The caption beneath the photograph reads “Load of Logs near Cadillac, Mich.” (Photo submitted)
The caption beneath the photograph reads “Load of Logs near Cadillac, Mich.” (Photo submitted)

By Joyce L. Alig

President

Mercer County Historical Society, Inc.

In August, I was surprised to see a large load of logs being hauled south on Main Street, Celina. I have no memory of seeing such a large load of logs being hauled through Mercer County, much less down State Route 127 through Celina.

This story illustrates the importance of post cards with historic photographs across the front. When people give old post cards to the Mercer County Historical Society, I immediately look through the photographs on the post cards, in hopes of finding photographs related to history. When I saw this photograph of the logs, I was fascinated with this scene of the large logs on a wood skid, being pulled by horses. My mind wandered around wondering if this post card scene would relate to Mercer County, Ohio’s history. The day I saw the load of logs being driven through Celina, I knew how this old photograph from Michigan related to Mercer County.

This scene reminded me of a picture post card mailed from Wm. Monroe to Mrs. Wm. Monroe, R.F.D., Celina, Ohio. The card had been mailed with a post mark of Owosso, Michigan, dated Oct. 11, but I could not read the year of the post mark. The photograph on the front of the post card shows a large wood skid, weighed down by logs from the saw mill, and pulled by horses. You can determine the size of these logs by comparing the height of the men standing on or beside the logs.

I went to the internet and found an advertisement from TLC, Tri-County Logging in Owosso, Michigan. Tri County is a logging contractor who buys standing timber from landowners in Owosso, Michigan. The harvested timber is then sent to HML Lumber, the sawmill, and Tri-County is a division of HML. The website listed the benefits of harvesting the timber. The harvest allows for the growth of younger trees; helps with deer retention and food sources, and removes the high risk of potentially hazardous trees from the property. Sustainable forestry also provides the recurring revenue stream from the property. TCL’s forward-thinking methods also allow for a return every 7 – 15 years to purchase more lumber.

Many readers recall a tree farm, north of the Village of Mercer. Recently, a person was giving me directions, north of Saint Anthony, and that person mentioned a tree farm in that area. May I ask you readers if you are aware of any tree farms in Mercer County? I looked in the telephone book’s yellow pages, and saw several entries, entitled, “Tree Service,” or “Trees.”

Mr. Monroe sent his wife a second post card which had a photograph of a “big” log building, with a well in the front. Four people wearing long aprons were standing there. Apparently, this was a large inn, with sleeping arrangements for the loggers, as well as a large dining room to serve those loggers. The logs at the base of the building appeared to be about three feet in diameter. Since horses were pulling the logs on the previous photograph, apparently, the photographs preceded trucks. Photographs were popular in the 1890’s and at the turn of the century.

The Mercer County Historical Society will be hosting a post card exhibit at the Mercer County Historical Museum, the second Sunday of November, the 17th. Bring your old post cards with photographs and see what stories the old post cards tell.

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Mercer County Historical Society President Joyce Alig may be contacted at 3054 Burk-St. Henry Road, Saint Henry, OH 45883, or histalig@bright.net or 419-852-0092. Note the new phone number!