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Sawmills in Clinton Iowa 1885

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Old 03-20-2017, 09:08 AM
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A.
Posts: 1,584

*Steamboat wood/Howard memoir*
Steamboating colleagues:
Jim, thanks for your above posting 'How would you?' RE: lumber rafting. Remember that great Howard B/W photo of the CITY OF LOUISVILLE laid in at the yards with the big timber raft in full view? Alan Bates wrote an analysis of that photo also telling how the logs were rounded up, secured and bound with chains and something called "gluts" holding together. I thought he described these binding "gluts" as strong, flexible saplings or thin branches. [?] Do you know/remember?

I have a copy here of that Howard family memoir Loretta Howard permitted me to read and copy years ago. I read, typed returned the original to her. No copy machines then with one typing with triplicate carbon paper using liquid blue correction goop. The memoir tells of the Howard family, founding of the company etc. One intersting part tells of the Howard wood expeditions way back up in West Virginia, Kentucky fully mounted with men, horses, supplies etc. They would find, mark and deal for the trees. Later the trees cut, trimmed, hauled to the river. One part tells of "wood from the sunny side of the hills and mountains preferred to the shady side...avoid 'wind shaken' timber." Right you are about "Howards had to bring timber in by train." Probably from Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota--even northern Pennsylvania, New York. Today fine woods cost a fortune--if you can get it. There's even now an illegal black market in rare woods from the tropics etc. Other ornamental woods are on the endangered species list or now extinct following mass cutting with no thought of tree propagation.

I read a Howard document eons ago from a steamboat owner complaining to the Howards about the main deck wood "splintering, not laid right etc." What the final solution I don't know. Do you remember this?

By about 1890 writers/commentators in marine journals questioned why our inland rivers boat building companies still worked in wood over iron hulls etc. with a critical air. They didn't completely understand the shallow rivers, kind of boats needed here. Even the QUEEN CITY, as late as on/around 1920 under the ownership of Pittsburgh Shovel King John W. Hubbard, had her wood hull replaced. Again, what do I know?

R. Dale Flick
Old Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River, Cincinnati.
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