Winter Lecture Series: Steve Runkle presents: Lumbering and Rafting in the Susquehanna River Basin

March 5, 2019 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
HCHS Exhibit Gallery
100 4th Street
PA 16652
Kelley Kroecker

Please join HCHS as we kick-off the Winter Lecture Series of 2019.  This event is FREE and OPEN to all!

This presentation chronicles logging, river transportation of logs and cut lumber, and lumber milling from colonial times through the 19th Century, principally using the pictures of Thomas T. Taber, III of Muncy, Pa.  Take an imaginary 346-mile trip on a timber raft from Cherry Tree down the Susquehanna River all the way to tidewater at Port Deposit, Maryland.  The last part of this voyage is on the historically treacherous lower Susquehanna River. The logging, log boom and drives, logging railroad, lumber milling, and tanning industry portion of the presentation focuses on the West Branch Susquehanna River watershed above Williamsport.  Here were the richest timber resources of the Susquehanna Basin. The wanton harvest of these virgin timberlands made Williamsport the “Lumber Capital of the World” during the middle of the 19th Century.  It also brought with it labor exploitation, environmental devastation, and catastrophic flooding.  Through conservation and sustainable forestry management, the damages of the 19th Century have now been healed.  In this presentation, get to know the “wood hicks”, rivermen, log drivers, boom rats, and industrialists that made the early “lumber boom” happen.  (Note: An audio recording of logging songs is played as an introduction to this presentation.)