Aspen Chips Flying at the Hills House

September 30, 2016

 

by Jay Hobson

The Hudson Historical Society’s Hills House driveway was filled with cars with the overflow of vehicles being parked on the front lawn beneath a flag flying high atop a crane.  Spectators flooded onto the grounds to view 46 participants showcase their skills at the Fourth Annual Lumberjack Show.

With a brisk chilly wind blowing the huge flag straight out, several women stood atop blocks of wood and hammered away with axes to try and be the first to cut the block under their feet in half.

The winner of the event was Amelia Schraver, 19.

“I got into this at college at SUNY Cobleskill, N.Y.,” Schraver said.  “This is my second year.  My boyfriend, Wyatt Beaumont, got me into it and I really enjoy it; it’s different than other sports.  I’ll be doing the Jack and Jill crosscut event with Wyatt.”

The crosscut event is when a two-person saw is used to cut a tree or log.

Wielding a sharp ax can be dangerous, so Schraver and the other participants were careful to wear appropriate safety equipment.  Schraver sported a pair of chain mail guards on her shins.

One of the event organizers, Ben Marshall from Hudson, also took part in the event.

“I’ve been doing this for about five or six years,” he said.  “I’ll be going to Texas for another show next week.  It’s fun.  I work for a tree service and I use those skills in events like this.  I got started while in FFA (Future Farmers of America) in Alvirne went to UNH did it there, got addicted started buying equipment and this year I’ll be doing 35 shows throughout New England, Canada and as far as Alabama.”

The show takes on a carnival atmosphere with hundreds of people with their families and food concessions.

Julie Tatem, originally from Hudson, stopped by the show with her grandson Caedric, 8, to support her son Jim.

“We’re having a blast.  They really have a good day for it today,” Julie said.

“We saw Uncle Jim.  This is fun,” Caedric said before taking his first bite into a foot-long corndog.

While the adults were watching and taking part in the show, the little ones had an opportunity to use wood and nails to build small projects at a table hosted by Home Depot.

Marshall said that organizing the event was a joint project with the Hudson Historical Society.

“Atomic Tree Service where I work donated all the wood and labor setting it up.  We set it up last Friday and were here for a few hours Saturday to make sure everything was set up right.”