Sawdust & Shanty Boys: Logging the Saginaw Valley White Pine

19th century lumberjacks chop up a felled tree.

They worked hard and played hard. These hardy men became folk heroes cutting their way through the Michigan woods and fighting their way through the saloons, gambling halls, and sin parlors of the local lumber towns. During the late 1800s, 27,000 men and boys worked in Michigan’s lumber camps and sawmills.

Towering white pine brought settlers to the area, but no one could have predicted the impact that the lumber industry would have on the nation, the state, and especially the Saginaw Valley. Never again will there be a time as wild and unrestrained as when sawdust flew and lumber barons and their shanty boys reigned in the Saginaw Valley.

Original Airdate

Thursday, December 7, 2006