Shown in this photo from 1946 is the cook shack of a logging crew near Cass, West Virginia. Loggers worked away from home for six days at the stretch. Food was important to support the caloric output of the crews and to maintain the morale of the loggers. Consequently, the cook was important and usually the highest paid employee of the crew. In nearly all instances, the cook, or cookee as he was called, was a man, and he rose at 3:30 a.m. in order to have breakfast ready by 5:30. A typical breakfast would consist of hot biscuits, steak, fried eggs, fried potatoes, oatmeal, cake, donuts, prunes (called Rocky Mountain huckleberries) and coffee. Supper, the evening meal, consisted of boiled or roasted beef or pork or steak, turnips, hanovers (rutabagas), tomatoes, potatoes, beans, hash, white bread or corn bread, pies, cakes and cookies. Sam Harman is the cook in the photo.
Photo: Courtesy of West Virginia Regional History Center.
Sources: Tumult On The Mountains by Roy B. Clarkson; Riders Of The Flood by W. E. Blackhurst.