It's Daylight in the Swamps

Journey back to the days of the Lumberjack Camps


   True stories, tall tales and toe-tapping songs!

Imagine you are an 18 year old immigrant from Sweden and after weeks of traveling by train and horse drawn wagon you arrive at a lumber camp to report to work. On the first day you are shown the bunk you will share with three other men, and get a tour of the camp which includes a blacksmith shop, stable and tool shed. For dinner, you are treated to a meal that includes pot roast, potatoes, fresh dinner rolls, and a large slice of apple/prune pie. After a night on a hay mattress, you are awaken in the morning by the cook, "It's daylight in the swamps" he yells! It's still dark at 5:30am when you start the long walk to the logging site. Your job as a swamper involves notching trees for the sawyers and trimming branches off the trees once they hit the ground. The work is hard, but you're grateful because you're earning $1 a day, and living the American dream.

The story of lumberjack is a window into the world of our immigrant forefathers. These colorful tales appeal to people of all ages. At schools, Bill takes students on a step by step process of harvesting trees, showing the importance of teamwork and pride. At festivals and fairs, children are brought up on stage to compete for prizes with answering questions as "true" or "tall tale" reply. At his general audience programs Bill presents a social history with stories and traditional songs, from the lumberjack era. This program has a "laugh a minute" and appeals to anyone who has an appreciation for the woods, whether as a hunter, camper or simply as a hiker.


"Bill has presented all three of his programs at our library. Each year we attracted a larger audience as word spread. My patrons love his shows; I wish he'd come up with another program!"
Elizabeth Eissen, Appleton (WI) Public Library

"We had Bill present his CCC and his lumberjack show. I heard many positive comments from our members, many who had relatives in the C's or worked in the logging camps. It's pure entertainment with a lot of good information thrown in!"
Sue Maki, St. Scholastica College of Lifelong Learning, Duluth, MN

"Bill is a perfect match for the Paul Bunyan Museum. We've had him here for the past three summers and he performs children and adult shows and he is a hit with any age group he performs for. He really teaches history in his programs but he makes it fun. The programs help our visitors better appreciate our historical exhibits and for this we're grateful."
Diana Peterson, Paul Bunyan Logging Camp Museum, Eau Claire, WI


Lumberjack General Audiences


Lumberjack for Schools



Bill performs at the Paul Bunyan Museum in Eau Claire for their chain saw carving championships.