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New Brunswick Logging Tradition

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Heritage Branch, Province of New Brunswick, Oromocto, New Brunswick

New Brunswick Logging Tradition
By examining artifacts and folk song lyrics related to 19th century logging in New Brunswick, students should gain an appreciation for a lifestyle experienced by a large segment of the population in this British North American colony and original Canadian province. This logging tradition continued into the middle of the 20th century.
You can't see the forest for the trees...
The forests have been the engine driving the New Brunswick economy for two centuries. Timber from this colony provided the British navy with their ships. Newsprint from pulp and paper allowed North Americans to keep up with daily happenings. A large percentage of the province's workforce earned their livelihood from woods related jobs.

Working in the woods was a way of life, tempered with both hardship and joy. The 19th century was the golden age of logging in New Brunswick. This was changed with the introduction of huge pulp and paper plants early in the 20th century. The introduction of new machinery to harvest trees meant the end of traditional logging by the middle of the 20th century.
THE LIFE OF A LOGGER - Individual Activity
Assign one of the learning objects to each student. Some are traces or primary documents while others are accounts or secondary documents. After reading and examining the learning object, each student should record any information about the forest industry they can learn from the trace or account. Provide a set time for completion of this task. As students present their information to the class, comparisons and differences can be discussed. Probing questions are provided for each learning object or document. The goal is to have students become aware of the type of life a 19th century logger was likely to experience.

This activity could be expanded into a class project.
The Miramichi Fire by John Jardine
John Jardine
© 1968, Brunswick Press. All Rights Reserved.
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Learning Object Collection: Music to the Ear
PROBING QUESTIONS - The Miramichi Fire
According to John Jardine, what important events happened during the 1825 Miramichi Fire? What facts does he include in his folk song?

According to Jardine, how many people died in the 1825 Miramichi fire? How accurate is this figure?
Burned Tree Remaining from Miramichi Fire of 1825
The remains of what is believed to be a tree burned during the Miramichi Fire of 1825.
One of two remaining trees believed to have been burned by the great Miramichi Fire of 1825, on display at the Central New Brunswick Woodsmen's Museum in Boiestown.

Central New Brunswick Woodsmen's Museum




© 2007, Central New Brunswick Woodsmen's Museum. All Rights Reserved.
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Learning Object Collection: Music to the Ear
PROBING QUESTIONS - Burned Tree
How difficult would it be to find artifacts dating to the 1825 Miramichi fire?

How could one prove that this artifact came from the historical Miramichi fire?
THE LIFE OF A LOGGER - Class Project
Using the traces and accounts provided below, the students should construct a story of what life was like for a person involved in the timber industry in 19th century New Brunswick.

Divide the class into small groups and assign a different learning object to each group. Depending on the number of students and class size, each group may be asked to examine more than one learning object. The task is to examine the trace or account and discover information about logging that could be included in the story the class will be constructing.

The teacher should determine the best way to compile this story, with the goal of presenting it to a larger audience. This might include oral presentations, preparing a series of dioramas, or even producing a podcast using these learning objects and/or other traces and accounts. Particularly good additional sources might come from the Public Archives of New Brunswick in Fredericton or the New Brunswick Museum in Saint John.
The Lumberman's Alphabet
The Lumberman's Alphabet sung by Wilmot Macdonald was recorded at the Miramichi Folksong Festival in 1959.
Unknown
© 1962, Folkways Records & Service Corp. All Rights Reserved.
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Learning Object Collection: Music to the Ear
Learning Object: The Songs - Examples
PROBING QUESTIONS - The Lumberman's Alphabet
Explain what each of the letters of the alphabet meant to a lumberman.

What examples would be considered good, and what ones bad, in the life of a lumberman? Why do you think this was the case?
The Song of a Lumberjack
Unknown
© 1988, University of Cape Breton Press. All Rights Reserved.
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Learning Object Collection: Music to the Ear
Learning Object: The Songs - Examples
PROBING QUESTIONS - Song of a Lumberjack
What harsh conditions are described by the lumberjack?

How was the lumber industry influenced by religion?
Bruce's Log Cabin
Unknown
© 1968, Brunswick Press. All Rights Reserved.
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Learning Object Collection: Music to the Ear
Learning Object: The Songs - Examples
PROBING QUESTIONS - Bruce's Log Cabin
What are the similarities and differences between "Bruce's Log Cabin" and the "Song of a Lumberjack"?

How do the versions of Wilbert Munn and Roy Hunter differ? Why is this the case?

Louise Manny mentions that students used to memorize folk songs like this and recite them before their classes. Is this practice of memorizing folk songs followed today? Should it be a part of the curriculum?
Trapper's Cabin
Trapper's Cabin at Central New Brunswick Woodsmen's Museum
The trapper's cabin shown was originally constructed in the late nineteenth century at 47 Lakes in central New Brunswick. In the late twentieth century it was dismantled, moved, and reconstructed at the Central New Brunswick Woodsmen's Museum at Boiestown.

Central New Brunswick Woodsmen's Museum




© 2007, Central New Brunswick Woodsmen's Museum. All Rights Reserved.
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Learning Object Collection: Music to the Ear
PROBING QUESTIONS - Trapper's Cabin
Why would the Central New Brunswick Woodsmen's Museum want to dismantle, move and reassemble this trapper's cabin on the site of the Museum in Boiestown?

Why would such a cabin have been built in the first place?

