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The speaker is an 81-year-old White man with a college education from Dubuque, Iowa; he was recorded in 1968.

County: Dubuque
State: IA

Dubuque, located at the junction with Illinois and Wisconsin on the Mississippi River in northeastern Iowa, can immediately be recognized as an old river town. Built on the river valley and the bluffs and hilly plateaus, both lumbering and milling became important industries in the mid 1800's, as railroads arrived and immigrants were attracted to the fertile land surrounding Dubuque, making it the largest city in Iowa around 1860. This speaker was born during the height of the lumbering industry in the 1880's and told his impressions of the large log rafts which were floated down the River to Dubuque.
Inf: There were a lot of rafts uh coming down the river, logs. Uh, the, the uh pine forest in uh Wisconsin and Minnesota, uh, was one of the finest pines grown in the world. And uh, the, New England had that same type of pine and of course that was mostly cut off and then they came west to use the pine lumber from those two states of Wisconsin and Minnesota. Then, they would log during the winter time and have this, these logs ready to put into rafts. And then they'd have these large rafts that would extend, oh three hundred feet uh by, uh, two hundred, and the outside logs were, were fastened together to hold the inside logs uh from uh floating away and going in the wrong directions. And then they'd have a, a boat, sometimes on both ends of the raft, to guide it by the, the one on the end uh that wasn't doing the pushing or pulling, was sideways of the river, as it were, and it would go back and forth to steer the logs r-, around so it'd get into the current and wouldn't get hung up on the sand bar. Then they st-, they stored (cough) a lot of those uh rafts in the sloughs or cutoffs right uh between the two bridges where it was be-, it would be between the two bridges now.

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