Hard Maple, Hard Work

bookHard Maple, Hard Work (1996)

By John Gagnon

A look at northern Michigan hard maple, also called sugar maple, and some of the people who work with it.

The tree is touted by lumbermen as the best in its North American range. Accordingly, buyers from Europe and Asia come to Michigan’s northwoods to get it—especially the elusive, valuable figured maple, bird’s-eye, that grows almost exclusively in the region.

This collection of profiles is not simply about wood. It is also about jobs that the tree provides and the people who work or have worked at them—from the romantic timber cruiser to the weary factory worker. The thread that unites these stories is hard maple—and the uncommon dignity of common people.

(Source: Abstract, page ii of Hard Maple, Hard Work)