What would be the similarities and differences between a trapper's cabin and the cabins used by loggers?
The Scow on Cowden Shore by Larry Gorman
Larry Gorman
© 1968, Brunswick Press. All Rights Reserved.
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Learning Object Collection: Music to the Ear
PROBING QUESTIONS - The Scow on Cowden Shore
List the place names mentioned by Larry Gorman in "The Scow on Cowden Shore"?

What activities were said to take place '"around the scow on Cowden Shore"?

What information provided by Gorman might offend someone?
Larry Gorman - The man who makes the songs
Edward D. Ives
Dictionary of Canadian Biography
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Learning Object Collection: Music to the Ear
PROBING QUESTIONS - Larry Gorman
Construct a biography of Larry Gorman based on the information provided by Edward D. Ives.

Why would people have been afraid of Larry Gorman?
The Jam on Gerry's Rock
Unknown
© 1968, Brunswick Press. All Rights Reserved.
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Learning Object Collection: Music to the Ear
Learning Object: The Songs - Examples
PROBING QUESTIONS - The Jam on Gerry's Rock
Describe, in detail, what happened on Gerry's Rock.

What are the similarities between this song and the songs "Peter Emberley" and "The Dungarvon Whooper"?
Peter Emberley by John Calhoun
The song Peter Emberley was written by John Calhoun and sung by Wilmot Macdonald.
John Calhoun
© 1962, Folkways Records & Service. All Rights Reserved.
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Learning Object Collection: Music to the Ear
PROBING QUESTIONS - Peter Emberley by John Calhoun
Describe the story of Peter Emberley as told by John Calhoun.

What happened to Peter Emberley? Who was to blame?

Why would John Calhoun tell the story in the "first person"?
Commentary on Peter Emberley by Helen Creighton
Helen Creighton
© 1971, Canadian Museum of Civilization. All Rights Reserved.
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Learning Object Collection: Music to the Ear
PROBING QUESTIONS - Peter Emberley by Helen Creighton
Where is Peter Emberley buried? What was unusual about the burial?

What roles did Louise Manny, Edward Ives, Ken Homer, and Alan Mills play in the service commemorating the memorial to Peter Emberley?
Peter Emberley Memorial - Boiestown
Traditional folksingers at Peter Emberley monument in 1963.
Sam Jagoe, A. Calhoun and Stanley Macdonald are pictured at the Peter Emberley Memorial in Boiestown during the Miramichi Folksong Festival, 13 August, 1963.

Unknown


1989.108.495

© 2007, New Brunswick Museum, Saint John, N.B. All Rights Reserved.
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Learning Object Collection: Music to the Ear
PROBING QUESTIONS - Peter Emberley Memorial
Why was a memorial erected to Peter Emberley at Boiestown?

What association does Peter Emberley have with the Miramichi Folksong Festival?
The Dungarvon Whooper by Michael Whelan - the poet of Renous
Michael Whelan
© 1968, Brunswick Press. All Rights Reserved.
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Learning Object Collection: Music to the Ear
PROBING QUESTIONS - The Dungarvon Whooper by Michael Whelan
Describe the story of "The Dungarvon Whooper" as told by Michael Whelan, the poet of Renous.

Who was responsible for the death of the young cook?
Michael Whelan by Louise Manny
Louise Manny
© 1968, Brunswick Press. All Rights Reserved.
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Learning Object Collection: Music to the Ear
PROBING QUESTIONS - Michael Whelan by Louise Manny
What are the three versions of the story about "The Dungarvon Whooper"?

How did Rev. Edward Murdoch become involved in the story?

What information did Louise Manny provide concerning the life of Michael Whelan?
Michael Whelan by W.D. Hamilton
W.D. Hamilton
© 1987, W.D. Hamilton, Mi'kmaq-Maliseet Institute, UNB. All Rights Reserved.
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Learning Object Collection: Music to the Ear
PROBING QUESTIONS - Michael Whelan by W.D. Hamilton
How do we know that both Lord Beaverbrook and Prime Minister R.B. Bennett both enjoyed Michael Whelan's poetry?

Construct a biography of Michael Whelan based on the information provided by W.D. Hamilton.

Why did Whelan die such a poor man, buried in a pauper's grave?
The Jones Boys
Nick Underhill sings The Jones Boys, recorded at the Miramichi Folksong Festival in 1959.
Unknown
© 1962, Folkway Records. All Rights Reserved.
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Learning Object Collection: Music to the Ear
PROBING QUESTIONS - The Jones Boys
Explain the significance of the lyrics from "The Jones Boys"?

How could a song like this be considered important, especially on the Miramichi?
Louise Manny explaining about Lord Beaverbrook's favourite song - The Jones Boys
Louise Manny
© 1968, Brunswick Press. All Rights Reserved.
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Learning Object Collection: Music to the Ear
PROBING QUESTIONS - Lord Beaverbrook & The Jones Boys
Why did Lord Beaverbrook like "The Jones Boys" so much?

Describe the history of the Jones Boys as told by Louise Manny.

How did Lord Beaverbrook use a short folk song from New Brunswick to advantage in international politics?
Activity (3) - Folk Song Composers
Ian Andrews
© 2007, Heritage Branch, Province of New Brunswick. All Rights Reserved.
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Learning Object Collection: Music to the Ear

Learning Objectives

Atlantic Canada Social Studies Curriculum: Grade 9 Exploring Canadian Identity
9.1.1 Students will be expected to investigate how artistic and literary expression reflects the following aspects of Canadian identity: landscape, climate, history, people-citizenship, and related challenges and opportunities.

Canadian History 122 - New Brunswick Unit 1, Section 2: Victorian Canada
Outcome #1: Students should be able to research and analyze the changing social and economic nature of Victorian Canada as portrayed in the literature of the time.