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Barking Up the Right Tree

Lumber was one of Pennsylvania's greatest resources in the late 19th Century. In the height of the industry, lumber lords harvested thousands of giant hemlocks and the bark was peeled off from felled trees between April and June, when the sap ran freely from the tree's roots to the needles. To celebrate the end of this busy time, a festival was held around July Fourth. Men demonstrated their unusual skills, at the Log Birling competition, where contestants tried to dislodge their opponents from a log afloat in a lumber mill pond by spinning it with their feet.

In memory of these bygone years, the Bark Peelers' Convention offers attendees a chance to witness similar contests and discover the impact the Pennsylvania lumber industry had on the Commonwealth. This year's festival on July 5 & 6, 2014 will include a two-person sawing demonstration and a crosscut saw competition. It's always fascinating to learn that wood hicks - men that lived in the woods and cut timber - used saws with different tooth patterns, depending upon whether the log they were cutting was wet, dry or even frozen. 

The Bark Peelers' Convention is held at the Pennsylvania Lumber Museum along Route 6 near Galeton. The Lumber Museum is a recreated turn-of-the-century lumber mill and camp with a visitors center and themed exhibitions. This signature events dates by to 1974 and it is the only time when you are able to see their turn of the century sawmill operate.

This two-day event is a remarkable opportunity that brings lumber heritage back to life. Plan your visit today with a stay at a nearby bed and breakfast.