"A Forest's Remains," somewhere in Pennsylvania, 1918.
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A former hillside forest, shown here in 1918, covered in drying logs.

Credit: Courtesy Pennsylvania State Archives

The Pennsylvania timber industry was a foraging operation in which lumberjacks left mountain sides strewn with debris. In the early 1900s forest fires that roared through the dead stumps, dry branches, scrub brush, and saplings devastated some 350,000 acres each year as rains clogged streams with eroding soils and fed devastating floods. The logs in this photo, however, were drying rather than abandoned. Dried hemlocks were lighter, less slippery, and easier to floated downstream to river-side sawmills.

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