Environment Picture

Michigan History Project

Technological advancements, including the crosscutting saw and logging railroads, helped accelerate the timber cut in Michigan during the last decades of the 19th Century. Michigan ranked first among the states in production of lumber in 1870, 1880, and 1890, but by 1920 it was 16th as forests were depleted. Over 200 billion board feet of lumber was produced from Michigan forests by 1929. In the late 1800s states as far as away as Colorado and Wyoming and even some European cities imported Michigan lumber.

All photos courtesy of the State Archives of Michigan.
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