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Millertown Lumber Woods

Wilson King stands on top of a pile of logs with a chain saw in hand.

Wilson King

Wilson King and Thomas King in front of buildings in the lumber camp

Wilson and Thomas King

Wilson King from Brookside NL was a young man who left his home in 1948 to work in the Lumber Woods in Millertown. His brother, Tom King, worked in the lumber woods that year as well. Tom King was a little older than Wilson. He was 20 years old at the time.

The Lumber camp was located 80 miles from town and the trip to work was a long one. It took Wilson hours to travel the country road to Goobies to meet the train that would take him to Millertown Junction. At Milltertown Junction he would board another train that took you to Millertown office where you would sign on for work. But that wasn’t the end of his travels. He then would travel to Lake Ambrose and from there he would travel another two hours by truck. By foot then it would take him two hours to reach Jack Day’s camp.

A Google Map view with a convoluted trip on Highway, outlined with a blue line. The travel-time by car indicated as 5 hours and 24 minutes.

The Drive from Brookside to Millertown


Work in the lumber woods wasn’t easy back then and there was no equipment like they use today. Wilson’s day began at 6 am with a two hour walk to the area of cutting. Wilson would cut on a good day two cord of wood and at that time would get $3.80 a cord. Evening time they would have supper and in bed by 9pm to do it again the next day. It was hard but he says you would get more cutting wood than on wages.

The wood would be cut in spring/summer and and in the winter time it would be hauled out by horse and sled. Some places you would float it down the rivers.

Wilson recalls the first three days he spent in the lumber woods.

Transcript of Wilson’s recollections


The temperatures was 103 degrees Fahrenheit in Lake Ambrose. The third day they could hear a noise coming from the trees and leaves. The sun was still beaming but there was a black cloud in the sky. Hail stones started to fall about the size of your thumb and you felt the cold before they actually hit the ground. It only lasted a minute and after that day it never got that hot again for the summer.

 Transcript of Wilson’s recollections, part 2


Wilson married in 1958 and left the lumber woods in 1960. He said he had no regrets looking back on his days in the lumber woods. You had to work somewhere and money had to be made.

Transcript of Wilson’s recollections, part 3


Hear some of what Wilson had to say about how he used his earnings.

Transcript of Wilson’s recollections, part 4