This month’s calendar page features images of the “herds” of logs that used to be sent floating down the Bull River in the spring with high water. This was a common practice in multiple tributaries of the Clark Fork. In tighter areas, like the lower Bull River, dams were built up to raise the water level and then dynamited to allow the logs to rush down with the flow of water. The logs, harvested over the frozen ground in winter, would eventually make it down to Bull River bay, down the Clark Fork, then out to Lake Pend Oreille and beyond.
Today, even observing the Bull River at peak runoff, it is hard to imagine the river full of logs headed downstream or the rush of water following the sudden destruction of earthen dam with dynamite. But a century ago, that was the easiest and most efficient way to get the lumber logged out of the valley off to a mill.
Read more about the 2017 Bull River calendar and the historical images it features here!