Vachon 1941Baraga County, Michigan. Upper penninsula by John Vachon 1941

Old hotel. Baraga, Michigan 1941Old hotel. Baraga, Michigan john Vachon 1941

Boarding house. Baraga, Michigan 1941Boarding house. Baraga, Michigan 1941

Church. Baraga, Michigan 1941Church. Baraga, Michigan 1941

Ewen, Michigan. Former lumber town John Vachon August 1941Ewen, Michigan. Former lumber town John Vachon August 1941

Sign on outskirts of Ewen, Michigan, on the upper penninsulaEwen -Sign on outskirts of Ewen, Michigan, on the upper penninsula

Kenton, Michigan. Upper penninsula lumber town by John Vachon 1941Kenton, Michigan. Upper penninsula lumber town by John Vachon 1941

  General store in Kenton, Michigan, one time center of lumbering operations on the upper peninsula 1941

General store in Kenton, Michigan, one time center of lumbering operations on the upper peninsula 1941

Lumber mill belonging to Henry Ford. L’Anse, Michigan 1941

Lumber mill belonging to Henry Ford. L'Anse, Michigan 1941

L’Anse, Michigan 1941L'Anse, Michigan 1941

This film is long but tells the complete history of the lumber industry in Michigan.

 

WHERE DO I START? Hints and Tips for Beginning Genealogists with On-line resources

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Where Do I Start?: HINTS and TIPS for BEGINNING GENEALOGISTS with ONLINE RESOURCE (Paperback)

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