Prize winning photo

Note the immense girth of the log being “rescued” in this prize-winning photo that was snapped by Henry Eno Knapp. The photo shows a Knapp, Stout & Co. Company crew of six “river pigs” charged with keeping the logs from piling up along the river banks during the spring river drive of the logs to the mills downstream.

There was a gig trail on both sides of the stream where the “pigs” could walk along the river banks looking for logs that might have been hung up on the shoreline. If more logs got caught, it could lead to a log jam that would bring the drive to a halt until the logs were free to continue downstream. (Text by John Russell)

Wisconsin forest history, and the early development of the state will be the theme of the annual meeting of The Forest History Association of Wisconsin in partnership with the Dunn County Historical Society. The meeting will be held at the Rassbach Heritage Museum (1820 Wakanda St., Menomonie), on Friday and Saturday, Sept. 15 and 16.

The public is invited to attend the lecture portions of the conference. Topics include:

  • The Treaties and the Trees: Ojibwe, Dakota and Ho Chunk interaction with the lumbermen
  • A White Pine Railroad: The Chippewa Valley line
  • Recent research findings about The Knapp, Stout Co & Company
  • Delights in the UW-Stout archives
  • How Glaciers formed the Forests of Yesterday and Today
  • Hemlock and the Tanning industry
  • The Tainter Gate
  • Wildlife and Forest Ecology.

As a plus, tours of the magnificent Mabel Tainter Theater and Wilson Place are part of the Friday agenda.

Menomonie was chosen for the conference because of its unique involvement with the white pine lumbering industry. The Knapp, Stout Co. & Company, of Menomonie, was arguably the world’s largest producer of lumber in the late 1800s. The companies 12 sawmills produced much of the lumber used in the creation of farms, villages and cities from the Midwest to the Rocky Mountains.

In this, it played a significant role in settling the middle portion of the America. Registration for both days is $20 for members of the Dunn County Historical Society, as well as the Dunn County Genealogical Society; for non-members, the cost is $30.

Included in the registration are a Friday luncheon brat feed, all coffee break items, a year-long membership in the Forest History Association with four newsletters, plus the Mabel Tainter and Wilson House tours.

Registration is required by Sept. 10. For more information or to register contact Ed Forrester at or 715-822-4940.


Dunn County News editor

Barbara Lyon is the editor of The Dunn County News in Menomonie, WI.

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