Timberfest Held to Celebrate Lumber Heritage

October 7, 2006 -- Posted at 4:44 p.m. CDT

DONIPHAN, MO -- Once known as being the lumber capital of Missouri, Doniphan is celebrating that heritage by putting on their first Timberfest.

Planners came up with the idea for the event as a way to help teach people about the rich history of the area and keep the old practices alive.

"The timber industry is the 3rd leading industry in the state of Missouri, and in our region it ranks number one.  We wanted to show some appreciation for what that industry has meant over the past several decades," said Timberfest chairman, Dwight Thompson.

Many were on hand at the event to demonstrate how to use the old saws used in saw mills.

"We have all kinds of antique chainsaws out here and some really large logs.  We've got some folks bringing our logs in with a team," said Sherman Redus.

This isn't just about learning the ways of old, it's also a place for a little friendly competition.

"We're doing several different events.  We're doing speed cut two board cuts and a spring pole," said Joe Glenn, safety trainer for the competition.

In the "tree fall" event competitors must cut the log at the precise location to make it fall foward.  The goal is to get it right in between two flags and hit a stake.

People came from all over the state of Missouri to take part in the competition at Timberfest.  The person who scores the most points overall will move onto the national competition for 2007.

For competitors there are thousands of dollars at stake.

"First place will go onto the national levels in the professional division.  They can win $5,000," said Glenn.

According to those at the gate, more people have shown up at timber fest than anticipated.

Because of the interest in this event by the community, officials plan on making Timberfest an annual event.

For more information about Timberfest or anything happening in Ripley County, log onto www.ripleycountymissoui.org