Early, by M.J. Nordgren is a treasuretrove of humorous and poignant true stories about the lives
of loggers and their families in northern Oregon, in the first half of the 20
dangerous era before logging equipment was modernized. The book presents a mosaic of wild and
real accounts of men of extraordinary strength and perseverance who survived , and sometimes
didn’t, the many dangerous situations of the logging trade.
M.J. Nordgren has written a history alive with the many accounts passed along by Earl Nordgren
and others about the logging legacy. It includes many of the stories of fellow loggers, neighbors,
and friends, and of Nordgren’s family, a generation of early settlers originally from Sweden. The
Nordgren family settled in the hills near Forest Grove, Oregon, about 23 miles west of Portland,
and thus the book presents an important piece of the history of this Northwest region.
Earl Nordgren, an American boy educated in a small schoolhouse, observed and reflected the
character and language of the rugged loggers and their families during his long and prosperous
logging career. M. J. Nordgren recognizing the beauty and the character of the people, has
preserved in her writing, their speech, mannerisms, their outlooks, their mistakes and their
sorrows, and has given us a taste of the lives of people of the local countryside and community.
The book sparkles as each lively story brings a gift of humor and insight so enjoyable and
irresistible that one is surprised in the end to have learned an important piece of history, all while
laughing and shedding a few tears.