On Sept. 21, 1938, a tropical hurricane out of its orbit swarmed through New England like a banshee on a binge. From Long Island Sound to the tip of Maine it cut a swath 300 miles long, 100 miles wide. With its blast it felled 2,250,000,000 board feet of lumber. To get this average five-year cut into ponds, into neat stacks before bark beetles and fire took their toll, the Department of Agriculture's Northeast Timber Salvage Administration went to work. By last September it had bought 600,000,000 feet of hurricane timber from...

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