Logging and Timber Production in The Upper Hudson Watershed 1800-1950

Timeline created by willmoseley
  • Early Mills

    Early Mills
    The first Mills of the area begin to appear. Typically these were small sawmills used to provide lumber for nearby buildings. They processed about 1,000 board feet a day. Early accounts site two such mills built in Glens Falls.
  • Log Marks

    Log Marks
    NY Law Requires loggers to mark logs. This was done to prevent those engaged in the rafting business " from theft by "evil disposed persons" (Merril, 2007)
  • Saw MIlls

    In 1812 there were an esitmated 30 sawmills operating in Queensbury. (Strodel,2009)
  • Floating of Individual Logs

    The Fox Brithers become the first to send individual logs down the river to timber mills instead of using rafts. They sent their logs from Brant Lake to sawmills in Glens Falls
  • Champlain Canal

    Champlain Canal
    A feeder stream connected the Hudson River (just north of Glens Falls) to the champlain canal is completed. Timber could now be sent westward. (Star, 2010)
  • Abraham Wing III

    Abraham Wing III (who is note worthy for his role in logging most of Queensburry) purchases a saw mill in Glens Falls and begins processing lumber from land formly owned by the Fox Brothers (the brothers who initiated the first log drive) (Merrill, 2007)
  • Zenas Van Dusen

    In 1842 Zenas Van Dusen purchased a site on the north shore of the Hudson, near the Feeder Canal Dam. The damn provided an ideal source of power for the milling of his timber land (55,000 acres) (Merrill, 2007).
  • The Great Boom

    The Great Boom
    A group of lumbermen construct a boom across the Hudson River, just north of Glens Falls. The boom allowed for massive quantites of logs to be held back and sorted. The boom played a crucial role in allowing the Glens Falls area to be one of the largest timber producing areas in the country. The boom held back so many logs that they would sometimes be backed up for 3 miles. (Merrill, 2007)
  • 300,000 Marked Logs

    It is estimated that 300,000 marked logs passed through the great boom.
  • '52

    345,000 logs processed at big boom (Merrill, 2007)
  • '59

    Log drive hits all time high 400,000 Logs. Levels would soon drop due to conditions brought about by the Civil War
  • 1st in timber produciton

    New York State Ranks first in timber production. (Strodell, 2009)
  • '62

    Log Drive levels reach lowest amount since construction of the boom. (Merrill, 2007)
  • Saw Dust Damage

    The state of NY pays 525,000 for the dredging of saw dust from the Hudson River.
  • Railroad

    Railroad arrives in Glensfall. Items can now be sent further distances. They were thus subject to a growing demand for timber products. (Toth, 2009).
  • '72

    Logs received at the big boom hit all time high, 1,069,000 logs.
  • Finch, Pruyn & Co

    Finch, Pruyn & Co
    Finch, Pruyn & Co, acquire a portion of the Wing estate, however they do not become the sole owners until 1876. Finch, Pruyn & Co remains in business to this day. (Merrill, 2007). Photo Credit (Hochchild, 1962)
  • '83

    822,000 marked logs pass through Glens Falls. This year marks the slow but steady decline in amount of logs driven down the Hudson River (Merrill, 2007)
  • End of old growth

    By the end of the 19th century much of the old growth forests had been depleated. (Strodel, 2009)
  • Closing of Van Dusen

    The Van Dusen mill shut down in the early 1900's due to the fact that they had exhausted their source of old growth timber (merrill, 2007).
  • New York State Lumber Production

    New York State Lumber Production
    A graph depicting New York State Lumber Production between the years of 1850 to 1950. (Hochschild, 1962)
  • Loggin Graph

    Loggin Graph
    This graph shows the amount of logs which passed through Glens Falls between 1851-1904. This does not necessarily reflect all of the logging that took place in the Upper Hudson, but should serve as a benchmark for when logging in the area took place. As you can see in this graph the peak of logging took place between 1865 and 1895.
  • Tractors

    As early as 1930 tractors begin replacing horses and river drives. In the upper hudson, however, river drives remained the main mode of transportation until 1950.
    Photo Credit Adirondack Museum (Welsh, 1995)
  • Chainsaws

    Chainsaws started to become available. The axe maintained its prowess for some years to come, but the 1940's marks an important shift in logging technology. Photo (Welsh, 1995)
  • The last river drive

    The last river drive takes place. Over the years timber became more scarce, consequently the losses associated with timber drives were no longer acceptable. They were replaced by tractors and railroads.
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    Timber Industry Era

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    Paper Production

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