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Lumber Jacks of the NorthWest

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  • Erwin Cecil Trotter (1888 - 1977)
    Logging In The Northwest Woods of the Cascades Between 1911-1934 of Washington, Oregon, parts of Idaho in the United States and in SW Canada Erwin Trotter started out Logging in 1911. He took off tim...

A lumberjack is a worker in the logging industry who performs the initial harvesting and transport of trees for ultimate processing into forest products. The term usually refers to a bygone era (before 1945 in the United States) when hand tools were used in harvesting trees. Because of its historical ties, the term lumberjack has become ingrained in popular culture through folklore, mass media and spectator sports. The actual work was difficult, dangerous, intermittent, low-paying, and primitive in living conditions, but the men built a traditional culture that celebrated strength, masculinity, confrontation with danger, and resistance to modernization.

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Erwin Trotter started out Logging in 1911. He took off time from working in the north woods while the United States was part of WWI. But he never stopped logging even during the war. While he was stationed in France he logged in their woods also upon returning at the end of the war and after he married Mildred in Portland, OR shortly after returning from France. He then returned to the woods IN THE Cascades that he loved soon. The crews would log as far north as Canada and in Washington, Oregon and I think some in Idaho. While he was in the Woods he worked in the Commissary store for a time and did scaling of the trees that the men had taken down. Scaling of the trees gives you lumber company an idea of how much wood they can get out of each tree. This would make it so Erwin would have to go where the trees were located. Many families like my grandparents and their children would leave in the camps. Both of Erwin and Mildred children Marijane and Kenneth were born during the time this time . My mother Marijane (Trotter) Lehr their oldest was born in such a camp near Centralia, Lewis, WA, USA. I am not sure where was born it might have been in Raymond. Fellow logging families would become your adopted family because you would see them daily. This is the case with my Grandfathers close buddy Roy Meade and his wife Edna. When his Granddaughter Vicki (me) was little he would tell her such great true stories of his life in the woods. One of my favorite was his bear stories. I am so glad he wrote some of them down so I can share them with his descendants. I remember walking through the woods with him where he would point out what this tree was out that plant. He enjoyed talking walks long after he retired. Then he would sit in his recliner in the evenings with his portable typewriter on his lap and type out his memories of days gone by. I am so glad hie did it's a great help tying up the loose ends of my grandparents life.