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The Connecticut river came up very suddenly Tuesday night, rising about two and one-half feet at Turners Falls in a very short time. The boom which the rivermen had stretched to the sluicing gap gave away and partly went over the dam. The men who were at work on the night shift had been warned that the river had risen at Bellows Falls, Vt., several feet so were on the watch for the rise. Two of the men had a narrow escape of going over the falls when the boom gave away. They ran as fast as they could up the logs and jumped into the river and swam ashore. The logs that went over the dam when the boom gave away piled up under the dam causing one of the largest jams seen there for a number of years. The past two days the men have been trying to start the jam with charges of dynamite blasting out the logs.

The drive has passed the falls and the men cleaning up the stray logs that have lodged below the dam. The year has been unusually good for the drive they having good water most of the time from the start. This will no doubt mean considerable profit to the company.

(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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Logs were floated down the Connecticut River to the paper mills of Holyoke beginning in the 1890s. By then Berkshire County had nearly been stripped of its pulp wood. Trees were first cut in the fall or early winter and then stripped of their limbs near where they had fallen. They were dragged by horses over the snow to frozen lakes and streams. When the thaw came the logs were floated along specially built sluices to tributaries of the Connecticut. By the time they reached the river they were heavy and sodden, having been in the water for months. The ungainly logs often jammed together into seemingly unbreakable jams. Rivermen used dynamite to break the logs free. To keep other river traffic flowing, they made booms of logs to limit them to one side of the river.


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"Bad Jam of Logs" article in Greenfield's Gazette and Courier newspaper

publisher   Greenfield Gazette and Courier
date   Jul 8, 1905
location   Greenfield, Massachusetts
height   3.5"
width   2.25"
process/materials   printed paper, ink
item type   Periodicals/Article
accession #   #L02.043

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See Also...

"Fewer Logs" article in Greenfield's Gazette and Courier newspaper

"Log Drive Passing Turners Falls" article in Greenfield's Gazette and Courier newspaper

Log Driving on the Connecticut River

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