Loggers– Arborists– Then and Now in Lanark County




Photo–No information is known about this photo other than these men were on Dalhousie Lake, Lanark County.–Can you provide names, corrections or other information?
Please email Charlie Dobie.


Justin Hanet from Hanet & Company, Perth, Ontario July 2016 Carleton Place


Photo from —Perth Remembered


Justin Hanet from Hanet & Company, Perth, Ontario July 2016 Carleton Place


Google image


Justin Hanet from Hanet & Company, Perth, Ontario-July 2016 Carleton Place




Logging was difficult and often dangerous work during the first half of the 20th century, yet workers received some of the lowest wages in our area. From sunrise until sunset, loggers felled trees, hauled logs, and helped bring the wood to the mill site. In the evenings, they returned to dirty, drafty, and overcrowded bunkhouses. Many men spent between five and nine months in these camps, separated from their families. Although the food was plentiful, it was monotonous and many loggers became malnourished.

logs-on-river1 (1).jpg

Photo from —Perth Remembered



Justin Hanet from Hanet & Company, Perth, Ontario-July 2016 Carleton Place

Work-related injuries were also not uncommon because of the physical nature of logging work. Chainsaws, trucks, and other mechanized equipment did not become widespread in the backwoods until the 1950s. Until then, loggers manually harvested lumber with axes and bucksaws, and hauled heavy logs out of the woods with horse-drawn sleds. Although logging was much more physically demanding than most other jobs, woods workers did not earn wages for any time off due to injury or exhaustion.





Justin Hanet from Hanet & Company, Perth, Ontario-July 2016 Carleton Place

There would be a couple of men who would cut the trees down with a cross cut saw; no gasoline powered chain saws then. They would also cut the logs to length so they could be skidded to the mill using a team of mules handled by another worker.There was also an axe man that trimmed the limbs off before the skidding took place.

Arboriculture is now the practice of trimming trees and shrubs to protect roadways, power lines, and sidewalks. It involves the use of specialized climbing and rigging techniques, as well as power equipment.

Arborists use and maintain a variety of equipment on a daily basis, including trucks, tractors, chippers, power saws, sprayers, and other tools. They hoist the equipment up to where it’s needed, then cut away low-hanging, dead, or obstructive tree limbs. They then dispose of the cuttings by lowering them down with ropes or block and tackle, feeding them into chippers and hauling them away. They often need to climb trees with ladders or other equipment to reach work areas. Arborists also fertilize and spray trees.

Arborists help keep things running smoothly in our cities and towns. Without them, our roads, sidewalks, and power lines would become dangerous. They also help improve tree health. Planting and caring for trees can help absorb carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change, from the atmosphere. Trees stabilize slopes, prevent erosion, and help absorb stormwater runoff. They can even help counteract the “heat island effect” of urban areas, and help keep things a bit cooler in the summer.

I was amazed watching Justin Hanet at work taking down some of my trees last week- I realized–being at arborist is a science now- no doubt about it.



I am so thrilled I was able to watch science in motion last week, and I would also like to mention that if you want to listen to storytelling about wood- please come to the Carleton Place Farmers market and talk to Spalted Bob. He is one of a kind and we are glad to have him at the market.


You Don’t Waltz With Timber on a Windy Day

Smoking Toking Along to the Log Driver’s Waltz


Sandy Caldwell King of the River Boys

Your Mississippi River, Ontario Fact of the Day



About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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