Holy Old Mackinaw is the rough and lusty story of the American lumberjack at work and at play, from Maine to Oregon.
In these modern days timber is harvested by cigarette-smoking married men, whose children go to school in buses, but for nearly three hundred years the logger was a real pioneer who ranged through the forests of many states, steel calks in his boots and ax in his fist, a plug of chewing handy, who emerged at intervals into the towns to call on soft ladies and drink hard liquor.
Author Stewart Holbrook tells of the flowering of Bangor, the first of the great lumber towns, where a thirsty logger helped himself to unwatered rum with a tin dipper that was chained to an open barrel in the groggery; of the time when a single block of two million acres of virgin Maine timber was sold to one man for twelve and a half cents an acre; of the beginnings of sawdust and the rivalry between Penobscot and Kennebec. He tells of the first migration when white pine became scarce in Maine, and loggers moved on to Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.
Then came the big jump--the second migration--to the forest of the Pacific Northwest and West Coast, and the era of bull-whacking and skidroads, of the wilder and tougher towns offering pleasant sin to the logger. And finally, the coming of machine logging and highways and the disintegration of the old logger strain.
Holbrook captures the life and color of a vanished American scene in this complete history of logging in the Northwest.