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Apostle Islands Historic Preservation Conservancy

Established in 2006, the AIHPC is a community-based nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of the many historic properties and cultural landscapes in the Apostle Islands region on northern Wisconsin.  Beginning with a core group of families who hold longstanding property interests in historically-significant buildings on Sand and Rocky Islands, in some cases dating from the late 1800′s, the Conservancy represents a wide range of interests throughout the Chequamegon Peninsula.

 

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Today in Chequamegon history: and you thought you were having a bad day?

Stevens Point Daily Journal, December 7, 1956: "Logger lives up to traditions after tree breaks legs"

"Bayfield Wisconsin (AP) – Lyle Yancey, 42, survived in good spirits Thursday a day in agony with all the heroic traditions of Wisconsin's legendary north woodsmen.

"Yancey, a logger from Ladysmith, suffered in below-freezing temperatures and snow for two hours when a tree he was cutting fell on him and broke his legs. His cries for help went unheeded as his motor-driven saw continued to run, the sound of its engine drowning out his voice.

"The accident occurred at about 9 AM, but it was late Thursday night before a doctor was at Yancey's side. Yet during the entire rescue ordeal he gave no signs of distress. Instead, Yancey drank coffee and talked with his rescuers."

"The day began on Outer Island in the Apostle chain, 30 miles north of here in Lake Superior. Yancey was a member of a 16-man crew that was cutting timber on the island. He sawed through an 18-inch tree and, as it toppled, the bottom kicked out and struck him on the left side. He was knocked down and the tree fell on top of him, breaking his legs.

"After Yancey was found a telephone call to Ed Erickson here, who had hired the crew, told of the accident. Erickson contacted Sam Evans, an Ashland pilot, who immediately took off for the island. Evans landed on an airstrip at the south end of the island, but radioed that he was unable to take off because of the heavy snow.

"A radio message to the Coast Guard at Duluth, Minnesota, brought the cutter Woodrush into action. She bucked blowing snow and heavy swells to reach the island at about 7 PM. She put in at a natural dock on the northeast end of the island, but rugged seas out of the Northeast made it impossible to take Yancey aboard.

"The Woodrush moved to the lee of the island on the south side, where the protection of the land made the seas calmer. While the vessel was underway, Yancey was placed aboard a truck and driven the length of the island (RWM note: 7 miles) and then carried through the surf by his companions to a small boat from the cutter.

"As the boat was being taken aboard the Woodrush a line parted and the bow of the boat fell into the water. Yancey, still on his stretcher, was in the bow and was soaked. It was necessary to place a line under his arms and pull him aboard.

"Once aboard the cutter he was made comfortable while the Woodrush sped the 30 miles back to Bayfield. On Yancey's insistence he was placed in the ambulance and taken home before getting a physician's help."

Photo: unidentified lumberjacks at the Lullabye Logging Camp, Outer Island, early 1950s. Photo courtesy Don Jaskowiak.

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Collected and edited by Bob Mackreth for the Apostle Islands Historic Preservation Conservancy, a community-based nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of the historic heritage of the Apostle Islands region of northern Wisconsin.

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