You can find many traces of timber rafting, if you keep your eyes open.You can find many traces of timber rafting, if you keep your eyes open.

Lumberjacks and raftsmen

There are many exciting stories about life in the forest, when axes and saws were used in the winter and timber floated the summer.

One story is about 30 men and two female cooks who for four winters lived in log cabins by Lake Rödsjön, and later Lake Uthussjön. They only skied the long way back to civilisation at Christmas and to visit Røros market. Now and again they walked to the farm Käringsjön to get provisions. Perhaps it was a relief when summer arrived, even though it was time for the arduous timber floating.

Floating route to Røros

The floating route from Rogen went westwards through the river Røa. On Lake Femunden, the timber was dragged after boats up to the constructed timber flumes, to Lake Feragen. From there, the raftsmen drove the logs into the river Feragselva. They had to push them free every time they got stuck along the river shores, and they followed the logs from land all the way to Røros. The logs often jammed together, and if the raftsmen couldn’t free them by the strength of their arms, they had to use dynamite. Timber floating was both risky and weather dependent. At one time, the raftsmen were stuck for six weeks by Lake Femunden, waiting for the wind direction to change.

The “bua” hut that is now at Reva, was once a sauna for lumberjacks at Rödsjön.The “bua” hut that is now at Reva, was once a sauna for lumberjacks at Rödsjön.

Photos: Naturcentrum AB.

Reading tip

Jäggi, S. & Johansen, T. 1997: Fløtningshistorie i Femundsmarka.

Map showing the floating route

See here »

 
Gränslandet » Life in Gränslandet » Lumberjacks and raftsmen