Crane Loading Logs onto Train
Vintage Logging

Vintage logging – Boom, spars and A-frames

Each Saturday morning I review 10 vintage logging, forestry and saw milling photos. This week’s review of vintage logging shows different scenes of logs being loaded and the men who operated the rigging of booms, spars and A-frames.

Click on the images to view larger pictures.

1930 Clemons Logging Company, near Melbourne.
1930 Clemons Logging Company, near Melbourne.

Crew at the landing. 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. Redmond was a father-in-law of Samuel Benn who founded Aberdeen in the same period.


The meeting of two means of transport.
The meeting of two means of transport.

In this photograph can be seen an internal combustion engine powered truck being loaded with logs, with horses being used in the loading process.


1930 Clemons Logging Company, near Melbourne.
1930 Clemons Logging Company, near Melbourne.

Crew at the landing. 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. Redmond was a father-in-law of Samuel Benn who founded Aberdeen in the same period.


Crew at loading site with loaded flatcar, two donkey engines and spartree, camp 15, North Western Lumber Company, near Vesta.
Crew at loading site with loaded flatcar, two donkey engines and spartree, camp 15, North Western Lumber Company, near Vesta.

In the 1880s, the North Western Lumber Company built a mill in Hoquiam, becoming a significant player in the Grays Harbor timber industry. The company was in business until ca. 1944.

Vesta is a settlement on the North River 9 miles south of Montesano in south central Grays Harbor County. It was named in 1882 when a post office was established by pioneer Milton Dwinelle for his wife, Vesta.


1928 Lake Sawyer Lumber Company.
1928 Lake Sawyer Lumber Company.

Crew at log dump location with 0-4-0 Ny. El. tank locomotive and flatbed railroad car with logs. Lake Sawyer Lumber Company was in business ca. 1922 to ca. 1934, headquartered in Issaquah and with logging operations near Kent.

A log dump is a section of water where logs are sorted. Logs are easier to sort in the water because they can be pushed around. Generally, they’re shipped to a mill from there, via booms hauled by tug boats. Sorting is done according to grade, species, etc.


1920 Coats-Fordney Lumber Company, near Aberdeen.
1920 Coats-Fordney Lumber Company, near Aberdeen.

Crew at loading site. The Coats-Fordney Lumber Company started out as the A.F. Coats Lumber Company in 1905, headquartered in Aberdeen. It became the Coats-Fordney Lumber Company in 1910, and by 1924, it was called the Donovan-Corkery Lumber Company.

Aberdeen is a city in Grays Harbor (formerly called Chehalis) County. The town was platted by Samuel Benn in 1884 on his homestead. Benn was born in New York City and in 1856 he came to San Francisco. Three years later he moved to Washington Territory and settled on the Chehalis River. There are two theories as to how it got its name. Some say it arose from the fact that the Aberdeen Packing Company of Ilwaco established a cannery in early days on the Benn homestead. Others say that the name was suggested by Mrs. James Stewart, who, before her marriage in 1868, was Miss Joan B. Kellan of Aberdeen, Scotland, who had come to America with her parents in 1849 and settled in Ohio. She and her husband moved to Washington Territory in 1874.


Crew at loading site with logs on railroad skeleton car, camp 1, Polson Logging Company, near Hoquiam.
Crew at loading site with logs on railroad skeleton car, camp 1, Polson Logging Company, near Hoquiam.

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.


1946 Taylor & Carver Logging
1946 Taylor & Carver Logging

Men loading logs on logging truck in foreground with forest in background.

Rights Information: Feb 28 2019 Special permission granted by the owning institution, California State University, Chico, CA, US, to WoodchuckCanuck.com, for use of this image for historical logging special collection review. Source: cdlib.org


Polson Logging Company, near Hoquiam.
Polson Logging Company, near Hoquiam.

Crew at the landing site, camp 6. 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.


Crane Loading Logs onto Train
Crane Loading Logs onto Train

View of logs being loaded onto a train via crane. Loading logs onto a train. McCloud River Lumber Co. McCloud River Railroad Co. Shasta Co., CA, US.

Rights Information: Feb 28 2019 Special permission granted by the owning institution, California State University, Chico, CA, US, to WoodchuckCanuck.com, for use of this image for historical logging special collection review. Source: cdlib.org


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

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