Logging Operations at Oak Island

Wally Young at one of the remaining Oak Island Schroeder Lumber Cabins ca 1930s

Wally Young at one of the remaining Oak Island Schroeder Lumber Cabins ca 1930s.
Robert J. Nelson Collection

Logging Operations over at Oak Island

Bayfield County Press

March 14, 1929       

The reader will note that much logging activity was engaged for many years in the Apostle Islands. The first short story introduces the reader to life in the Oak Islands camps as Schroeder Lumber Company of Ashland, Wisconsin folded operations and moved to Outer Island.

“Saturday morning of last week, as the men from Camp 6 on Oak Island drove twelve teams of horses to Bayfield on the way to Ashland, probably saw the last break up of a large lumber camp in this region. The ending of operations on Oak Island is the finish of twelve years of work on that island and the cutting of timber on 8000 acres. During that time, more than 100,000,000 feet of Hemlock and hardwood has been cut by the Schroeder of Ashland on the island. This winter a little more than 3,000,000 feet was cut alone by the W. C. Smith crew at camps No. 1 and No. 6.

Camp No. 1, which broke up February 28, had a crew of 25 men and five teams this winter, while camp number six paid off 80 men and took its 12 teams to Ashland Saturday. During the past winter more than $10,000 was paid out for provisions to feed the men in the two camps; of this amount about one half went for meat, eggs, butter and milk.

After the ice breaks up in the spring the Hemlock will be rafted and the hardwood scowed from the island to the Schroeder mill at Ashland. The equipment from the camp will be taken to Outer Island this spring where summer logging operations will be carried on. Some 40,000,000 feet of timber will be cut on Outer Island in the next five years”.

This history brief was written by Robert J. Nelson. Generously sharing our local history through his research and writing.