Married to a Legacy
The Challenges of Adjusting to Five Generations of Woodsmen
By Ashley Brown
Photos Courtesy of the Brown Family
I married into a five-generation logging family. I’ve always thought this to be impressive, and it makes me proud, even though I’m sometimes bewildered at how the family has stayed so close-knit throughout the generations.
Jake and I married in 2007, after dating for nearly two years. During that time, I learned only a fraction of what it takes to keep a logging business going steady, even while trying to balance the constantly shifting demands of family time and work. I’m still learning, although at a much more relaxed pace than in the early days. I have come to appreciate what has been passed down in the family business: hard work, long hours in the woods, a few more hours at the shop on Saturdays, and the razzing from a brother-in-law who has, well, no filter.
As we head into February, I become anxious about the layoff season for the guys, who include my father-in-law, Tim, his brother John, and Tim’s sons, Matt, Luke, and Jake. I’m getting extremely anxious to spend more time with my husband, Jake, and I know our two boys, Wyatt, three, and Blake, two, feel the same way. The busyness of those little boys is one of the reasons I look forward to Jake being closer to home during winter and spring. They are busy like their father, their uncles, their great-uncle, and grandfather. This busy life of the men, away from home nine months of the year, stretches back decades, to a time when logging was quite a bit different than it is today.