Appalachia Appalachia Through My Eyes

Appalachia Through My Eyes – Pulp Wood Cutters

I followed this home from work the day I wrote about Papaw’s Chainsaw– which seemed totally appropriate to me. I believe there are 3 saw mills between Clay and Cherokee Counties-unless one has shut down-or I’ve forgotten one.


Appalachia Through My Eyes – A series of photographs from my life in Southern Appalachia.



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  • Reply
    October 10, 2016 at 11:53 am

    There are so many log trucks up here on the Cumberland Plateau, I wonder how any forest is left. I am thankful the highways are greatly improved since my childhood- narrow two lanes across the curvy hills. Riding in the back seat (no belts), I hated being in front of a log truck, any truck- on the way down. I thought for sure we’d be rammed by the growling monster as I would always turn and look! Then, to be behind one going up and down for several miles, and Daddy waiting for a clear spot to pass- yes, I was a nervous backseat driver even then!

  • Reply
    March 3, 2011 at 10:08 am

    I only know of one saw mill in my area. But we have a pulp wood plant not far from here. So we see those trucks hauling logs all the time.

  • Reply
    February 22, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    I don’t know where the closest saw mill would be. We use to have charcoal kilns within 20 miles. On a windy day you could smell them. We see logging trucks occassionally, but I have no clue where they are going to.

  • Reply
    February 21, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    We have big saw mills near by, and many small saw mills around the county, a couple pulp mills down in the Tide Flats of Tacoma thirty or so miles from here (my hometown). We live in the middle of forest land, it is still an industry in our area, has been since it was discovered by the industrious. But it has taken a lot of hits in my generation, the original greeners (in the sixties/seventies) who made clear cutting a nasty word, the spotted owl, and several slumps in the housing industry especially this last one. My grandmother likened trees to radishes. Course we all know that they aren’t that renewable but trees are certainly an amazing renewing resource. With intensity. Parts of the blast zones up around Mount St. Helen’s (volcano 1980) were purposely replanted. The places that weren’t have nearly caught up in spite of scientist (and handwringers) claiming it would take hundreds of years for the forest to replenish itself. God made earth an amazing planet. Sometimes I wish we gave God and His creation credit for being as amazing as it truly is.
    Wow, guess you didnt’ expect all that from you little short mention of a loggin’ truck huh. I live on logging truck super highway!

  • Reply
    fred tarr
    February 21, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    yep, Canton NC a memory I soon won’t forget, smoke rollin thru canton and up onto the golf course outside canton. a small 9 hole mountain course, name escapes me.on some days stronger than others. i was in saw filing classes haywood tech with Ed from Robbinsville, NC back in the early 80’s. graduated in wood products and filed for a few years on band until the hammer got my ears somewhat and I had to quit. was smart as the hammer and back gauge will tie you up especially on a 12 inch wide band 23 ft around. those kinks and knots have to come out.

  • Reply
    SandyCarlson (USA)
    February 21, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    There used to be paper mills around here, but no more. We just see the logs going north from time to time.

  • Reply
    Uncle Al
    February 21, 2011 at 8:22 pm

    Occasionally see one of those over this way Tipper. My memories of pulp wood goes back to my daddy and when he was teaching in Central Mississippi. I must only been about 6 or 7 years old. In the summer he decided to make some extra money by cutting timber. They did it with cross cut saws. That was hard work for sure.

  • Reply
    Jerry McKelvy
    February 21, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    Trucks hauling logs and pulpwood are common in our area of south Arkansas. Our paper mill shut down a few years ago and some of the saw mills are having tough times right now, but we still have plenty of trees. A large pine seedling nursery in our area is busy supplying pine seedlings for replanting right now.

  • Reply
    February 21, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    That’s a gorgeous picure, you have quite an eye! I couldn’t say whether we have any logging left around here, but a lot of folks heat their homes with wood.

  • Reply
    February 21, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    We have one in our area, down the road a ways.

  • Reply
    February 21, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    have not seen one of these since i went to GA 3 years ago, i do NOT ride behind one or beside one, those logs can roll off, I saw it with my own eyes. i stay way back and don’t pass. don’t think we have any in FL, not a lot of trees to cut down.

