As I crafted this story, I wanted to make sure I was able to capture the romance and flavor of the logging days on the Mississippi River. My town was home to one of the largest lumber mills in the United States at that time. It was called the Pine Tree Lumber Company.
Millions of feet of logs flowed downriver from the logging camps in northern Minnesota each spring/summer/fall. All winter long the logging camps would cut and stack logs along streams and riverbanks. When the river thawed they would roll the logs into the Mississippi.
With each "drive" of logs, the camp would send along one, or possibly two, river wannigans to travel with the men driving the logs.
I included a couple of wannigans in Enticing Julia Morgan. My hero, Noah, is the owner of a large mill (inspired by the Pine Tree Lumber Company) and he often goes out to the wannigans when they travel by to hear the news from the winter logging camps.
I had fun bringing the wannigan to life in my story.
Your Turn: Have you ever heard of a wannigan before? Would you like to ride in one?