Short-listed for the 1978 Governor General's Award for Non-Fiction
The 19th century spawned a unique breed of men who took pride in their woodsmen skills and rough codes of conduct. They called themselves lumberers, shantymen, timber beasts, les bucherons – and, more recently, lumberjacks, working in the vast forests of eastern Canada and British Columbia.
Across the country, farm boys would go to the woods, lumbering being the only winter work available. Immigrants – Swedes and Finns more often than not – resumed the trades they had learned so well in the forests of northern Europe. They broke the cold, hard monotony of camp life with songs, tall tales and card games.
Within these pages, author Donald MacKay allows us a glimpse into that moment in our heritage when men entered the virgin forest to carve out an industry from the seemingly endless array of pine, spruce, maple and balsam fir found there.