Riding the River
The Blue Collar Work of The Mike

Here is the the Mike the hard working blue collar boat in Burk's Falls. The Mike would tow barges and log booms along the Magnetawan River. If you look closely the Mike is towing tanbark in this picture.

Here are two sailors posing for a picture on the Mike. A question you have is where does the Mike get its name. The Mike was named after its first Captain.

Here's another image of the Mike towing more tanbark down the Magnetawan. This picture was taken from the shore through trees.

The Mike is towing something other than tanbark. The Mike is towing a boom of logs down the river. A boom is created by loggers chaining a circle of logs around a large group of logs. This way loggers aren't sending logs down a river used by commercial crafts.

The caption at the bottom of the image says it all. So I'll answer a question you probably have by now...what is tanbark? Tanbark is the bark of oak, hemlock and other trees which is processed into tannin. The tannin is, in turn, used in the tanning of leather. At the time the Knight Brothers ran a tannery in Burk's Falls.

Here is a picture of the Mike going down the Magnetawan. There were usually just a skeleton crew on the Mike. The vessel is small and the work was difficult but it could be handled by just one or two people.

With the Mike back into Burk's Falls its time for us to leave this blue collar boat for another of Burk's Fall's ships.

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