Children and teachers standing outside school building, High Point, WA, USA
Vintage Logging

Vintage logging – Children

Each Saturday morning I review 10 vintage logging, forestry and saw milling photos. This week’s review of vintage photos features the children who were present during these pioneering days.

Walville Lumber Company
Walville Lumber Company

Asian lumber mill crew and two children. The town of Walville is located in Lewis County, 4 miles southwest of Pe Ell on the Pacific County border. It was originally called Rock Creek and was the site of the Rock Creek Lumber Company. Later it took its name from its founders, Michigan lumbermen Walworth and Neville Wallville. The town began in 1898 and folded in 1930. The company town probably supported about 200 persons and attained some fame for the large hex symbol of an arched black cat that adorned the mill gate. Utilizing Japanese millhands on the nightshift, the Wallville mill counted 74 Japanese workers in 1909. In fact, sumo wrestling matches were held at Walville. The sawmill was located at the base of a ravine along the railroad tracks. The town of shacks, bunkhouses, and mill office-store was sited across the tracks within the Y formed by Rock and Salmon creeks. The school and several houses once stood about 200 yards west along the south side of the present highway.


Children and teacher outside schoolhouse, McCormick
Children and teacher outside schoolhouse, McCormick

“The McCormick Lumber Company was organized in 1900 … The present mill … has a capacity of one hundred and fifty thousand feet of lumber in ten hours. They also built a shingle mill with a capacity of one hundred and forty thousand and their plant includes dry kilns and every modern facility connected with the business. They use power and generate their own electricity for lighting the plant and also for lighting the town. The town of McCormick was built by this company and includes eighty-five houses, each one of which is supplied with electric light and water and has a garden plot. The town has a fully equipped sewer system and the company has commodities and attractive office buildings and also operates its own store. Logging camps are also conducted by the company and they built ten miles of logging road; equipping it with rolling stock. They employ three hundred and ten men in all and they have put forth every effort to make conditions of life sanitary and attractive. A church and a schoolhouse have been built and the social feature has not been neglected here. The company has built a storage reservoir for water which obtained from springs and which is piped all over the plant. The company manufactures all grades of lumber and cross arms and also gets out a fine grade of ship timbers. In a word, theirs is one of the foremost lumber manufacturing enterprises in this section.” [Source: Hunt, Herbert and Floyd C. Kaylor. Washington: West of the Cascades. Vol. II. Chicago: S.J. Clarke Publishing Co., 1917. p. 642-643.]


1928 Boys sitting on steps at railroad logging camp.
1928 Boys sitting on steps at railroad logging camp.

Early Days Trucking.
Early Days Trucking.

Steam traction engine pulling platforms of logs with men standing on engine and logs and group of people standing beside platform with horse, buggies, buildings, and forest in background. Engine reads “BUILT BY THE HOLT MF’G CO. STOCKTON, CAL.”

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


1940 Children and teacher outside of school building, camp 5, Simpson Logging Company, Grays Harbor County.
1940 Children and teacher outside of school building, camp 5, Simpson Logging Company, Grays Harbor County.

Sol G. Simpson and his family moved to Mason County in 1887, where Simpson worked laying ties and rails for the Port Blakely Mill Company’s logging railroad. He formed S. G. Simpson Company in Matlock in 1890. Three of Simpson’s brothers joined him in Mason County, and two of them worked for him. Simpson Logging Company opened its first sawmill, the Reed Mill, at Shelton in 1925. Numerous other mills and logging operations along the West Coast have been acquired by Simpson over the years. [Source: James, David. Grisdale: Last of the Logging Camp. Fairfield, Washington: Ye Galleon Press, 1986.]


1922-1923 Children playing on swings.
1922-1923 Children playing on swings.

Probably at Bloedel-Donovan Lumber Mills employees picnic.


Children and loading crew with gondola railroad car, horse team, and logs to be loaded, Nelson and Company.
Children and loading crew with gondola railroad car, horse team, and logs to be loaded, Nelson and Company.

Darrington is a logging and sawmill community on the Sauk River nearly thirty miles east of Arlington in north central Snohomish County. It was a meeting place for Indian tribes in early days. From there five trails lead into the high mountains. Early names for this place were Sauk Portage and The Burn. The former related to a river portage and the latter to forest fires. In 1891, settlers decided on a name by flipping a card which carried the name Portage on one side and Barrington, the name of an early settler, on the other. Legend says that Barrington’s name was on both sides of the card. That name won, but later became twisted to the present name when a post office was established in 1894.


1916 Cathlamet Timber Company.
1916 Cathlamet Timber Company.

Crew with little girl and two-truck Shay engine no. 3. The Cathlamet Timber Company logged east of Cathlamet from 1913-1919 with tracks coming through Cathlamet. Harry Coleman is in the cab and Ray Watkins and son, Wilbur Watkins are on the front.


1891 Flea Valley Mill.
1891 Flea Valley Mill.

Loggers and children standing outside the Flea Valley Logging Mill.

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


Children and teachers standing outside school building, High Point, WA, USA
Children and teachers standing outside school building, High Point, WA, USA

High Point is a small community two miles east of Issaquah in west central King County. It was established as a sawmill center in 1905 and named by John Lovegren. The name is descriptive, as the place was at the top of a steep grade on the Snoqualmie branch of Northern Pacific Railway. It was once nicknamed Little Sweden, and for a time when there were many Johnsons, Swensons, Piersons, and Petersons in the neighborhood.


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

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