Crew at loading site with donkey engine and log rigged for loading, Schafer Brothers Logging Company, probably in Grays Harbor County.
Vintage Logging

Vintage logging – Booms, Spars and A-frames

Each Saturday morning I review 10 vintage logging, forestry and saw milling photos. This week’s review of vintage logging is about booms, spars, a-frames and other mechanical devices that loaded logs.

1912 Fassett Lumber Company
1912 Fassett Lumber Company

A skid containing about four million feet of logs.


1920s A Traveling crane.
1920s A Traveling crane.

Canadian Western Lumber Co. Ltd., Fraser Mills.


1926 Log loading crane.
1926 Log loading crane.

Cathels And Sorenson operation at Port Renfrew, BC.


1940s View of a sawmill.
1940s View of a sawmill.

1950s Holding Lumber Co. Adams Lake.
1950s Holding Lumber Co. Adams Lake.

Loaded logging truck at booming grounds.


A logger rides a Bosun's chair up spar tree to set rigging.
A logger rides a Bosun’s chair up spar tree to set rigging.

Crew at loading site with donkey engine and log rigged for loading, Schafer Brothers Logging Company, probably in Grays Harbor County.
Crew at loading site with donkey engine and log rigged for loading, Schafer Brothers Logging Company, probably in Grays Harbor County.

Schafer Brothers Logging Company got its start in 1893 when brothers Peter, Albert and Hubert Schafer began logging on the family homestead 6 miles upstream from the mouth of the Satsop. They logged with oxen and horses for 20 years. The company’s first donkey engine was purchased from Washington Iron Works. Hubert went to work at the factory to learn how donkey engines were made and also to have all of his wages, except for living expenses, applied toward the cost of that first donkey engine. In 1913, they bought a 45-ton Heisler locomotive and laid tracks into the woods from Brady to begin their railroad logging operation. A shingle mill was purchased in Montesano in 1919, the first of many manufacturing plants the company would own throughout Grays Harbor County. At the peak of operation, the Schafers were running one of the largest logging, milling and shipping concerns in the lumber industry of the Pacific Northwest. Their properties and equipment at that time, not counting ships and tugs, included five sawmills in operation, served by six camps sending logs over 100 miles of rail. This required 18 locomotives, both geared and mainline types, and a total of 70 donkeys and 325 logging cars. To operate all of this equipment called for approximately 3000 employees. Simpson Timber Company purchased Schafer Brothers Logging Company in 1955.


Heel boom log yard.
Heel boom log yard.

Loading Jammer, Algoma Camp, Oregon.
Loading Jammer, Algoma Camp, Oregon.

White Star Lumber Company, probably near Whites.
White Star Lumber Company, probably near Whites.

Crew at loading site, with two donkey engines and a spar tree. White Star Lumber Company was in business ca. 1908 to ca. 1930, headquartered at the town of Whites.

Whites is a neighborhood in the Chehalis River valley on Wildcat Creek four miles northeast of Elma in southeast Grays Harbor County. It was named by Northern Pacific Railway officials, for Allen White, who built a sawmill in 1890, and operated it for many years.


A Newfoundland born Canadian with a life long interest in woodworking, baking and anything else that peaks my curiosity.

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