Did You Know Hudson has its own Nationally Recognized Lumberjack?

September 18, 2015


by Len Lathrop

An Alvirne graduate, class of 2007, a hometown boy, who spends the winter in Disney World putting on daily shows for visitors.  He travels New England and surrounding states throughout the spring and summer competing against other woodsmen.  He has competed in 12 different states.  Before we tell more about Ben Marshall and the records he holds, let’s be sure you know you can see him and other woodsmen at the Third Annual Lumberjack contest, sponsored by the Hudson Historical Society, on the grounds of the Hills house on Sunday the 27th, starting at 9 a.m. and running to about 5 p.m.  And best of all it is free to attend, and even free to park.

Have you ever seen a lumberjack chop through a standing log while standing on what is called a springboard, which is truly just a piece of wood stuck into the log?

Marshall does this in 1 1/2 minutes, even without being timed; it is a feat to see.

Two-man crosscutting pits team cutting through logs that are 20 inches in round in diameter.  Average time is 7 to 10 seconds, but these athletes will break a sweat.  Remember to bring your blankets and chairs, as this is a grassroots event.

Wait; there is more.  This time chainsaws are involved.  Marshall advises that these saws have modified dirt bike engines up to 350 cc in size.  Now think about a 12 inch-by-12 inch square block of wood; the winner will have to cut off the end of this log three times in about 4 seconds to be the champion.  Yes three cuts, 12 inches each in 4 seconds; if you sneeze you could miss two of the three passes through the wood.

While there are many other events with sawing and chopping, there is also ax throwing (don’t worry moms — there are no apples on people’s heads as targets) – but the actual targets are 20 feet away, and weight about 5 pounds; the axes must stick into the target to count.

With all of this going on and more, there will be crafts for the kids, as they can build and take home a free, handmade wooden item.  Children will be instructed and supervised by representatives of Londonderry’s Home Depot store.  Also on the grounds will be the Rodgers Memorial Library staff, who will have projects for the children to create.

As the big kids are getting tired of watching the chips fly and the chainsaws roar, maybe you can get your husband or wife to try the famous “Frying Pan Toss.”  No, you don’t have to bring your own frying pan unless you have a real favorite you have been flinging around the house.

Marshall, now 26, works with his dad here in Hudson –when he is not competing– in the family tree business, Atomic Trees.  Ben does not like to brag about his woodworking accomplishments.

When you come out to see this show the Hudson Historical Society wants you to know that there are no carnival rides, there is food available on the grounds to purchase if you get hungry, and Ben Marshall can be asked for autographs on a limited number of lumberjack T-shirts available for purchase.

The Hudson Historical Society continues to try to get him to bring his ribbons and trophies from mom’s house for everyone to see, but he is more interested in showing his skills to his hometown than showing off his awards.