Lumber, trains and man power
I am in the front with John Briggs and Halder Putman of the Street Lumber Co. behind me, transporting wood at the Toecane train station in 1953.
The year was 1953 and I was 20 years old, working for the Street Logging and Lumber Company, established by my father, Chester Street, in Buladean, Mitchell County. Back then, there were no machines in the lumber business, with the exception of motor vehicles, and all work was done by horses and man power. We transported the lumber to the nearest train station at Toecane, where it was then shipped to places all over the country. The Toecane train station during that time was a booming place, a center for both commerce and social life for the residents of northern Mitchell County.
Today, the Street Lumber Company is still in the family, under the direction of myself and my son, Milan. However, nowadays, lots of the work that was once done by horses and manual labor is done by machines. The once thriving metropolis of Toecane has slowed to the occasional whistle of a passing train as it moves on to a larger station, no longer stopping at the small community. The changes in the lumber business in nearly 60 years may have made the work easier, but the time of booming train stations, horses and man power will always hold a certain nostalgic eminence.