Each Saturday morning I review 10 vintage logging, forestry and saw milling photos. This week’s review of vintage photos looks at the hinge cuts used to fell the really big trees of days gone by.
Be sure to click on each picture to see the larger images.
A fellow was going through some old family albums and found pictures of my his grandfather Jewel Robertson logging the redwoods in Northern California for Simpson Timber Co.
The Pacific National Lumber Company was established ca. 1905. By 1922, it had its headquarters in Tacoma and sawmill and logging operations in National. The company apparently went out of business ca. 1942.
The town of National is on the Mount Rainier Highway 7 miles west of the Nisqually entrance to Mt. Rainier National Park in southeast Pierce County. It was a company town established by Pacific National Lumber Company. It once housed 300 people who worked for or were dependent on the sawmill and logging operation. A post office was established December 3, 1910. The sawmill and a large part of the town burned May 13, 1912, but was rebuilt. In 1940, a writer for the WPA described National as a town of small, red, boxlike cottages crowded onto crooked, planked streets and dominated by the large red sawmill.
The falling crew consisted of fallers and buckers. Fallers cut down trees and buckers saw the felled trees into lengths. Loggers used to use seven, eight, or nine-foot long saws, with a man on each end. These loggers faced great danger from trees falling or rolling on them.
On June 4, 1888, the St. Paul & Tacoma Lumber Co. incorporates. The incorporators are lumber and real estate magnates who arrive that day by train from Minnesota and Wisconsin. The next day Tacoma headlines shout the event: “The monster milling company of Tacoma organized.” The firm, known locally as the St. Paul, spurs what the historian Murray Morgan calls the greatest boom in Tacoma’s history. Before the firm was incorporated these entrepreneurs had purchased 80,000 acres of Pierce County timberland, mostly Douglas fir, from the Northern Pacific Railroad’s land grant. They had received from the Railroad a small island on the Tacoma waterfront called “the boot,” and had purchased other land as well. By 1889, they had built the mill, laid tracks into the forest, established camps and skidroads, and were transporting 50 carloads of logs a day into Tacoma for processing. The St. Paul & Tacoma Lumber Company was in business until 1947, when it was bought out by the St. Regis Paper Company. The falling crew consisted of fallers and buckers. Fallers cut down trees and buckers saw the felled trees into lengths. Loggers used to use seven, eight, or nine-foot long saws, with a man on each end. These loggers faced great danger from trees falling or rolling on them.
51 feet in circumference four feet from ground; unidentified man lying in undercut, 2 unidentified men standing on springboards holding axes imbedded in tree; cross cut saw on left.
Woodsmen stop for a photo while standing on spring boards. Big trees like this often took several days to cut down.
Washington’s Wonderful Woods and Women. Pictured here are seven women and two men. Five of the women sit in the hinge cut.
Photograph shows two men with cross-cut saw felling a tree.
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