History Unbound History Unbound Murphy Library, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse La Crosse Library 2005 WLA/Highsmith Award Winner History Unbound Murphy Library, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse La Crosse Library 2005 WLA/Highsmith Award Winner Murphy Library, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse La Crosse Library 2005 WLA/Highsmith Award Winner History Unbound Murphy Library, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse La Crosse Library 2005 WLA/Highsmith Award Winner Murphy Library, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse La Crosse Library 2005 WLA/Highsmith Award Winner Murphy Library, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse La Crosse Library 2005 WLA/Highsmith Award Winner

National History Day 2017 Theme: Taking a Stand in History

Welcome to the National History Day resource page brought to you by the La Crosse Public Library and UW-La Crosse Murphy Library. We developed this guide to introduce students and teachers to local topics for use in the National History Day competition. This list is not exhaustive but gives the reader an idea of local topics and basic resources for a subject.

Generally, materials held in the special collections or archives area of either library do NOT check-out; the items must be used at those libraries.

Lumbering Industry John Paul Lumber Camp

By the middle of the 1800s the lumber industry in Wisconsin had become the backbone of the state’s economy. Due to the need for transporting the harvested timber, most of the major cities in central and northern Wisconsin were built near rivers. With the advent of railroads the lumber industry changed with loggers able to work year-around and with camps being set further inland. The lumber industry had a permanent effect on Wisconsin’s economy, but its fate was in question by the start of the 1900s due to the heavy harvesting of trees with little regard for the future of the forests or the productivity of the land, when forests were completely cleared of nearly all useable trees. La Crosse followed this pattern.

Secondary Sources

Primary Sources

  • Photographs of the lumber industry and pineries can be found at UW-L Murphy Library Special Collections and La Crosse Public Library Archives.
  • Industries of La Crosse, Wis., (1888) chapter about logs and lumber:
  • Follow the rise and fall of industries, such as the lumber industry, with statistics from the Annual Report of Board of Trade of the City of La Crosse, Wisconsin available online for 1879-1905; use the “jump to a section” drop down menu to select which year to browse
  • Hixon Lumber Company Records, 1856-1928. Find out what’s available in this collection by reading the finding aid available online.
    Records of the lumber business and other investments of lumber barons Gideon C. Hixon and his son Frank P. Hixon of La Crosse. Correspondence, letter books, journals, ledgers, and other financial and legal papers document the extensive business enterprises of the Hixon family in Wisconsin and other states as well as Canada. Various lumber company records contain information on many facets of the industry, including transportation and freight rates, lumber grading and pricing, the use of water and water rights, and taxation. Lumber industry labor relations, union activity, and the influence of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) is documented in letters written from 1917 to 1920.
    Hand PointingFind at: UW-L Murphy Library, Special Collections Dept.
  • Oral history interview with Fanny Edgar Sill
    Fanny Edgar Sill was an unmarried daughter of William R. and Mary (Edgar) Sill, and was a resident of La Crosse all of her 104 years when she died in 1967. From 1856-1880, her father had an interest in owning a sawmill, although he was involved in developing railroads and had other interests as well.
    Hand PointingFind at: the UW-L Murphy Library, Special Collections Dept.
  • History of La Crosse County, Wisconsin… by Consul Willshire Butterfield (1881) This link will get you right to the section on the lumber industry. This book was written in 1881 which was the height of the lumber harvest in Wisconsin.
  • La Crosse County Historical Sketches, 1931-1955
  • Black River Boom: Onalaska Fifty Years Ago by Hannibal Plain
  • Life in a Lumber Camp by Frank Hartman who was a clerk for the N. B. Holway Lumber Co. during the winters of 1887-1890
  • "Looking Pine" in Wisconsin taken from the 1874 Wisconsin Lumberman about "land lookers" and surveying methods
  • Lumber Jack Poems
  • Memories of Lumbering on Black River by Charles P. Crosby, a lumber company owner
  • Reminiscences of a Lumber Camp Teamster reported by M. Desmond
  • "Smell of the Sawdust" (poem) by Douglas Malloch

Also check out other sources at : La Crosse History Unbound

While local sources are noted for each topic, remember to use some other online sources and catalogs such as:

Library of Congress’ American Memory

Wisconsin Historical Society:

 

Please send us your comments about this site.


Welcome to La Crosse History Unbound. Learn more about La Crosse County, history through these digitized collections from La Crosse Public Library and Murphy Library, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse.