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Manistee Log Marks

Image credits to the Minnesota Historical Society

Man wearing a bandana in a car with dog

Timeless. Tireless.

Manistee Log Marks Ltd. is a throwback textile company, created to provide a modern look at a vital era in American history. Our goal is to celebrate the form and function of log marks, and to help tell the stories of the companies and men who used them.

We celebrate this important moment in the building of our country by imprinting actual log marks that were used throughout the midwest on our products. Shop our bandanas and blankets

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The history
of log marks

The Great Northern Pine Harvest provided the capital and building material to build towns and cities surrounding the Great Lakes. None of that would have been possible without the use of log marks.


From the 1840's until the early 1900’s, billions of board feet of pine logs were cut from Northern forests by thousands of timber companies. 

Most used rivers to transport the logs from the forest to the mills. Each timber company created their own unique log mark, much like the brands used by ranchers to mark their cattle on the open range. The marks were added to heavy iron hammers.  When a tree was cut the logger would take the log hammer and strike the end of the green log leaving an impression in the end of the log. 


Once marked, a log would be hauled by oxen to the edge of the river.  In the spring when the water was at its highest the marked logs would be rolled into the water and floated downstream to the mills. The mills would look for the end marks to know which timber company to credit for each log that arrived at the mill. 

Log marks were recognized by law and created order in an industry that demanded great hardship and exhaustive effort. The work in the woods lasted all winter, for six months lumbermen stayed wet from sweat and snow. They started before sunrise and finished after dark, all for a dollar a day.


Nature Conservancy


Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy


Woody's Woods Working Forest Reserve

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