  • Reply
    B. Ruth
    February 21, 2011 at 2:54 pm

    Hey Tipper,
    The biggest pulp mill around here is Bowater Plant in Calhoun, TN…That is where our pines went to morph into paper products. Lucky we got them cut just before the pine beetles totally infested them..
    The mill I am most familiar with, is the one at Canton, NC…I believe it is called Blue Ridge, Inc. When we went to NC to visit, if the wind was right, you could smell the plant before getting to Grandmothers. It was a wonderful memory of the summers spent there that I’ll never forget.
    As for sawmills there are numerous ones around here. They cut all types of wood for different uses. A few of our Oaks and Poplars went to them as well as a very large Red Cedar and one lonely Walnut…
    One scary moment when I was driving home, I met a huge flatbed loaded with long pines rounding the curve in my lane…I thought I was a goner. A couple of weeks later a driver was killed, driving too fast with a load. It was on the same curve and the load shifted turning the truck over!…I always wondered if it was the same driver I met in my lane that day?…
    Thanks Tipper…..Drive alertly and give’em room!

  • Reply
    Vicki Lane
    February 21, 2011 at 2:51 pm

    I only know of one near us but I always allow extra time when I’m going somewhere for fear of getting behind a log truck.

  • Reply
    Lonnie L. Dockery
    February 21, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    That IS a good picture! I don’t see those trucks as often as I used to. (You didn’t take that picture while driving did you?)

  • Reply
    February 21, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    If you took that picture through
    your windshield, it sure is clean.
    I have a friend near the Andrews
    High School who has a sawmill.
    Newell Wooten has had a sawmill
    since the ’70s and he and his
    brothers took down several trees
    on my place where my shop is and
    we exchanged no money, just a
    handshake for helping each other.
    Around our area timber cutting
    for logging and firewood to heat
    homes with are a way of life. Its
    one of the few things that remain
    “just a touch of the past.” ..Ken

  • Reply
    February 21, 2011 at 10:00 am

    I never paid attention to number but there are many mills around here, mostly smaller setups, not too many huge setups. Folks here love and hate them…it’s a big part of the economy but it also costs money to replace roads and such from the heavy trucks…funny how that always works that way!

  • Reply
    February 21, 2011 at 9:46 am

    This brought back memories for me Tipper. My husband worked for a papermill for 22 years until they shut it down in ’98. Alot of people complained about the smell and noise but that was our bread and butter.

  • Reply
    February 21, 2011 at 9:12 am

    In Central California, we have one still hanging on by a thread…

  • Reply
    grannis little corner
    February 21, 2011 at 7:48 am

    I just got back from a trip to tennessee, where my daughter lives, and she lives along the cherokee mountains……so beautiful there. I saw different trucks, hauling the huge logs, wondering at the time, where they were taking them.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    February 21, 2011 at 7:44 am

    Tipper, I lived in a paper mill town for a long time so trucks like that were a common sight. I’m sure it still is a common sight there! Every time I see a truck load now I think of that paper mill that fed my family and many more.
    Paper mills smell bad for miles around. In response to any comments about the bad smell the Deer Hunter’s Papaw used to say ” It smells like bread and butter to me!”

  • Reply
    Nancy @ A Rural Journal
    February 21, 2011 at 7:33 am

    None here, Tipper. Not many sawmills in Nebraska. I don’t think. I’ll have to research it.

  • Reply
    Canned Quilter
    February 21, 2011 at 7:27 am

    I can only think of 2 sawmills in the area and they are both Amish run. Here in the glaciated plains of north Missouri corn is king. Timber is not as plentiful as in your area. There is more timber in the southern part of the state.

  • Reply
    Mike McLain
    February 21, 2011 at 7:12 am

    I remember these trucks from when I was a kid, but most of the “pup” wood went to paper mills.

  • Reply
    February 21, 2011 at 5:35 am

    I’m not sure how many saw mills there are in Cyprus. We haven’t got any on the coast but there must be 2-3 in the mountains and one in Nicosia. Lovely photo and such a beautiful journey from home to work! I usually have to put up with traffic jams!!

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