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Author Topic: Question for an Old Forester  (Read 1063 times)

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Offline dive207

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Question for an Old Forester
« on: April 25, 2018, 02:41:38 PM »
Hey, great to have found this site!

So, I work in Southern Maine and recently had a person ask me about these old shallow "pits" sometimes found in old woodlots.

I've always thought they were dug out using a small crawler (they are that size, fairly narrow and not severely deep) and then maybe a sled or low wheeled wagon was backed in where logs could be rolled onto them from the existing grade at the side.  Am I correct?  I'm thinking 1940's vintage logging?

More importantly....what were they called?  And historically what dates would this method of logging have been used? Any pictures (my google-fu is not working on this topic)?

Thanks!


Offline mike_belben

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Re: Question for an Old Forester
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2018, 03:35:15 PM »
It was not uncommon to slot doze a trench to bury tops or stumps in that era. It would be capped with dirt, but by now that will have sunken in from decomposition of the tree matter.


Smith and wesson had a straight lane shape, parallel to a water main, keep sinking in the employee parking lot, scoped the water main several times but no sign of leakage.  I was in facilities at the time and told my manager to look at the black and white construction photos in the front hallway.  That parking lot was a forest when we bought the land and cleared it, the stumps are probably under it.  

Few test holes later, 3ft layer of wood mulch.
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Offline Jeff

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Re: Question for an Old Forester
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2018, 03:42:28 PM »
Are you sure you are not looking at a pit and mound topography? We also called these cradle knolls.

Cradle knolls in General Board
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Offline petefrom bearswamp

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Re: Question for an Old Forester
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2018, 03:56:02 PM »
My vote is for cradle knolls
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Offline Ron Scott

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Re: Question for an Old Forester
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2018, 06:00:04 PM »
I agree . Such mounds and depressions are a ecological land type phase (ELTP) caused by changing soil types, water table changes often creating vernal ponds, and particularly wind thrown trees leaving root mounds after the wood has decayed over time. Such landscapes are subject to wind throw.

The resulting "cradle knolls" are described as the pit and mound micro topography formed as a result of tree uprooting and its attendant displacement of soil. 

~Ron

Offline kenfrommaine

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Re: Question for an Old Forester
« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2018, 12:22:47 PM »
Loading "brow" is what I have always called them.  Was told they did that just like you said, wagon or truck etc lower for ease of loading. 

Offline Jeff

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Re: Question for an Old Forester
« Reply #6 on: May 04, 2018, 12:27:54 PM »
Highly improbable. Why would you dig hole after hole that you have to drive around or through. Tons more work than rolling logs up a ramp or loading with a boomThey are simply a natural occurance.
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Offline Bert

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Re: Question for an Old Forester
« Reply #7 on: May 04, 2018, 01:34:16 PM »
Im not an old forester and it doesnt really apply a whole lot to this topic but here in coal country alot of the old random knolls is where old timers hand dug coal seams. The indentation was where they dug out and and the heap was the dirt from that digging. All long grown over. I had the chance to witness a strip mine in action where they uncovered some of this phenomenon. It was a 28" seam of coal and clear as day where someone hand dug their way back into the earth. There were well preserved posts under the ground someone had put in place to keep the roof from collapsing. I saved one. Can you imagine crawling on your belly 50' under a mtn chipping at coal for some heat? 
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Offline Ron Scott

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Re: Question for an Old Forester
« Reply #8 on: May 04, 2018, 05:43:58 PM »
I've experienced that in West Virginia deep coal mines in the 36 inch Sewell coal seams under the mountains. I've been in at least 1/4 mile or more under the mountains with the miners on hands and knees. The coal miner is a special breed. :)

They would prospect for the coal seams by digging off the soil overburden to locate the coal seam and where a good seam was located they would start the coal mine. We had a lot of such deep mines on the Monongahela National Forest. Strip mines were not allowed on National Forest lands.
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Online thecfarm

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Re: Question for an Old Forester
« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2018, 06:12:12 AM »
Ken,Not that I know,but in my area of Maine,you would not be digging too many holes by hand. I think all members have seen my posts about rocks. And I do mean rocks. ::)  I do know some areas of Maine have soil. ;D  
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Offline kenfrommaine

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Re: Question for an Old Forester
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2018, 08:51:37 AM »
Just a town away from you "thecfarm" I had cut a few woodlots in Hartford back in the 90's that had been logged way back with horses. And there were several loading brows that were still visible.  But those were only one sided brows, rocks or logs on the front side and filled in behind to create a "brow" for ease of loading. Had a few of the "old timers" who were around when the wood lots had been cut with oxen and horses. They were done in the 40's I was told. dunno but I also know what you mean about not being able to dig to deep in some areas :) And the ones I mention they were at the old wood landing sites not scattered thru out the woods. 

Online thecfarm

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Re: Question for an Old Forester
« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2018, 09:40:34 AM »
My Father was born in 1923. He loaded a few sleds with a peavy and a few trucks. There was a brow up above me,or what was left of it,when I was growing up,a steep backen,right by the road,with 2 logs to roll the logs on to load the truck. A house was put in,the driveway took all that away.
I always enjoyed the story of him loading a dump truck for a dollar a day. But the dump trucks was small trucks,kinda like the truck and there would be 6-7 guys with a spade too.
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Offline Maryland G-man

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Re: Question for an Old Forester
« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2018, 09:30:24 AM »
My vote is theyre old sawmill seats. The pit was used to collect sawdust.

I still find these here in eastern Maryland. Low, level land. Back when sawmills were brought to the woods they would dig an L-shaped pit and set the mill over one leg. Sometimes theyd reinforce one wall under the mill with brick, timbers, logs, etc.

The leg under the mill would fill with dust. The other leg gave them room to dig out the accumulated dust.



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