Woodsmen and River Drivers (1989)

About the Film

Men and women who worked for the Machias Lumber Company before 1930 share their recollections of the logging industry in Maine when they cut trees by hand, hauled logs to the river with horses, and floated them down to the mill. Remarkable documentary footage from the 1930's illustrates this dangerous and exhausting work. The memoires include stories about death on the job and the ballad "The Jam on Gerry's Rock".

This film and others about life in northern New England are preserved and distributed by Northeast Historic Films.


  • Gold Medal, International Film and TV Festival.


For licensing, film rights and permissions, contact David Weiss, Karan Sheldon, Michel Chalufour, the distributor Northeast Historic Film, or Folkstreams.

Film Details

  • Film by: David Weiss, Karan Sheldon, Michel Chalufour
  • Produced by: David Weiss, Karan Sheldom
  • Cinematographer: Michel Chalufour
  • Sound: David Weiss
  • Editor: David Weiss
  • Other Credits: A project of Northeast Archives of Folklore and Oral History, Dept. of Anthropology, University of Maine. Narrator: Don Wescott ; Music: Tom Brown (from collections of Northeast Archives), Heidi Daub, Bill Schubeck, Dick Swain, Oly Watson ; Film of Machias Lumber Co: Special Collections, Fogler Library, University of Maine, James Marsh ; Transfers by John E Allen, Inc
  • Funding: With funding from Maine Humanities Council, National Endowment for the Humanities ; Champion International Corp. ; The Maine Community Foundation
  • Original Format: Film: 16mm
  • © 1989, Northeast Archives of Folklore and Oral History
  • 28mins, Color
  • Categories:
    Work Regional Cultures Rural Life