Lumberman's Monument

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14-foot bronze statue by Robert Ingersoll Aitken at Lumberman's Monument

Lumberman's Monument is a monument dedicated to the workers of the early logging industry in Michigan. It was built in 1931, dedicated in 1932 and is managed by the USDA Forest Service.[1] It is located in the northeastern part of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan along the Au Sable River within Huron-Manistee National Forests. Access to the park is on River Road, which intersects M-65 west of Oscoda, Michigan. Monument Road, from East Tawas, also leads directly to the monument, which is located in Oscoda Township in Iosco County. The monument is part of the River Road Scenic Byway, a 22-mile (35 km) drive between Oscoda and South Branch that runs parallel with the beautiful Au Sable River. It is a designated National Scenic Byway.[2]

The area[edit]

The monument is located within the eastern part of the Huron-Manistee National Forests area. The nearest settlements are Tawas City and East Tawas 11 miles (18 km) to the south, Au Sable and Oscoda 15 miles (24 km) to the east and Hale 11 miles (18 km) to the southwest.[1] In the late 19th century, the area was heavily logged for timber that was used in building houses and factories. After the logging industry settled down, much of the area was repopulated with trees, which is the forest we see today.

Park facilities[edit]

Access to the park is granted year round and free of charge. The visitor's center and other facilities are staffed between May and October. Pathways are lined with exhibits with descriptive signs allowing visitors to learn about the history of the logging industry in Michigan. The monument overlooks the Cooke Pond Dam and Horseshoe Island on the Au Sable river which was a major logging thoroughfare.[1]

Logging history[edit]

The monument is located in a forest that was heavily logged in the second half of the 19th century. The white pine that made up much of the forest was in high demand nationwide for housing, ships, and other manufacturing. During the winter, Sawyers cut down the trees and swampers trimmed them. The logs were then loaded onto sleds and pulled to the nearest riverbank by horses or oxen, over paths in the ice, and dumped down stream towards the sawmill. Loggers downstream had to deal with log jams on a regular basis. Once the logs finally reached the sawmill, they were cut into boards for use in manufacturing buildings like houses and factories. Michigan is filled with lumbering towns (E.g., Grayling, Manistee, Muskegon and Alpena, and their now forgotten ghost towns (E.g., Alcona and Killmaster—now Gustin Township, Michigan, and the 25 ghost towns in Benzie County).

The "Lumbermen Monument" sculpture is a work of Robert Aitken.[3] "On one corner you may notice the words ‘Aitken Fecit’, meaning Aitken made it. Fecit coming from a Latin verb meaning ‘to make’."[3][4]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 44°26′7.5″N 83°37′28.7″W / 44.435417°N 83.624639°W / 44.435417; -83.624639