Thursday, 17 September 2015

Buzz Lein: Last Raft on the Nipigon

Buzz Lein Forestry Articles: August 27, 1973

Towing & Rafting

The last raft to be moved into the Red Rock Mill holding ground was a 5,000 cord effort that was safely delivered after an uneventful tow time of three hours during a rare spell of Domtar weather (ideal for rafting).

This is the raft that had to be left in the Sturgeon River in 1972 when the rains didn’t come and even the muskrats had to portage when they went upstream or down.  Neil Arthur battled some of wood into the river.  Ernie Kivi had the overall responsibility.  John Ahl was an interested observer as he was required as a rafting consultant.  Art Steinke made a couple of trips up and down the river to see how it was done. Jiggs McInnis and Ed Conway were along to guess how much wood was left in the river.

Then in 1973, Ernie went back and finished cleaning the wood out of the river and at the end of June saw the Abitibi tug, Orient Bay, depart for the last time from the mouth of the Sturgeon River.

Abitibi, with foremen George Flett and Henry Hill, took this wood down to Lake Helen where Bob Matchett picked it up and delivered it to the mouth of the Nipigon River. Here it was picked up by Stubby Lanktree in the mill boat, Dorothy, and by Howard Leitch in the Abitibi, Goki.

All water delivery in the Nipigon has now ceased and there will probably be no more.

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