Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Cooks for the Axe Men

A fully equipped lumber camp kitchen - click to enlarge
Photo: Patten Lumberman's Museum via
  In the Maine woods in bygone eras woodcutters lived in camps for the whole season.  A good cook was just about equal with the pay when a woodcutter decided where to work.  There were cooks, and cooks assistants called cookies.
  The cooks were very good making do; they could cook meat if they acted quickly to cook it before it spoiled, or thawed in winter.  The staples were pork and beans, molasses, gingerbread, bread, pastries and pies.  It was said that what made a camp cook good was cooking one thing in a lot of different ways.
  A camp kitchen was about 20 by 30 feet and was used as the kitchen, dining room and living quarters for the cook and cookies.  Meals were served in the work area too - carried by a cookie with a yoke and two buckets, coffee was made on the spot so hopefully a water source was nearby.
Coffee made in a work area, notice the "cup tree". - click to enlarge
Photo: Patten Lumberman's Museum via
Temporary kitchen during a river drive(see note below) - click to enlarge
Photo: Patten Lumberman's Museum via
  Logs were sent to mills downstream in streams and rivers, groups of men would "ride to float" and set up camp wherever they could.  I'll try to find enough to do a whole piece on them.  The rectangular "hood" in front of the hanging kettles is an oven - ask a boy scout.

No comments:

Post a Comment