Tuesday, April 5, 2016


D is for Patrick Dorgan (1831-1907)

Patrick was my great-grandfather. he was born in 1831 on the Dingle peninsula, County Kerry, Ireland. He was the oldest of the five children of Owen Dorgan and Johanna Bowler and came to the United States in 1860. He settled in the Fond du Lac, Wisconsin area and soon married Mary Lumery, another County Kerry girl. Together they had 12 children. 

Patrick worked in the timber industry, in the saw mill and as a lumber cruiser. A lumber cruiser would cruise or walk the forest and estimate the timber yield from a stand of trees.

Not much else is known about him. He died in Fond du Lac at the age of 76. The photos below are representative of lumbering in the 19th century. 

This is my favorite. That jam goes for miles.

Freshets in the West--great jam of logs at Chippewa Falls boom, Wisconsin. This illustration appeared in Harper's Weekly in 1869 and is from the Library of Congress


A woodcut drawing also from the Library of Congress titled Logging in northern Wisconsin / drawn by T. de Thulstrup, Zimerman & Negri, se.

This is an undated postcard I purchased. Location unknown.