Mike Quinn: I Have a Niche

Mike Quinn refers to himself as an anomaly in today’s logging world where profit can be pennies on pieces and bigger is better. Quinn, a self-described wheeler-dealer, is a throwback to the jack-of-all trades logger-farmer of the past. Winters, he cuts timber on his and others' wood lots. Sugaring time, he tends his 1,000-tap sugar bush. Summer is milling time at his backyard sawmill that was state-of-the-art 75 years ago. Summer and fall are haying time on his 200-acre East Middlebury farm. Raising heifers, 50 or so, is a year-round chore. “I’ll do anything where I can make a buck,” says Quinn of his patch-together-a-living lifestyle.

Detail photos from left to right: Winter sequence - Nineteenth century loggers cut mainly in the easier skidding months of winter. Economics today requires loggers to work in the field year round, with the exception of mud season. Sawmill sequence - Quinn’s many-hatted operation involves haying, logging, sawing, sugaring, and raising heifers all on his own land. Hemlock is a workingman’s lumber. Good enough for beams but not stable enough for higher-value cabinetry and furniture.