City of Cornell
222 Main Street, Cornell, WI 54732
715-239-3710   
 fax 715-239-3721
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History of the Stacker

Taken from a brochure created and researched by Bonnie Barry Selmer and Sue Hartzell

 

The Stacker itself was designed and constructed in 1911-12 by the Joors Manufacturing company of England. The pulpwood stacker is the only example left in the United States where it was once commonly employed in the handling and preparation of pulpwood used in the manufacture of paper and paper products. The site, at the time it was in use, consisted of a log pond, pump house, slasher building, stacker, stacker pit building, sluice, locker/ tool building, office and garage. All but two of these buildings burned in a fire in 1989. The stacker itself was tested for structural damage after the fire by a firm of engineers and found not to be damaged.

Cornell's pulpwood stacker dominates the view of visitors entering the city from Highways 64, 178 and 27. The stacker, which was used from 1912 to 1971 was a mechanical conveyer that stacked logs in piles. The logs‘ then were placed in waterways and floated to a nearby paper mill. The stats of the stacker are as follows: height 175 feet, width 36 feet at the base, 10 feet at the tip, angle 45 degrees, power: 35 horsepower electric motor, located at the tip of the stacker. The conveyor uses 1-inch wire cable that has iron discs attached. Logs were carried up the chutes into piles. Workers made repairs by using a catwalk on the upper side of the left truss frame. '

The stacker operation continued year around. Pulpwood came in on box cars and gondolas and was unloaded into the mill pond which was kept from freezing by steam pipes coming in under the water. Certain types of wood were kept in separate piles because they were used for a different grade of paper.

Production of the pulpwood started with eight foot logs that were cut into four lengths, each two feet long. They floated down a sluice (a ditch with water force behind it) to the grinder room where the two foot lengths were reduced to pulp. Two men with pike poles would walk along the sluice way to be sure the two foot logs would not jam or pile up. The stacker represented, at the time, the switch from the storage of pulpwood in log booms in water to massive piles on the land. This was due to an increasing labor shortage and a growing mechanization of the papermaking process. The peculiarities of handling hardwood and the desirability of stockpiling large supplies of pulpwood to avert shortages and guarantee steady operation of the mill also contributed to the development of more sophisticated techniques as realized in the mechanical stacker.

The Cornell stacker ceased operations in 1971, a victim of obsolescence brought on by modern hydraulics and hastened by an economic slump in the paper industry. When this happened, the pond beneath was filled in, though portions of its concrete walls are still visible.


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