ARNOLD, Calif. — Every year lumberjacks and lumberjanes gather in the forests of Calaveras County for the ultimate logging competition at the Sierra Nevada Logging Museum. For over a century now, the logging towns of Arnold and White Pines have attracted some of California’s toughest woodsmen, and the museum’s annual Logging Jamboree is a fine example of what it takes to work in the industry.
Inside the Logging Museum is a wide range of timber harvesting memorabilia including handsaws, sawmill displays and a wide selection of chainsaws, which loggers in Calaveras County use to cut very large sugar pine trees.
Sugar pine can grow upwards of 200 feet tall and over 10 feet wide. Loggers often worked from sunup to sundown cutting the massive trees and there was little time for sleep. To reduce the commute to work, about a half dozen lumberjacks at a time slept in tiny closet-sized cabins that were pulled around from jobsite to jobsite. One of those cabins is on display and you can walk inside.
After trees were cut, they were moved either by train or dragged by steam donkey cable system which you can also see at the museum. In the 1800s, loggers in Calaveras County served the fast-growing gold mining industry but by the end of WWII there was need for housing and a quick lumber supply was required.
Heavy equipment and tough loggers helped build California and the Sierra Nevada Logging Museum is a living reminder.
The Sierra Nevada Logging Museum in Arnold is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.
ANOTHER TRIP THROUGH THE TREES ON THE BACKROADS: Ride Northern California's longest zipline to your own personal tree house