Category:Logging Camp

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Logging Camp

Logging camp (Camp; Set) Temporary camp in the woods, generally constructed with log buildings consisting of the bunkhouse, cook shack, stables and blacksmith shop.

Types of Logging Camp

(alphabetical listing)

Bunyan camp (Garbage can) Camp with poor living accommodation.

Dray-haul camp Camp where drays were used to haul logs short distances from stump to landings or banking grounds.

Headquarters camp (Base camp) Logging camp complex from which several other camps were serviced and supplied.

Jobber's camp Camp belonging to a small contractor.

Landing camp Small camps, often near settlements, used for moving logs.

Lousy camp Camp infested with body and head lice.

Railroad camp Logging camp in which most of the buildings were hauled from one cutting area to another by railroad flat cars.

Ran camp (Bossed camp) Logging camp.

Sleigh-haul camp Camp where sleds were used to haul logs several miles to landings or banking grounds.

Wheel camp Any camp using big wheels to transport logs.


Commissary Supply store in logging camp.

  1. Commissary jimmie Clerk in change of supply store.
  2. Counter jumper Commissary clerk.

Toting Process of hauling supplies to logging camp.

  1. Tote v. To haul supplies to camp.
  2. Tote road (Pike; Portage road) Supply road.
  3. Tote sled Supply sled in winter.
  4. Tote team Horses driven by tote teamster.
  5. Tote teamster Driver who brings supplies to the camp.
  6. Tote wagon (Bean wagon) Heavy wagon to carry supplies.
    1. Mary Anne In New England, a wagon that carried food and supplies.

Camp Office

Cock shop Camp office.

Bean house Foreman’s office.

Camp clerk (Boss of the rob shop; Cackler; Johnny inkslinger; Pencil pusher) Clerk in logging industry.

Bean sheet Workman’s daily record sheet.

  1. Time and tallies Camp records kept by the camp clerk.
  2. Ink slinger (Bookie) Logging camp timekeeper.

Wangan (Fharrigan; Wagon; Wanagan; Wanegan; Wanigan; Wannegan; Wanngan; Wannigan) Generally, Wangan in the New England states and Wanigan in the Lakes states. It was where the camp stores where kept from which lumberjacks could buy snuff, tobacco, clothing, underwear, shoes, mittens, jackets, trousers, mackinaws, and other articles.

  1. Wangan box (Van) Padlocked box serving as a camp store in the very early logging days.
  2. Ark Where the camp stores are kept.
  3. Van books Camp store records.

Tinker Shop

Tinker shop (Handyman's shop) Building in which axes and saws were sharpened and items likes pots and pans repaired.

Filer (Saw filer; Saw fitter) Worker of sharped all the saws;

Saw-fitting Process of general care and filing of a cross-cut saw.

Wheel of fortune Grindstone.

  1. Whirling the rock Turning the grindstone.

Camp Catering]

Cookhouse Logging camp’s kitchen, plus the dining room.

Dingle Either, (1) In an old-style logging camp, the roofed-over space or alley between the cookhouse and bunkhouse, commonly used as a storeroom, or (2) In a newer-style camp the shed-like structure for storing food supplies.

Lobby Place in a logging camp where the men wash and wait for mealtime.

Rag bungalow (Rag house) Tent used as living quarters.

Bunkhouse (Bull pen; Cougar den; Doghouse; Dump; Louse cage; Ram pasture; Sleeping shanty) (AmE) Building in which the logger had his living quarters.

  1. Bar room (AmE) Part of a New England logging camp where the loggers slept.
  2. Bunkhouse gang Workers who share a bunkhouse.
  3. Star light Skylight.

Cootie cage Bunk.

  1. Breech loader Bunks set parallel to the wall which were got into from the side.
  2. Muzzle loader (Shotgun bunk) Bunks in which the lumberjack had to crawl from the foot of the bed. They were made of flattened poles or rough lumber with a mattress of straw or balsom boughs.
    1. Snorting pole Sapling or cant hook shaft which was laid under the hay of a muzzle loader to separate the sleeping spaces.
    2. Spread Very long blanket that could cover several men.
    3. Spoon (Flop) Turning over together, used in the early camps when men were crowded together to keep warm.

Hovelled To bunk with another logger.

  1. Bunker (Bunky) Logger’s name for his bed partner.

Feathers Marsh hay used to stuff grain sacks for pillows.

  1. Marsh feathers Marsh hay used to make a bunk mattress.

Sougan (Soogan) Heavy blanket, generally carried in the early days of logging when lumberjacks provided their own bedrolls.

