1930s Two women pose near stacks of large cants.
Vintage Logging

Vintage logging – Women

Each Saturday morning I review 10 vintage logging, forestry and saw milling photos. This week’s review of vintage logging are the women of the world and the different roles they played in the early days of logging.

Click on the images to view larger pictures.

1930 Kauri log on a truck with two women posing for the camera, near Thames, New Zealand.

1929 wooden bathing costumes.
1929 wooden bathing costumes.

1929 The Spruce Girls
1929 The Spruce Girls

1929 The “Spruce Girls” show off their spruce wood veneer bathing suits during “Wood Week” to promote products of the Gray Harbor lumber industry in Hoquiam, Washington. Yes, their bathing suits are made of wood.


1922 Schafer Brothers Logging Company.
1922 Schafer Brothers Logging Company.

Crew at logging camp no. 3. 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.


1926 Clemons Logging Company camp no. 5.
1926 Clemons Logging Company camp no. 5.

Family photo. Clemons Logging Company was organized in 1903. Charles H Clemons was the first president. The company had a logging camp in the Melbourne area. In 1919, the company was consolidated with the Melbourne and North River Railroad Company, an eight mile logging railroad extending from Melbourne to Montesano. In 1919, the company was reorganized as the Clemons Logging Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Weyerhaeuser Timber Company. The company operated a 75 mile logging railroad in the Montesano area. In 1936, the company was merged into the Weyerhaeuser Timber Company. Its locomotives were later sold to the Murphy Lumber Company, Discovery Bay Logging Company, Craig Mountain (Idaho) and West Fork Logging Company. The company was dissolved on June 29, 1937. In 1941, the original logging site was dedicated as the first tree farm in Washington.

Melbourne was a logging center on the Chehalis River seven and a half miles east of Aberdeen in south central Grays Harbor County. It was named for Melbourne, Australia, by Reuben Redmond when he platted the town in the late 1850s.


1930 Clemons Logging Company.
1930 Clemons Logging Company.

Cooks and and kitchen help outside railroad logging camp buildings. Clemons Logging Company was organized in 1903. Charles H Clemons was the first president. The company had a logging camp in the Melbourne area. Melbourne was a logging center on the Chehalis River seven and a half miles east of Aberdeen in south central Grays Harbor County. It was named for Melbourne, Australia, by Reuben Redmond when he platted the town in the late 1850s. In 1919, the company was consolidated with the Melbourne and North River Railroad Company, an eight mile logging railroad extending from Melbourne to Montesano. In 1919, the company was reorganized as the Clemons Logging Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Weyerhaeuser Timber Company. The company operated a 75 mile logging railroad in the Montesano area. In 1936, the company was merged into the Weyerhaeuser Timber Company. Its locomotives were later sold to the Murphy Lumber Company, Discovery Bay Logging Company, Craig Mountain (Idaho) and West Fork Logging Company. The company was dissolved on June 29, 1937. In 1941, the original logging site was dedicated as the first tree farm in Washington.


1927 Manley-Moore Lumber Company.
1927 Manley-Moore Lumber Company.

Families group photo. Manley-Moore Lumber Company was in business from ca. 1910 to ca. 1934, first in Arline and then in the town of Manley-Moore, near Fairfax. In about 1900 Orville Biggs built a sawmill at Arline. Robert D. Moore partnered with J.E. Manley and August Von Boecklin, and the Manley-Moore Lumber Company bought Arline Mills in 1907 and operated there until about 1910, selling out to Merrick-Robb Lumber Co. In 1909 the Manley-Moore Lumber Company moved its operations to a tract of old growth timber east of Fairfax in eastern Pierce County. The company built a large sawmill, a lumber yard, and buildings for workers on the south side of the Carbon River, and the town was named Manley-Moore. The plant operated until the early 1930s when it was closed. Manley-Moore had many outstanding debts and were forced to sell the company to a Mr. Gailbraith from the Eatonville Lumber Company.

“…the company built the Manley-Moore School, a large two-storey structure. The lower level had a wooden divider, which sectioned the main room into two separate rooms. Grades 1 through 6 were taught there. The teachers’ quarters were in the back section of the building…On Friday night someone would roll back the big wooden divider, converting the schoolhouse into a motion picture theater.” [From: Hall, Nancy Irene. Carbon River Coal Country. Orting, WA: Heritage Quest Press, 1980, 1994, pp 278, 283].


1927 Manley-Moore Lumber Company.
1927 Manley-Moore Lumber Company.

Moore partnered with J.E. Manley and August Von Boecklin, and the Manley-Moore Lumber Company bought Arline Mills in 1907 and operated there until about 1910, selling out to Merrick-Robb Lumber Co. In 1909 the Manley-Moore Lumber Company moved its operations to a tract of old growth timber east of Fairfax in eastern Pierce County. The company built a large sawmill, a lumber yard, and buildings for workers on the south side of the Carbon River, and the town was named Manley-Moore. The plant operated until the early 1930s when it was closed. Manley-Moore had many outstanding debts and were forced to sell the company to a Mr. Gailbraith from the Eatonville Lumber Company.

The families living at the Manley-Moore Lumber Company camp included six families of Russian ancestry and, for that time period, a large number of families of Japanese heritage. The Japanese workers and their families lived on the far side of the mill, beyond the millpond and near the train tracks. The company imported their native foods, so the cuisine for the camp was quite varied. In addition, the Japanese workers shocked the men of European heritage by consuming the live bodies of a native grub which lived under the bark of certain logs brought to the mill. “The shocked looks on the faces of their fellow workers did not deter the Japanese, who felt equal disgust at the enjoyment of certain others who ate raw oysters.” [From: Hall, Nancy Irene. Carbon River Coal Country. Orting, WA: Heritage Quest Press, 1980, 1994, pp 283, 284]


1930 Polson Logging Company
1930 Polson Logging Company

Cook and helpers, also known as flunkies, at railroad logging camp., Polson Brothers Logging Company began business in 1895 in Hoquiam. In 1903, the name was changed to Polson Logging Company. Polson was bought out by Rayonier in 1948.

The city of Hoquiam began as a manufacturing and export center for forest products, including pulp and paper, on the Hoquiam River on north side of Grays Harbor a dozen miles from the Pacific Ocean adjacent to Aberdeen in Grays Harbor County. With Aberdeen it continues to serve as the business and commercial center of southwestern Washington.


1930s Two women pose near stacks of large cants.
1930s Two women pose near stacks of large cants.

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

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