On Saturday evening, September 14th from 7pm to 9pm, visitors to Hartwick Pines State Park will have the opportunity to journey back to the year 1896 and meet some of the members of the Salling, Hanson and Company’s “Section 9 Camp” as they prepare for the upcoming winter logging season. Costumed interpreters will portray several members of the camp including Karen “Bessie” Michelson (the future Karen Hartwick), a local boarding house owner, the landlooker, the camp clerk, the camp cooks, a teamster, and some of the “shantyboys” –the men who did the cutting of the trees. From these men and women you will learn all about the life in a camp, the variety of work that was done in logging in the Grayling area and the rest of Michigan and some of the dangers of the job.
The Logging Museum will be transformed into the “Section 9 Camp”, which was located in what is now Hartwick Pines for the night. The park visitors will take on the roll of new employees of the Salling, Hanson and Company and will journey from the “Grayling Train Depot” (The Visitor Center) to the logging camp. The lantern lit one quarter of a mile walk between the visitor center and the logging museum will become the eight-mile journey to the camp. While at the museum, converse with the shantyboys about life in the bunkhouse, landlooker N.P. Salling about the search for the tall timber and the camp cooks about the huge appetites of the lumberjacks and how much food they need to cook for them.
After you go through the museum and meet all of the residents of the camp, enjoy the campfire on the “camboose” or head back up to the Visitor Center for a hot beverage. Your visit will likely last approximately an hour, but spend as much time as you would like. Doors of the Visitor Center will open at 6:30, however the tours do not start until 7pm. The last tour will leave at 8:30pm.
There is no charge for this program, but a Michigan Recreation Passport is required for entry into the park. Hartwick Pines State Park is located on M-93 (Hartwick Pines Rd.), two miles east of I-75, exit 259. For more information, please contact Hartwick Pines State Park at (989) 348-2537.