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The Blazed Trail

Stewart Edward White

Book Overview: 

Stewart Edward White wrote fiction and non-fiction about adventure and travel, with an emphasis on natural history and outdoor living. White's books were popular at a time when America was losing its vanishing wilderness and many are based on his experiences in mining and lumber camps. The Blazed Trail is the story of early lumbermen in the northern woods of Michigan. The novel portrays the challenges faced by the workers focusing on one, Harry Thorpe, as he endeavors to be successful though completely unskilled when he enters the woods. The author mixes the splendor of nature with suspense, danger, and romance and provides glimpses into corrupt practices in the lumber industry at the time.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .ore the ice bottom so laboriously constructed was destroyed! Radway vibrated between the office and the road. Men were lying idle; teams were doing the same. Nothing went on but the days of the year; and four of them had already ticked off the calendar. The deep snow of the unusually cold autumn had now disappeared from the tops of the stumps. Down in the swamp the covey of partridges were beginning to hope that in a few days more they might discover a bare spot in the burnings. It even stopped freezing during the night. At times Dyer's little thermometer marked as high as forty degrees.

"I often heard this was a sort 'v summer resort," observed Tom Broadhead, "but danged if I knew it was a summer resort all the year 'round."

The weather got to be the only topic of conversation. Each had his say, his prediction. It became maddening. Towards evening the chill of melting snow would deceive many into the belief that a cold snap was beginning.

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Community Reviews

My first inclination is to categorize this book as an "epic western." It is written in the style of a western but tells the story of the men who logged the Michigan forests in the 1880's. I was at first daunted by the length of the book, and it does contain entire chapters devoted to the description

"I'm a lumberjack and I'm ok..."

This is the story of Harry Thorpe's swift rise as a lumber baron in 19th century America, starting at the bottom clearing ground for the loggers, to his first skilled job with the cant-hook, then logging his own land in competition against an unscrupulous corporation.

Good adventure story which, as with the other stories by this recently discovered author, provides a host of true-ringing background details - this one is about the (19th-Century) logging industry. Four stars if it had not been for the slightly disappointing happy ending: fortune lost on the ground

The Blazed Trail, by Stewart Edward White, first published in 1902, is the story of Harry Thorpe, an impoverished rich kid who becomes a lumberjack and rises to be the head of his own firm.
This is an old-fashioned and kind of odd book, both in style (way too wordy, though only in spots) and in phil

One of my Book Alcove finds. For $5 I was glad to try out a new author.

I was not disappointed in the writing. White's novel offers the scent of the outdoors, the urge to get the logs down the river, the emotions of the men while and after they are cooped up in camp for too long—in short, it's like

a style of writing that no longer exists.

Young man thrust into poverty sets out to earn a living in the logging industry while learning same. Locates and buys government timber with help of acquired partner. Competition and conflict with unscrupulous established company. Lots of description of life and work in the woods and wilds of Michig