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Home > Blog > Photo of the Week, 6: Dynamite Stump Removal
Three acres of cottonwood and hackberry stumps were blasted out last week on the Henry W. Capen farm southeast of town [Bloomington], operated by Fred Blum

400 pounds of dynamite subdue cottonwood, hackberry stumps

These two photographs appeared in the March 27, 1937 Pantagraph. The original caption read, in part: “Three acres of cottonwood and hackberry stumps were blasted out last week on the Henry W. Capen farm southeast of town [Bloomington], operated by Fred Blum." The first photo “reveals bits of a huge stump 12-feet across at the base, flying through the air. 'Heads up' was the order given to watchers who had to dodge the bits of roots and earth as they descended." The second photo shows Henry Capen next to one stump shattered by such an explosion. These images are now in the collections of the McLean County Museum of History.

Still removing timber from the original Blooming Grove as late as 1937? Or are the cottonwood and hackberry typical of small stream ecology and this is the channelization of waterway to increase arable land and be more forgiving of mechanical farming?

Any thoughts on this one?


Written By

Bill Kemp

Bill Kemp

Bill Kemp is the Librarian at the McLean County Museum of History

Posted in Historic Photos

March 13th, 2013

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