There is a scar on the landscape up there between South Twin and Marks Lake. It seems to have healed up fairly well, because I you’d have a jobs trying to get anything down it now. In the late 1940’s this was Mark’s Lake Road and it was one of the more documented logging operations in the limits of the Anglo-Newfoundland Development Company.
It wasn’t long after the Second World War that the operation started. The [A.N.D]Company wanted to cut the timber in the vicinity of Marks Lake, situated between North and South Twin Lake. The problem was, was that Mark’s Lake didn’t flow into either North or South Twin Lake. Marks Lake flowed into Shoal Arm Brook, which flowed out to the salt water at Badger Bay. They could have, and might have historically, driven the wood out this way and then boomed it and towed it to Botwood, then loaded onto the railway from Grand Falls, they MAY have done this sometime in the past. But this would have made for some expensive wood. Compounding the issues was a large hill that would have made conventional hauling very difficult. The solution could be found not too far to the west, where Bowater had been using Hayes trucks to transport wood from Hampden to the Humber River. They had been doing this since about 1942 and it had been fairly successful.
In 1946 the Anglo-Newfoundland Development Company started trucking wood from Mark’s Lake.(1) They would acquire two Hayes Trucks and later a Caterpillar DW10. A Hayes truck was an early logging truck very similar to a modern tractor trailer. It could pull wood on tandem wheeled trailers much of the same. It could also be set up to pull sleds in the winter. A Caterpillar DW10 was a bit of a different beast, they were designed mainly to pull road scrapers, and had been employed as such in the building of airfields during the Second World War. They were basically a big rubber wheeled tractor. The AND Co may have acquired a scraper to go on the machine, but it was mainly used for hauling wood.
The remnants can still be seen today, boom piers and such, at Marks Lake. Here the wood was collected up into cabled bundles and loaded by crane onto the truck trailers. Initially, the wood was loaded from pontoons, like at Terra Nova, but this was found to be unsatisfactory and there was a plan to put a jackladder in place.(Western Star)
The installation of a jackladder seems to have never been undertaken, instead “substantial” steel derricks were installed with hoisting engines, to haul up the bundled wood and load it onto the trucks (Western Star). In the summer of 1947 it was noted that about four hundred cords of wood per week were being moved on the trucks. (Western Star)From the loading area at Marks Lake it was moved over the road down to South Twin Lake and dumped. From this site it was collected in a boom and towed down the Lake by two powerful diesel powered tugboats, the Sir Vincent and the Henry S. Once towed to the bottom of South Twin, it was sluiced into the Badger system and the Exploits River.
This operation was one of the better documented in this time period. It was subject to a paper written in a forestry journal in the UK, by a forestry student working for the AND Co, and it was also visited by a journalist working for the Atlantic Guardian. Pictures of the operation appeared in the Guardian. It was also on the go during the same time period that the Western Star published the A.N.D Company notes, which documented to the goings on in each of the Company’s Woods Divisions. As a modern and mechanized operation, it was something the Company wanted to show off.
The road itself was about 4.5 kilometers long. It crossed over some pretty high terrain, which is one of the main reasons it was built. Not far from where it drops down to South Twin there was a section of a least a half a kilometer where it was built on top of a bog. Visitors marveled at this bridgework and corduroy section, but I think some were a little concerned with the sinking feeling on crossing this section on a loaded logging truck.
The trucking would start around Mid-June once the roads were dried out enough for the heavy trucks. Leslie Manual was the foreman on the operation. (Western Star)
The operation appears to have winded down by the early 1950’s. In 1949 over 21,000 cords were hauled from Marks Lake by September of that year. (Western Star) But the following year only 7,000 cords were hauled. By the mid-1950’s all of the operations in the Twin Lakes area were winding down. But that wouldn’t be the end, well at least for one of the Hayes Trucks. In the early 1960’s when cutting operations got started around Cornfield Lake, one of the Hayes Trucks was used to haul the wood to the Exploits River. At that point the old machine would have had about 16 years in the woods, but they built things to last back then.
Special Thanks to Mr. Otto Verge.
Thank you for the history, Always a delight to read.
Hey Bryan, the bog you mentioned over which the Hayes trucks pulled wood over, locally is referred to as Hayes’s Bog, clearly named for the trucks. I have travelled that road on snowmobile.
I’ve heard that! Wonder if the remnants of the road over it still float! I’m lucky enough that I know somebody who worked in the area at the time.