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LOG RAFTS. Picturesque method of transporting timber to mills along the MISSISSIPPI RIVER. Logs, cut during the winter months in northern forests, were branded with the owner's sign and stacked along the riverbanks to await the spring thaw. Once in the river, the logs were assembled into rafts and guided by men using "sweeps."
Raft boats were later used to push the rafts to the mills. Using a crew of eighteen, a raft boat could guide a raft containing as much as three million feet of lumber, an amount roughly equal to seven trains of fifty cars each.
The largest log raft on the Mississippi was formed at Lynxville in 1896. It was 270 feet wide and 1,550 feet long. It contained 2.25 million board feet of lumber. (1)
1. Wisconsin Historical Markers. Online: http://wisconsinhistoricalmarkers.blogspot.com/2013/07/marker-149-rafting-on-mississippi.html