The practice of harvesting started in the 1700’s through the early 1900’s. Some of these trees that we harvest now from the depth of our rivers have the growth rings of over 1000 rings which equate to the age of the tree in years. The men that originally harvested this cypress were real men that worked in tough conditions. They would leave home for months at a time in the swamps and rivers.
Originally the tools used to harvest the behemoth trees were axes and crosscut saws. Then green, or live cypress was transported to near by rivers by mules or ox carts to wait for the spring river to rise. The green cypress and virgin first generation pine would be latched together in up to 500 log rafts using iron ring wedges, rope, and chain. The rafts were ridden by two-man teams to saw mills down the river, mostly at the coast of Georgia.
Storms and calamities along the long journey to the coast created broken rafts of logs, which equated to thousands of logs that sunk to the bottom of our rivers.