Harvesting Timber in Conche

Jack Casey shaping frames

As is common practice in Newfoundland and Labrador, Jack Casey of Conche cut all his timber in the fall of the year.

“We had a camp in there, about 8 miles,” he told WBMNL researchers, “we’d walk in there and cut our timber and pile it up on stumps. And in the spring of the year, when the snow was hard in March month, that’s when we would go in and take it, haul it out then.”

Once the timber was harvested, Jack would use a pit saw to cut his own wood. “We were all good hands at the saw,” said Jack, “We had to be, there was no room for spoiling timber when you had to go in eight to ten miles to get it.”

Harvesting Timber


Jack talked about building with more timber, noting that it was more difficult to saw because of the crooked shape. To steady the timber, Jack would tie it off with a piece of rope and a use a stick, which he called a “dog,” to prop it, marking it as they cut.

In Conche, Jack Casey primarily built his boats with black spruce and white spruce. He notes that juniper, a common wood used in boat building, was scarce in the area. “You wouldn’t see juniper down our way long enough to make a more or a keel. But knees for the thwart, or things like that, if you came across a big juniper, it didn’t matter how ugly it looked, you’d cut it down and saw the knees out of it. The limbs were big. It’s the prettiest kind of wood when it’s dressed up, juniper is – almost like it’s varnished.”



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