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Museum (HA) Land Clearing and Lumber

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Land Clearing and Lumber

The first task of agricultural settlers, before seeds could be sown and crops harvested, was to remove the enormous trees dominating the landscape. Even after the trees had been chopped and the timber removed, pine stumps remained a problem for they would not rot.  A team of oxen could remove small stumps while a stump machine was required for larger stumps. Once pulled from the earth, these upturned roots were used as fences.

Clearing Land
DeWitt and Frank Pitcher Cutting Wood, 1900 C (Credit: Norwich and District Museum)
Cut Trees
George Pollard with Wood, 1900 C (Credit: Norwich and District Museum)

For many years in western Upper Canada, farmers used idle time in the winter months to continue their efforts at clearing land.  Lumber was an important commodity throughout the pioneer period and as a significant trade item it was used in building construction, farm implements and shipbuilding, by carpenters for furniture and as a fuel source for heating homes as well as for cooking.  During the very first years of pioneer settlement, sawmills were erected on almost all waterways so that the massive logs could be processed into a more usable product.

Bowman Mill, 1900 C (Credit: Norwich and District Museum)
Mill Pond
Lumber Mill, 1900 C (Credit: Norwich and District Museum)
 Stump Fence
Stump Fence, 1900 C (Credit: Norwich and District Museum)



Contact Us

© 2017 City of Woodstock P.O. Box 1539, 500 Dundas Street, Woodstock, ON N4S 0A7


Phone: 519-539-1291
Email: General Information

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