Hit the knots v To snore.

Camboose (Caboose; Cambus) (AmE) Central open fireplace.

  1. Smoke hole Large, square hole in the roofs of the early camps, directly over the camboose.
  2. Campaign (FrC) Caboose or open fire in the cook shacks of the very early camps.

Pot-bellied stove Squat, round stove used to heat bunkhouses.

Deacon seat Bench, the one classic piece of camp furniture, usually made of one half of a log, flat side up, that was in front of the sleeping bunks. It is also reported to be a bench that ran from one end of the camp to the other.

Sawdust box (Sand box) Bunkhouse spittoons.

  1. Gabboon Spittoon, in better bunkhouses.

Kill dad Empty tin pail where all lumberjacks threw old and odd pieces of tobacco, from which anyone could borrow some.

  1. Sweeten the poor box To put tobacco in the kill dad.

You know Tin wash basin used just for collections with a penny soldered to the bottom to remind them that they had to contribute a minimum of one penny whenever it was passed.

Old socks Logger’s affectionate name for a friend.

Johnny newcomb Newcomer in the camp.

Come-along (Crummie) Vehicle that transports men to and from work.

  1. Portal to portal From bunkhouse to the woods before and after daylight.

Snow tunnels Pathways in deep snow that linked the various buildings in the camp.

Boiling up Washing one’s clothes.

Fun and Games

Whoppers Tall tales told on the deacon seat.

Rice bits (Ricochets) Imaginary tool used to tease greenhorns.

  1. Shoreline Imaginary tool used to tease greenhorns.
  2. Swamp auger Imaginary tool used to tease greenhorns.
  3. Wampus cat Imaginary animal to which night noises were attributed.

Shuffle the brogue (Hunt the slipper) Bunkhouse game.

Squirrel Rough bunkhouse game.

Yankee-toe Tripping trick used in bunkhouse scuffles.

Stag dance (Square dance) Dance in the bunkhouse to the tunes of the camp fiddler. The ‘ladies’ wore a red hankie around one arm or tied a sack around themselves.

  1. Camp fiddler Anyone who played the fiddle in the camp.

Bull roarer Logger who roared when singing the bunkhouse ballads.

Pimp sticks Cigarettes, loggers despised men who smoke them.

Lushers Logger who drinks any alcoholic drink.

  1. Cougar milk Illegal liquor in logging camps, Prohibition era.
  2. Mule Rotgut whiskey.

Lumberjack’s Night Out

Note: Lumberjack’s night out at the turn of 20th century.

Alibi day Payday in camp when many loggers developed toothaches or other ills requiring trips to town.

Nigger day Logger’s term for Saturday.

Slept in Sundays, which were the day of rest. Loggers usually got up at the normal time, but did not go to the woods.

Wing ding Spree a logger went on when he was stake bound.

Stakey logger (Stake bound) Logger with enough wages due to him to make him restless to get to town.

  1. Stakey Lumberjack with lots of money.

Capering clothes Going-out clothes.

  1. Boiled collar White dress shirt.

Toot Off on a spree.

Mushing into town Going into town on a spree on snowshoes.

Stem Main street in town.

  1. House of hesitation Jail.
  2. Town clown Small town policeman.
  3. Townies Town toughs.

Hitting the high spots (Hitting the high places) Places where the logger to enjoys himself.

  1. Caper Any festivity, but usually a dance.
  2. Kitchen sweat (Wrestle) Dance.

Juicery Saloon.

Kegging up Getting drunk.

  1. Full Dead drunk.
  2. Jag Being drunk.
  3. Pig's ear Cheap saloon in a logging town.
  4. Smilo Hard liquor.
  5. Snort (Snorter) Drink of whisky.
  6. Snake room Room off a saloon, usually two or three steps down, into which they would slide drunk lumberjacks.
  7. Skidded Unconscious from drunkenness.
  8. Hogan boys Deliriums through drinking, often leading to death.

Rolled (robbed) Robbed when drunk.

Bagnio (Sporting house) Brothel.

  1. Klondike Name adopted by many brothels in the Lakes states.
  2. Soft ladies (Skirt) Prostitutes.
  3. A dollar throw Price of a prostitute.
  4. Squaw wood (Tradin' wood; Trading stock) Butt of wood with much resin in it traded by lumberjacks for a trick at a local brothel, where it was much prized for lighting fires.
  5. Bake a batch of rolls Prostitute’s argot for a trick.
  6. Jockey Club One of the perfumes preferred by prostitutes.

Shot his wad Spent all his money having fun in town.

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