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Excerpt from Woods Words: A Comprehensive Dictionary of Loggers Terms
The first American colonists were virtually obliged to invent words and terms to describe the unfamiliar landscape and weather, the strange flora and fauna confronting them, even the methods of survival in a savage wilderness. Survival for a majority of settlers consisted of making a clearing, primarily for agriculture, but it wasn't long before they were exporting clapboards and deals and masts. As early as 1631 settlers in present Maine had an authentic sawmill operating by water power. Lumber is thus as old an industry as we have in the United States.
In early times the felling of trees and the converting of logs into lumber was carried on by the same workmen. They all were called lumberers, whether they worked in the forest or the sawmill. Less than two centuries later, the industry found need to operate in two clearly marked divisions, and the professional logger appeared. He was the man who would work in the woods or at nothing at all. When he had cut the timber and delivered it to the logpond, he was done with it. Let the boys in the mill do what they would, he wanted no part of a sawmill. The logger merely paused briefly in the settlement, to get his teeth fixed as he put it, then returned to his own domain of the forest and began anew to let daylight into the swamp.
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