A Library for Lumberjacks


Lumberjacks of yesteryear cut trees from remote camps before shipping the lumber to sawmills. One mill owner built his lumberjacks a rolling boxcar library so the workers could enjoy books even while in distant logging camps. The Bonner mill library car was built in 1921 and functioned as a library through the 1950s, during which time more than 8,000 books were checked out. The Historical Museum at Fort Missoula in Missoula, Montana will put the boxcar library on display for visitors at the end of June.

Ian MacAllen is the author of Red Sauce: How Italian Food Became American (Rowman & Littlefield, April 2022). His writing has appeared in Chicago Review of Books, Southern Review of Books, The Offing, 45th Parallel Magazine, Little Fiction, Vol 1. Brooklyn, and elsewhere. He tweets @IanMacAllen and is online at IanMacAllen.com. More from this author →