|Pennsylvania logging era relic|
|A very old Pitch Pine stump|
I really think this stump has stood there for one hundred years and is another one of those stumps that hearkens back to the historic lumbering days in Pennsylvania when the lumberjack's axes rang in the timber. By the diameter of the stump, I suspect it was a smaller Pitch Pine tree that was cut for prop timber - timbers to prop the ceilings of mines.
A local lumber company, the Glen Union Lumber Co, laid rails in the 'Scootac valley in 1900 (Lock Haven Express May 8, 1900). They cut prop timber and saw logs in the area until 1909. They even shipped quality Yellow Pine timbers for ship building. (The yellow pine we have around here is called Pitch Pine).
I've been calling this stump a Pitch Pine, so I should explain how I determined its species. I found a loose section of the stump and cross-sectioned it to identify the wood. In the photo below, notice the large resin canals distributed evenly throughout the latewood... these are the distinguishing characteristics of yellow pines wood. Note: here the resin canals look like white spots, rather than holes, because they are filled with crystallized resin.
|Cross-section of Pitch Pine wood|
We like to use fat wood as a easy, natural fire starter.
The pine resin might keep the wood from rotting but it sure doesn't keep the wood from being used for starting a wood fire.
|Easy to see why its called lighter wood or fat lighter|
|Fat wood fire starter|
Now, I'd hate for this ancient relic of the Pennsylvania lumbering era to end up as fat wood kindling, wouldn't you?
story of the loggers, and hopefully are the ones that occasionally get kicked apart and split for lighter wood...they are just old Pitch Pine stumps.
Question...why didn't the stump burn like a torch in the forest fire of 1902?
I bet it would now.