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"Deacon's Seat", the session not ending until the men rolled into their bunks for sleep.
        It was in the bunkhouses of the American lumber camps that the art of story telling reached its peak. No other industry has added so much to story telling as has the lumber camp. Throughout the country, Paul Bunyon has marched with banners flying, having been adopted in practically every state, where camps have been found. He stands out as the supreme mythical figure of the North American continent.
        The next most interesting figure in this lumberjack folklore, which is really a product of logging camps in Wisconsin, is that unbelievable animal, the Hodag. With the Hodag, march the Hide Behind, the Sidehill Gouger and the Hoop Snake. Other tales which were of interest to the bunkhouse audience were the tales of unusual feats of strength, ghost stories, which drew heavily upon the imaginations of both the listeners and the story teller, and a multitude of stories that concerned the lumberjacks' work and aroused their interest. The men, who could best tell their tales, were the ones who held sway longest as crowned kings of the Deacon's Seat. If                                                                             .
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they could not hold the interest of their listeners, they were not given the privilege of holding the seat of honor often.
          The poems in this book have all been contributed by Mr. William N. Allen better known as Billy Allen and Shan T. Boy, of Wausau, Wisconsin. Probably there is no living member of the old "lumberjack tribe" of the early years, who has contributed so much to the song and poetry of the bunkhouse as this same Shan T. Boy. The author of this book thanks the poet for his kindness in allowing several of his poems to be included within these covers. The author also thanks Mr. and Mrs. James P. Riley, Mrs. A. I. Lathrop and Miss Dorothy H. Woodward, who have all given assistance in many ways in the preparation of this book.
          It is the hope of the author that this book may give a little insight into the stories which were told in old camp days and that it may renew old memories of those who took part in the story telling sessions during those early years.



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The Hodag and Other Tales of the Logging Camps, Written by Lake Shore Kearney
(Madison, WI: Democrat Printing Press, 1928) Original Text and Illustrations Public Domain License.
Copyright © 2006-2014 Thrill Land.