What is a Steam Donkey?

The steam monster shown here is actually calle a "Steam Donkey" because it used steam power to replace the donkey use to drag logs out of the woods. A "line horse" would carry the cable out to a log in the woods. The cable would be attached, and, on signal, the steam donkey's operator (engineer) would open the regulator, allowing the steam powered machine (donkey) to drag the log towards it. The log was taken to a mill or for shipment by rail, road or river. In some cases logs were loaded onto boats or floated directly in the water. Donkeys were moved by attaching a cable to a tree, a stump or something very secure and then the donkey would drag itself to a new location. Logging was a big part of the history of Ladysmith. To read more about ladysmwith, click here.


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