photo of Fox Meadow Catalogue Home Publishing Catalogue Production Site menu - text links at page bottom

2nd edition

Published by Fox Meadow

soft cover
10″ x 8″
144 pages
66 historical photos,
maps & illustrations
ISBN 0-9681452-7-2
retail $19.95


  • new set of maps
  • several additional photos
  • expanded index
  • Boyd family tree
  • more coverage of logging in northern Haliburton and efforts to find new timber limits farther north
  • Boyd’s Muskoka River log drive



Other Fox Meadow books about 19th century lumbering

When Giants Fall: The Gilmour Quest for Algonquin Pine

Gilmour Tramway: A Lumber Baron’s Desperate Scheme


lumber pile

Above: “Pile it on a slant so the water will run off,” Boyd’s lumber distributor instructed (National Archives of Canada)

Felling giant pine in the 1800s was not the easiest task (front cover picture, top, courtesy National Archives of Canada), nor was getting it to the sawmill (right, log jam on the Burnt River, Haliburton, courtesy Parks Canada)

Timber Empire cover

Timber Empire: The Exploits of the Entrepreneurial Boyds

by Grace Barker

In 1834, 19-year-old Mossom Boyd arrived in the backwoods of Upper Canada with few assets other than his intelligence and determination.

Within a decade he’d taken over a small sawmill at nearby Bobcaygeon, in the Kawartha Lakes district. Gradually he expanded operations until he was shipping millions of feet of lumber each year to the U.S., and his logging operations extended north to the farthest reaches of the Trent River headwaters in Haliburton County.

Boyd also engaged in the risky but exciting and often financially lucrative square timber trade, annually floating rafts of pine all the way down the Trent and St. Lawrence rivers to Quebec for export to Britain.

Timber Empire follows the exploits of Mossom Boyd and two of his sons as they battle natural, political and economic obstacles in their quest to extract a living from the pine forests of the Kawarthas and Haliburton.

Grace Barker’s well-researched narrative, based to a large extent on information in the diaries and correspondence of the Boyds, overlays a sense personality and immediacy on the hardships, excitement, and innovation that characterized 19th-century lumbering in Ontario.

log jam



Home    Catalogue    Production    Publishing