206 THE PIONEERS OF OLD ONTARIO
mills, and cordwood for the wood-burning steamers that took on fuel at the river docks on their way up the lakes.
"I have seen," said W. T. Henry of Sombra, "six or seven yoke of oxen engaged in `snaking' one log out of the bush; and even then the cattle had all they could do. The sloughs were full of water. As the log passed through these its head was completely submerged, and it required the power of a steam tug to pull it along. The men were as hard worked as the cattle. Boys of seventeen did the work of grown men. When engaged in hauling wood to the river docks, three loads, of two and a half or three cords each, brought five or six miles, was an average day's work. As a lad of seventeen, I have unloaded my first load at six o'clock in the morning. People to-day have no idea of the magnitude of the cordwood business of those days. You see those old piles that line the river near the shore?" said Mr. Henry pointing to the west. "They formed the foundation piers of old-time wood docks. These lined the river almost as completely as wharves line the front of a modern city harbour, and even then they didn't afford accommodation for all the wood brought out. I have seen the road, leading inland from the St. Clair towards Wilkes-port, so closely piled up with wood on either side that you could hardly get a team through. Over one of the docks near the outlet of this road as much as a million cords of wood must have been delivered from first to last."
James Bowles, reeve of the township, who for years had been largely engaged in lumbering