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Woodsmen's Weekend History and Folklore

Woodsmen's Weekend (WW) is an annual competition, started at Dartmouth College in 1947, that celebrates the old-time forestry skills used in the woods. The 1992 event program contained a brief history of WW from 1947-1992.

This historical information was compiled by David Kotz '86 with help from many others - and contributions are welcome!

On this wiki I am collecting rules, results, and programs from Woodsmen's Weekend over the years. I list them by year, along with the host college. The winning teams are listed below.

  • 1949 at Dartmouth Results, Rules
  • 1948 at Dartmouth
  • 1947 at Dartmouth

Undated documents (help!)

Unfortunately, some of the documents we've found do not have dates. Please help us out. Maybe you have a copy of one of these in your home collection. Maybe you can correlate the events listed in rules with those on results or a program to rule out, or rule in, certain years. Let me know!

  • Program, with pencil labels indicating it might be 1950 or 1961.
  • Rules, physically associated with the above program.
  • Results, from an unknown year.
  • Rules1, from an unknown year.
  • Rules2, from an unknown year.
  • Rules3, from an unknown year.
  • Rules addendum, which appeared likely to be 1973 given context in the archives.

Notes

  • For the programs, I did not scan the ads, "about Woodsmen's Weekend" or descriptions of the events. I focused on scanning the unique content (the list of people involved, or the schedule of events).
  • The 1996 program includes a very nice description of the events and the competition equipment, and a directory of vendors of competition equipment.

Winners

Year Men's Year Men's Women's Year Men's Women's Jack & Jill
1947 Dartmouth 1973 Paul Smith's Colby 2000 NSAC FLCC
1948 Dartmouth 1974 Maine Maine 2001 FLCC FLCC
1949 Dartmouth 1975 Maine Maine 2002 FLCC FLCC
1950 Dartmouth 1976 Paul Smith's Dartmouth 2003 Paul Smith's Paul Smith's
1951 Dartmouth 1977 Maine Colby 2004 FLCC ESF
1952 Middlebury 1978 Dartmouth Paul Smith's 2005 ESF ESF
1953 Dartmouth 1979 Maine Maine 2006 NSAC NSAC
1954 Middlebury 1980 Dartmouth FLCC 2007 Paul Smith's Colby
1955 Dartmouth 1981 Maine Dartmouth 2008 FLCC ESF
1956 Dartmouth 1982 Unity FLCC 2009 Paul Smith's ESF
1957 Paul Smith's 1983 FLCC Dartmouth 2010 FLCC Paul Smith's Paul Smith's
1958 Paul Smith's 1984 Paul Smith's FLCC 2011 FLCC Colby ESF
1959 Paul Smith's 1985 FLCC Dartmouth 2012 ESF ESF Paul Smith's
1960 Paul Smith's 1986 FLCC FLCC 2013 FLCC Colby Alfred State
1961 Paul Smith's 1987 FLCC SSFC* (was FLCC) 2014 FLCC Colby Alfred State
1962 Paul Smith's 1988 FLCC FLCC 2015 Paul Smith's Colby FLCC
1963 Paul Smith's 1989 Pinkerton Dartmouth 2016 Alfred State Colby Paul Smith's
1964 Paul Smith's 1990 FLCC ESF 2017 Paul Smith's Paul Smith's Paul Smith's
1965 Paul Smith's 1991 FLCC FLCC
1966 Nichols 1992 Pinkerton FLCC
1967 Colby 1993 FLCC FLCC
1968 Maine 1994 FLCC SSFC
1969 Nichols 1995 ESF FLCC
1970 Maine 1996 FLCC FLCC
1971 Maine 1997 FLCC ESF* (was SSFC)
1972 Paul Smith's 1998 FLCC ESF
1999 ESF ESF

Abbreviations:

  • FLCC = Finger Lakes Community College
  • SSFC = Sir Sanford Fleming College
  • ESF = SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry
  • NSAC = Nova Scotia Agricultural College

The winners through 1995 were obtained from the 1996 program produced by FLCC; however, Research in the Dartmouth archives indicates 1972 winner was Paul Smith's B, not Maine. A list of winners for non-Dartmouth meets 1996-2009 were provided to me by Marty Dodge. At the 2015 spring meet I verified recent winners for Men's (1988-2014), Women's (1986-2014), and J&J (2010-2014) by inspecting the trophies on-site (which have gaps for 1998 Women's and 2012 J&J). *Where it differed from older info, I trusted the trophy. Brett McLeod (bmcleod -at- paulsmiths.edu) tells me that Paul Smith's J&J won in 2012.

Folklore, stories, and other curios

An article from Field and Stream Magazine about the 1951 Woodsmen's Weekend at Dartmouth.

Watch this video demonstration of the "chainthrow" event, and a training video so you can learn the event.

Here is a student paper about the origin of the surveyor's chain and its use at Dartmouth College.

Here is nice collection of historical photos from the College Archives, posted by Phil Bracikowski '08.

Here is an old rulebook, which was apparently written in 1959 and reprinted in 1962. The editor was Dick Sanders '59, and it includes a Foreward by Ross McKenney.

Ross McKenney wrote this short essay, "When Dreams Come True" in 1948.

John Rand, Director of the DOC, wrote this memo in 1974.

The DOC attended winter meet in Berlin, NH, in 1983; here is the Program.

Here's a story about the scoring and results computation in the 1977 meet. The Dartmouth archives (in Rauner Library) even include a deck of punch cards that appear to contain the scoring program from even earlier meets.

Please contribute

If you can fill in some of the details on this page, please do! If you have some records in your files, please let me know. I'm happy to scan and mail back any paper records you may have. If you have something I don't have, or a cleaner copy than what I have, please send it my way.

If you have some electronic originals (pdf, doc, xls), please feel free to update this page and upload them.

Many thanks to those who have already contributed materials:

  • Elaine Anderson '83
  • Put Blodgett '53
  • Phil Bracikowski '08
  • Julie Clemons
  • Marty Dodge (FLCC)
  • ASE Thomas '91

Enjoy! David Kotz '86