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The cover of the book depicting the title and a black and white photo of men chopping at a tree with axes.

Lumber Kings & Shantymen: Logging and Lumbering in the Ottawa Valley

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A history of logging and life in the Ottawa Valley in the 19th century.
The legend of the rough and rugged lumberjack is familiar to nearly all Canadians. The hardy shantyman toiling through the harsh winter, the powerful axeman felling mighty trees, and the great log drives downriver are key to Ontario''s history in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The Ottawa Valley was home to one of the world''s richest coniferous forests, which gave rise to flowing timber, lumber, and pulp and paper industries and a major theme in Canadian social and cultural history.


Lumber Kings and Shantymen takes us up the Ottawa River from the economic hub of Montreal through the rapidly developing cities of Ottawa and Hull, and out to the settlements of Arnprior, Renfrew and Pembroke. The book chronicles the building of Philemon Wright''s timber fortune, the rapidly growing pulp and paper industry, and the towns that grew around these industries. It also tells of the people who built the industry with their own hands: the French and Irish shantymen and lumberjacks who spent their days weathering harsh conditions and dangerous jobs, and their nights drinking and brawling.


David Lee presents an in-depth history of the region and the economy that dominated its formative years, as well as examining the environmental impact on the region''s natural resources. Exploring both the industries and the people, from the axes and sawmills to the brawls and dances, Lumber Kings and Shantymen explores a fascinating period of Canadian history.

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