The Frank Holston Lumber Camp

Squaw Bay - Mawikwe Bay presently - camp and train trestle near to the campsite ca 1900 BHA 83.9.2

Squaw Bay – Mawikwe Bay presently – train trestle near the campsite ca 1900

BHA 83.9.2

Squaw Bay - Mawikwe Bay presently - campsite ca 1900 BHA 83.9.1

Squaw Bay – Mawikwe Bay presently – campsite ca 1900

BHA 83.9.1

Frank Holston Lumber Camp

Bayfield County Press

February 3, 1889

Photos of the Holston camp are not available presently. The transcriber, hoping to present lumber camps in the area, substituted the above photos for public perusal. Lumberjack camp and the lifestyle in general were considered tough work and a strong, hardy lot of tree felling saw men, swamper’s, camp cookies and assistants, saw set and cross-cut filers and sharpeners, teamsters, jammer men and foremen were on hand in all lumberjack camps to perform the arduous tasks.  While not all camps took the appearance of “Belanger Settlement”, many were neat and tidy; some were unhealthy warehouses of lice and affliction.

On February 23, 1889 “the news gatherer for the Press, in company with Irving Herrick, shares an inside view of took a trip he took to Frank D. Holstein’s lumber camp “one day lately”.

“The trip was made with the dog team and convinces me to surrender that a good team dog on the smooth, hard road would out travel most horse teams.  The camp was reached in about one hour and a half, a distance of 10 or more miles, and we put in time till dinner in looking over the camp. After filling up on Alex’s good cooking we went to the skidway to witness the loading of the logs. This proved an interesting site, and also showed that the timber was of good quality, as a load of 12 logs scaled nearly 6000 feet. The men in this camp seem well contented and to judge from the appearance of the camp they have a comfortable time as possible considering the nature of the work.

Mr. Holston informs us that he last year raised nearly all the potatoes that he will need this winter – and that on one of his clearings here. This proves that pineland will raise crops if it is tilled as it should be”.

Lumber Camp Anecdotes from similar time-period camps in the Bayfield County Press

December 16, 1882:  Charly Leihy has a team of gray horses that are considered “old business” on skinning logs. Friday of last week they skidded 276 logs at Leihy and Hochdanner’s Camp Sioux River. Jack McTash, who handles the ribbons, ought to have a portion of the credit.

December 23, 1882: The Sioux River Lumber Company is erecting logging camps at Onion River and expect to bank between two and 3,000,000 feet of logs. The incorporators of the company were W. H. Irish, W. G. Maxey and John S. Stevens.

February 24, 1883: Loggers report operations extremely lively these days. At William Knight’s camp, on Pikes Creek, they are banking between 40 and 50,000 feet per day with five teams, and expect to get in 4,000,000 before breakup.

March 17, 1883:

  • Fisher’s (logging) camp at Buffalo Bay [Red Cliff] broke up this week, having banked 3,000,000 feet.
  • The lumberjacks are, and all of the woods and our streets present a lively appearance.
  • Fisher’s (logging) camp at Buffalo Bay [Red Cliff] broke up this week, having banked 3,000,000 feet.
  • Fred Herbert visited Squaw Bay [Near Cornucopia} Tuesday with a load of supplies for the logging camp at that point.
  • Judge Pike’s camp on Pikes Creek broke up last week, having banked 3,700,000 feet of logs.
  • Orlando Flanders and Frank Boutin, Jr. will bank in the neighborhood of 140,000 feet of logs on the west side of Madeline Island. This is inclusive of Mr. Flanders operations on the East side of this island.

October 10, 1885: Messrs. Elisha Brigham and Aaron Mussel of Clare, Michigan, put in a crew of men on town 51 north of range 6 west to clear out a portion of Sand River for driving purposes, build camps and cut roads preparatory to logging on said stream this coming winter.

October 27, 1883: William Knight has recently put in a logging crew of 25 men at frog may, above Red Cliff. In his two camps – – the other being on Pikes Creek – – Mr. Knight gives employment to 50 men.


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