An Archaeological View of the Historic Logging Era and the Roddis Lumber & Veneer Co

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Date(s) - 09/08/2020
9:00 am - 10:30 am

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This class is full.  Please send an email to feuniversity2014@gmail if you wish to get on a waiting list.

Course Title:  An Archaeological View of the Historic Logging Era and the Roddis Lumber and

Veneer Company 

Dates:  September 8, September 15, September 22, 2020

Time:  9:00-10:30 AM

Location:  September 8 and 15 – online, September 22 – outdoor auto tour

Objectives:  The students will be introduced to the era when logging the vast forests of northern Wisconsin was the primary industry – ca. 1850s to 1930s. The students will also gain knowledge of the era from an archaeological point of view. As part of the course, the students will learn to use online websites and other sources to conduct research within this era.

Course structure:  The course will be given in _3__ sessions, each _90__ minutes long, covering the following topics:

Historic logging was a primary industry in northern Wisconsin and the Roddis Lumber Company is part of the history of Iron County. Over 90% of archaeological sites in the region are related to logging.

Class 1: September 8 – lecture and discussion of research topics

 -A brief overview of the historic logging industry in northern Wisconsin

-A brief overview of archaeological studies on logging sites

-When students register, they will be given a list of research topics pertaining to the

historic logging era to choose from. With the instructor’s approval,

any student can also research a topic of their own choosing within this era.

-In the last part of the class, the students will declare their topic and the instructor will

give them a number of online tools and websites to help in their research.

Students can work on their own or in groups.

 During the week between Class 1 and Class 2, the instructor will be available to help students by phone and email.

 Class 2: September 15 – lecture, student presentations and information on the class trip

 – Introduction to the Roddis Lumber and Veneer Company which was active in the Turtle

Flambeau Flowage area between 1903-1938, and the sites that are associated

with it

         -Each student will present their research to the class. In their presentations, students

should include the sources they used, any problems that they encountered and

suggestions for further research on their topics.

         -A one page written report or outline on the results of their research and sources used

will be required from each student. These reports will be downloaded on the Fe

University website page for the class.

         -At the end of the class, information on the meeting place and the plan for the outdoor

auto tour will be discussed.

 Class 3: September 22 – outdoor field trip

         -Instructions for the class trip will be discussed in Class 2 and maps and other

information will be available on the website.


Students should have an interest in or learning about the historic logging era. Students should also have access to a computer with internet and an email account. The outdoor class trip will not involve strenuous walking, but rather will be more like an auto tour to acquaint the students with the area that includes the logging camps.

 There will be class instructions, research materials, list of research topics, instructions on the research write-ups, etc. available on the Fe University website prior to the beginning of the class.

 Each student will be expected to conduct research on a topic on the list, or on a topic of their own, approved by the instructor. They will present the results of the research in a short (up to 5 minute) presentation to the class on the 2nd day. The students will be required to submit a one-page summary or outline of their research which will be downloaded on the Fe University website page for the class.

 On the auto tour, students will be required to wear masks when the class is out of their cars at stopping points, since it may be difficult to social distance. Recommended: walking shoes, bug repellent, sunscreen, long pants, long sleeved shirt, water, snacks. The class will tour in scattered showers but will reschedule if there is an imminent threat of thunderstorms or heavy rain, or extreme temperatures. Any further instructions for the auto tour will be discussed in Class 2. If anyone has a question at any time prior to or after registering, please contact the instructor.


Cindi Stiles has been a professional archaeologist for over 40 years, 30 of those years in Wisconsin. She has a Bachelor’s degree in History and a Master’s degree in Anthropology/Archaeology. She has worked for the US Forest Service, the Department of Natural Resources, the Wisconsin Historical Society, and most of the Native American tribes in Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Research interests include: historic logging era, late19th/early 20th century Ojibwe history, ancient rock art, Civilian Conservation Corps and the New Deal. Her primary interest outside of work is travel. She has visited several countries in South America, Africa, Europe and Asia, as well as auto touring the US.

Course fee: $10, limit 10 students


Registrations are closed for this event.

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