Antedatings of "Skid Row"

Hugo hugovk at GMAIL.COM
Mon May 12 07:54:01 UTC 2014

Here's a 1907 logging use of "skid row":

Forest Leaves - Volume 11 - Philadelphia, April, 1907 - No. 2 - Page 27
Published Bi-Monthly by the Pennsylvania Forestry Association

They should be kept free from slash in felling the adjacent timber and will
be more effective for fire protection if the adjoining skid row on each
side be burned over. In spruce stands the only advisable method is clean


That "skid row" is clearly a variant of "skid road". The OED has "skid
road" for (a) a track made of logs (skids) from 1880. Here are earlier
variants, "skidded road". A quick glance shows it's an account from
Washington state near Vancouver and the Pacific.

The Overland Monthly - v.13 - Sept. 1873 - No. 3 - p.263:

No trucks or sledges
are used in transporting the logs. The
road is carefully laid out to obtain the
best grade possible, and then "skidded."
The skids consist of small logs, from
which the bark has been removed, six or
eight inches in diameter and eight feet
in length. These, firmly embedded in
the earth from five to six feet apart, are
laid across the road. The logs, from
which the bark has also been removed,
are drawn over this skidded road with
more facility than they could be were
the trucks used which are usually adopt-
ed by lumbermen in regions where there
is no snow.

Also excerpted in Green-Mountain freeman  (Montpelier, Vt.), September 30,


And an 1879 "skid-road-way" in The Daily Astorian (Astoria, Or., June 27,
1879, Image 3):

Forner and Parker have now completed a good skid-road-way from tide-water
on the little Walluska, which taps one of the finest timber tracts in the
State of Oregon.


The American Dialect Society -

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