Logs were shipped by rail from northern Minnesota to Stillwater and made into rafts. They were then floated down the St. Croix and Mississippi Rivers. The rafts usually consisted of 8 to 10 strings of logs fastened side by side, each string measuring 16 across and about 400 feet long. Some of these enormous rafts stretched 4 or 5 acres in size.
At the boom, floating timbers chained between piers caught and contained logs for sorting and measuring and rigging into rafts. At one time, the Stillwater boom extended a distance of 9 miles and employed 400 men to sort, scale and raft timber.