It is best that the adult life of Hemming Gustavsen be told first. After all, circumstances surrounding his uegte birth, or of unwed parents, were so complicated that its telling in the same breath, risks overshadowing his own story.1 Likewise, it is best that his last census be up first; that of 1950 taken in … Continue reading Granddad’s Cousin: Hemming Gustavsen 1877-1966; A Larger Life Than Lean.
DEAR SISTER, MARIE OLSDATTER HEMMINGSEN (1880-1899) Sometimes a story is held back because it seems factually unfinished, say, a resting place is still unknown. Perhaps it seems too lean; the person demised young, had no children and no career. All along, a rich tale was already told, to be absorbed and told anew. Our dear … Continue reading Memoirs of Matt Hemmingsen (1876-1967): The Old Man’s Needlepoint
As our last post closed, Matt Hemmingsen was mourning the death of his young wife of two years, the lovely Caroline Dybedal.1 The couple had made their way to Chemainus on Vancouver Island by June 1906, to relocate and for Matt to apply his technical expertise to an intractable logging debacle. But an emerging illness … Continue reading Matt Hemmingsen (1876-1967) Memoirs: Family Leave circa 1907 and Epic Tsolum River Logjam
Over the last several posts we saw that resource depletion around the Great Lakes was causing logging operations to move ever westward. Our Matt Hemmingson of Wisconsin ran river drives on the Upper Mississippi, and harvested logs in North Dakota. But the crushing death of his brother, Harry, in the woods of Minnesota late 1900, … Continue reading Matt Hemmingsen (1876-1967) Memoirs: A Lumbering Bait and Switch.
Our Matt Hemmingson, already an accomplished logger at 18, proudly asserted “Cant hook work (rolling and lifting logs) could be mastered only by the most skillful, strong, and agile and those not allergic to long hours of work … “.1 That was 1894. His 1900 counter, “After Harry’s funeral, I decided against any further cant … Continue reading Matt Hemmingsen (1876-1967) Memoirs: Healing On A Logging Horse – THUD.
Last post saw Mathias Hemmingsen work his cant hook on a river drive down the Upper Mississippi and then use his canny white water skills to clear a log jam around Red Lake Falls.1 That was May 1900 in northwestern Minnesota. It was time for a rest. Matt apparently took the break back home in … Continue reading Matt Hemmingsen (1876-1967) Memoirs: Brother Harry; Death by Logging in 1900 – Obit in 2019.
This, Part VI, continues the memoirs of our grandfather, Matt Hemmingsen, the pioneer lumberman of British Columbia. Part V wrapped up a winter of loading logs to the river bank using horse drawn sleighs, in the woods of northwestern Wisconsin. Spring 1898 has arrived with the next function of the logging process about to begin; … Continue reading Matt Hemmingsen (1876-1967) Memoirs: “White Water” River Drive or Spanish American War
How odd it feels - or maybe "old" - to read in our own grandfather's words, his reference to a co-worker, who was a Civil War Veteran. Such is rather akin to grandkids easily accepting our dial phone, while questioning the hand crank-up, wooden wall mount. The one in our Port Renfrew logging camp, circa … Continue reading Matt Hemmingsen (1876-1967) Memoirs: Bunkhouse Lice, Boiling Clothes For Freeze Dry and Capitalism.
PART III: SLEIGH ROADS, DECKING RIVERBANKS, HUMBIRD and WEYERHAEUSER This continues the memoirs of pioneer lumberman Matt Hemmingsen. It is now the final decade of the 19th Century with our grandfather at the family homestead in northwestern Wisconsin. Part II ended in the drought stricken summer of 1894, a time of economic depression with raging … Continue reading Matt Hemmingsen (1876-1967) Memoirs: Logging; Sleigh Roads, Decking Riverbanks, Humbird and Weyerhaeuser
This continues the memoirs of pioneer lumberman, Matt Hemmingsen. Part I was set in northern Wisconsin, during the last quarter of the 19th Century. It covered homestead life, construction of roads, railbeds, schools, and lots more - including, of course, logging. THIS IS PART II: FOREST FIRES AND WATER BOMBERS Matt was our grandfather. Part II … Continue reading Matt Hemmingsen (1876-1967) Memoirs: Forest Fires 1894 to Water Bombers 1970s