Logs End Inc. is a wood flooring company with a very proud history.
Until then, we present this short history of logging on the Ottawa River.
Harvesting (early 1800s-1990)
The logs we salvage today were harvested throughout the 19th century, by people in the employ of pioneering lumber barons like Philemon Wright. Philemon Wright first logged the Ottawa Valley in the early 1800s. He was the first to float a raft of timbers from Ottawa to Québec City. The voyage took two months to complete and signalled a turning point in the exploitation of the Ottawa Valley’s timberlands.
The square timber trade was the first to employ the lumberjacks in the Ottawa Valley and officially began around 1830. The tall red and white pines would be cut down by hand using axes and crosscut saws. Then, after the trees were de-limbed and scribed, timber squarers would “square up” the logs using broad axes. The squared “sticks,” as they were often referred to, would then be dragged out of the bush by horses, oxen, and later by trucks and railroad to the river’s edge.
At the turn of the century, the square timber trade was replaced by the saw log trade. Now, the hard working lumberjacks and shantymen in the bush cut the trees down by hand or with primitive chainsaws. Millions of logs were dumped by into the rivers and floated down to their owner’s sawmills. In the late 1880s, the Improvement Company of Ottawa (ICO) was commissioned by the federal government to control the transportation of the saw logs during the annual log drives. A fleet of boats, designed to tow large log booms, scavenge for stray logs, and ferry ICO log drivers up and down the Ottawa, were put into operation.
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