Friday, May 25, 2012

In the Pines, In the Pines ...

This old penny post card is from Louisiana, but it serves to illustrate the size and type of pine that was the basis of the Piney Woods economy, which began in the 1880s and had its "zenith" from 1910 to 1920.

These trees were considered virgin timber and had a tight grain of some 200 rings, according to an interview of Tom L. Moak, whose father worked at Norfield, a sawmill town that once rivaled Brookhaven in size and is now not much more than farmlands and a road sign speaking silently to what once was.

In the early years, the stumps were cut high and nothing of the tree was used past the first limb, according to Tom Moak.

By the time the lumber industry started operations in Bogalusa, the owners were beginning to understand the necessity of reforestation, a concept that was not readily embraced during the boom years.

There is an online version of the copyrighted book by C.W. Goodyear, Bogalusa Story, which contains plenty of information and some really fascinating old photos. If you have time and are so inclined to read more, here is a link to that book.

To read more of what Tom Moak had to say about the industry in Lincoln County and the history of his own family, who came here from Switzerland and whose name was correctly spelled Mog, here is a link to that oral history interview.

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