TOWNSHIP 3 RANGE 12&nbsp- The first floor is restored. The second is at least halfway done. More than 50 lumberman’s tools, photographs and other artifacts are ready for display.

David and Luisa Surprenant’ s dream is almost realized.

Known as the Boom House, the former river drivers’ boardinghouse will open as a museum in two or three weeks after three years of restoration. Its goal: to memorialize the epic logging and river-driving history of northern Maine.

“It will give people an opportunity to see what went on here. It’ s history,” David Surprenant, 42, said. “Where I grew up, outside New Bedford, Mass., there’ s this huge whaling history that was almost lost and over the last 20 to 30 years, it really came back. People realized what they were missing.”

The museum is at the south end of Chesuncook Lake about 35 miles northeast of the Greenville and about 17 miles south of the Surprenant family’ s Chesuncook Lake House, a wilderness inn.

“We are hoping that we will have tours of the lake from that point, so basically people can drive there and we will bring them to the village,” Luisa Surprenant, 41, David’ s wife, said Wednesday.

For the Surprenants, Peter Vigue and other history buffs, the restoration is more than business. A 60-year-old chairman and chief executive officer of Cianbro Co. construction, Vigue helped save several state paper mills. The restoration fits his appreciation of Maine’ s primary manufacturing enterprise.

“I think the wood products industry has played a very significant role in the economic history of the state,” Vigue said. “It’ s important to recognize that we are in a state of transition but also to recognize that we can learn a lot from the past.”

When he began, the building was in disrepair, but Great Lakes Hydro, which owns the Boom House, contributed equipment and workers to the restoration, Surprenant said. “That made this possible,” he said.

The marshaling of tens of thousands of logs from Caucomgomoc Lake to Chesuncook Lake to Ripogenus Dam to Millinocket’ s mill, and decades of river drives on the Penobscot River ended in 1971 with environmental regulation.

The vastness of territory logged and the ingenuity of the woodsmen were startling, given that the drive was accomplished with horses, sleds and tractors, small boats, thousands of loggers and hundreds of river drivers working under river bosses herding cut trees over spits of land and miles of often-unforgiving waters. Some men died, and many were maimed, when the elements and the fleets of floating wood combined to create disaster.

“It’ s extraordinary,” Vigue said of the history, “and a lot of people have experienced it, too, that are still around.”

Surprenant will dedicate the museum to his friend Nelson LeVasseur of Dedham. LeVasseur started working river drives in 1941 at age 16 and was the last river boss for the Great Northern Paper Co. on the Penobscot’ s last drive.

LeVasseur, who died of cancer June 5 at age 83, recalled in an interview earlier this year how tough river drives were.

“We would work seven days a week from the time the ice went out in the first of May until the lakes froze again,” LeVasseur said. “There was nothing easy about being a river driver. Cutting wood, you had to pile it up and then when you had set it on sleds, the horses would take it away. Everything you had to do by hand.”

When the drives ended, LeVasseur helped build the vast network of roads, including the Golden Road, which loggers still use today.

“The state of Maine was built on lumbermen and woodsmen before potato farmers, the railroads or shoe mills or paper mills or anything else,” he said. “That’ s what made Maine.”

“He was the last of that generation,” Surprenant said of LeVasseur. “The woods workers are nowhere near what they used to be. They would sleep out in the cold. They would pack them like cordwood in a cabin, if you could call it that. It was more of a hovel. And a lot of them would sleep out in tents made of sailcloth. They put like 30 guys in an area and they would literally put a sail over them. That was their bedsheet.”

Surprenant thinks LeVasseur would have liked the museum, which he considers part of the “paying back of an old friend.”

“When I came here he was one of the first people to help me,” Surprenant added, “when others looked at it as what can I get from you. And he did help quite a bit.”