Michigan was the national leader in lumber production from 1870-1900. Explore the Hartwick Pines Logging Museum to find out more about this important industry.
Built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps, the two museum buildings recreate original logging camp structures of the 1890s. A bunkhouse, cook’s shack, mess hall, and blacksmith shop are just some of the exhibits that visitors can explore. Also, on site are equipment used to haul logs and build logging roads and a 1912 steam engine and sawmill. Throughout the summer costumed historic interpreters demonstrate activities of an 1890s logging camp. Experience life as a lumberjack by trying your hand at cooking, laundry, and even some camp games.
Hartwick Pines' exhibits include several of the tools that shanty boys used during Michigan's lumbering days, including axes, saws and hammers. Summer visitors can try their hand with the cross-cut saw.
Visitors can see the cook's shack and mess hall, where the lumbermen's breakfast and dinner were prepared and served.
It wasn't all work in the logging camps. Play a game of checkers on the homemade checker boards. Also see the work that "chore boys" did in the camps such as sweeping the floors and hauling buckets of water with the neck yoke.
Outdoor exhibits of large logging equipment include the logging wheels, bunk sled, and road building equipment. The Michigan logging wheels, better known as "Big Wheels," made popular in Michigan when logging became a year-round industry.
Throughout the summer and at some special programs, the museum hosts camp cooking demonstrations, where visitors can see and smell some of the food that the shanty boys ate for their breakfast and dinner.