The following information is courtesy of Robert Lawrence of Brewer,
Tho-shot may also be spelled thorough-short or thorough-shot.
It is a wooden pin used to secure log booms for log drives.
Here are a few references to this item:
Lawrence states "Over the years, when fishing, canoeing, etc., I have found
several tho-shots, in various lengths. The longest and largest I
ever found was on the East Branch of the Penobscot River (several miles
above Whetstone Bridge). I assume large heavy duty shots were needed
because the boom logs on the river would be large and heavy due to the
strong river currents during the spring drives, creating tremendous pressure
against the booms. The one you currently have at the Museum is one
of the smallest I have ever seen. Undoubtedly, it was used on a lake
or small stream log boom. The two I have left are rather small and
both were found on drained lake bottom."
- "There was the wash of the ripple along the logs, the creak of the thorough-shots,
groaning occasionally..." (Eckstorm,
F.H., 1904, The Penobscot Man, pg. 205).
- "Up to a recent date iron was too scarce in these remote outposts of the
woods for any common use, and wood had to take its place; even Chesuncook
the booms were always double thorough-shotted with stout wooden pins instead
of being linked with chains." (Eckstorm,
F.H., 1904, The Penobscot Man, pg. 198-199).
- "...then we proceeded to boom the landings, the boom having to be strung
around the logs, the logs of the boom having to be bored with a five-inch
auger, about a foot from the end, fastened with a yellow birch thorough-short
passed through the hole, and a well-made maple pin at each end. The
holes were bored at right angles, making what the men called a 'swivel
joint' in one end and an 'up-and-down' in the other." (Barker, F.C., 1903, Lake
and Forest as I have known them, pg. 66).
- "The booms consisted of big logs, some thirty-two feet long, firmly fastened
end to end by chains attached to ropes passed through holes bored by an
auger. Before iron became common in the woods, when everything had
to be done with an axe, the boom logs were held together by thoroughshot
pins. In 1917 Sam Parks, who for years had charge of the West Branch
drive, gave young Lud Moorehead an ancient through-shot complete with cotter-pin
that he had picked up from the bottom of Telos Lake. Lud still has
it, and although he has offered a five-dollar reward to any man who can
tell what it is, he still has his five dollars..." (Pike,
R.E., 1967, Tall Trees, Tough Men, pg. 213).
A description of the museum's tho-shot may be
found in the Davistown Museum
, Wentworth P.
(March 1964). Thoroughshot and boom auger. The Chronicle
We suggest you check the Mast Trade
bibliography and under loggers
in the Toolmaking Trades
A genealogy web page containing a description of using
a thorough shot
at the Eau Claire saw mill.
The museum also has an information file on lumbering