Documentary chronicles lives and times of Maine’s lumbermen and river drivers


Lumbermen began living in logging camps in the Maine woods in the early 1800s. They were the pioneers who created a successful self-contained working community in the woods, and on whose backs the state’s economy and history were largely established. They were the innovators who established the method to cut and deliver hundreds of millions of board feet of lumber through thick forests and down crooked waterways, to the mills — using only horses, oxen, and manpower.

They were unique in their character, ethics, morals, strength, and skills, and they symbolize Maine’s gritty and resilient reputation. These are some of the most notable figures in Maine’s history; yet their stories, personalities, and significance are largely overlooked by educators and historians. The illustration provided by “In The Blood” sheds a new light on the character, history, and importance of these legendary Maine men. The performance incorporates film; live, original music; and projections of still images.

As a child, McKane was fascinated by stories he heard in school about the rough and dangerous lives of Maine lumberjacks. For “In the Blood,” he compiled archival film and still photographs of the logging industry from the turn of the 20th century into a documentary that is both entertaining and educational.

The film illustrates and investigates these individuals, their character, and history, and takes viewers into their rugged world — the camps, the haul roads, landings and yards, rivers and lakes. The experience is a striking virtual journey into the 19th-century Maine woods.

A singer-songwriter of folk-rock and Americana music, McKane also created the score for the film, which he’ll perform with his bandmate, Joshua Robbins.

For more information, call 207-890-6386, email [email protected], or visit