During the nineteenth century, pine logs were lashed together to form easily floatable rafts that traveled from Minnesota and Wisconsin down the Mississippi River to build the farms and towns of the virtually treeless lower Midwest. These huge log rafts were steered down the river by steamboat pilots whose skill and intimate knowledge of the river’s many hazards were legendary. Charles Edward Russell, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, chronicles the history and river lore of seventy years of lumber rafting. " A colorful and entertaining account." New York Times Book Review Fesler-Lampert Minnesota Heritage Series
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