The Wisconsin's Lumber Industry

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Topics: Logging, Forestry
The Wisconsin identity has been shaped and molded throughout its history largely due to the lumber industry. Lumbering, at one time, was the backbone of the Wisconsin economy. It brought forth other industries such as paper, leather, and furniture; it even brought hundreds of thousands of people to the state in search of occupation and opportunities. The development of this industry can be largely contributed to the geography and resources that Wisconsin has to offer. From the idea of honest work along with the location and sizes of it’s cities, Wisconsin has become the way it is because of the history of the logging industry.

At one time, white pine was the most desirable wood across the nation. Its lightness allowed it to be easily
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At the beginning of the lumber era, Pine and Mesic forests ran across the northern part of the state. In an article written by the Wisconsin Historical Society, it is stated that, “The amount of pine harvested from the Black River Valley alone could have built a boardwalk nine feet wide and four inches thick around the entire world.(add page number)” That was just the wood taken from one section of Wisconsin; the amount of pine taken from the whole state is significantly more. It is because of these huge forests though that made rivers such an important geographical element to logging. The rivers that ran throughout the state connected everything together and encouraged settlement upon them. The most influential river for settlement and transportation was the Wisconsin River. It connected the Northwoods to the cities of Madison, Chicago, Dubuque and St. Louis. A majority of the wood coming down from the Northwoods was packed onto rafts and shipped downstream to the mills and cities along the way …show more content…
Around the early 1900s, there was not any pine remaining. Logging companies had cleared the Great Lakes Region of its pine. Companies tried to log hardwood forests, but were not as successful as they were during the pine era. Overtime, the little towns that were booming during the logging times of success shrank and struggled, and it took a while for the economy to boom again. They also left behind an aftermath of stumped fields for “agriculture.” According to the “Industry that Changed the State” by Wisconsin Historical Society, “immigrants were invited to the area and encouraged to try to turn acres of pine stumps into farms. They had little success.” As it stands today, majority of Wisconsin is non-forest, but in select parts there are small Maple, Aspen and Birch forests. Agriculture/dairy have become the major industries in the state, which is a huge 180 degree turn from what it once was. (Forest W.

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