Mcrae Lumber Company, Whitney Ontario

Hay Lake: 1942-1952

The mill at Hay Lake showing twin smoke stacks and the jackladder that carried logs into the mill.

In 1942, the mill was moved to Hay Lake to access the timber limits in Clyde, Sproule, Bruton and Bower Townships. This period saw the beginning of the movement to a sustained yield from the forest. The company hired a professional forester to setup the cutting plan required by the government.

A device made of a pole, pulley and anchor lines.

The main cut was divided about evenly between sugar maple and yellow birch, with the remaining ten percent being made up of spruce, hemlock, white pine and beech. Log cutting began when the sawmill was shut down, usually about the middle of October. Work in the bush was still very focused on manual labour and horses still played a prominent part skidding the logs out of the bush. Trucks were used primarily to pull the haul sleighs and starting about 1950 were used to ship lumber.

The photo to the right shows a gin-pole loading veneer logs onto a flat car in Whitney.

Device made of poles and lines being used to drag a log up skid poles onto a truck.  Several men are involved and there is a huge pile of logs in the background.

The photo on the left shows a jammer loading veneer logs on a truck at the log dump. Despite wartime constraints mechanization increased at Hay Lake as numerous trucks were purchased to replace horses. Although never trouble free, as trucks broke down quite often, the advantages of mechanization were noticed immediately.

Power jammer consisting of two tower-like structures with lines running between them.

To increase efficiency in both the mill yard and in the bush two Skyline Power Jammers (shown in the photo above) were purchased. These machines were much faster, piled higher and were much safer to use. The power jammer needed five men to run and obtained its power from an eight-cylinder Dodge engine.