1884 Upper St. Croix River Log Jam Mural in Stillwater, Minnesota - Encircle Photos

31 1884 Upper St. Croix River Log Jam Mural in Stillwater, Minnesota

In the 19th century, the St. Croix River Valley was filled with forests of white pine. At maturity, these trees grow 80 to 100 feet and are ideal for lumber. In 1837, the United States signed the Treaty of St. Peters with the Ojibwe permitting a very large tract of land to be timbered. This sparked a logging boom from 1839 until 1914. At its peak, thousands of lumberjacks from over 150 camps harvested trees in the winter and stacked their cuts on the banks of the St. Croix. As the ice melted in the spring, the logs were floated downstream towards sawmills steered by “river pigs.” Massive log jams were typical. Sometimes this river congestion extended 15 or more miles upstream. In 2007, Raduenz McErly captured this common springtime event in the mural titled, “1884 Upper St. Croix River Log Jam.”

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04 Main Street North, Stillwater, MN 55082

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