Each Saturday morning I review 10 vintage logging, forestry and saw milling photos. This week’s review of vintage photos takes a look at various photos of saw filers, one of the highest paid jobs in the camps and sawmill yards.
Be sure to click on each picture to see the larger images.
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.
The Victory Liberty Loan subscriber and household honor emblem posters on the wall date from 1919. Liberty Loans were sold as a way to provide funds to finance America’s participation in World War I. The war marked the first time in world history to have a pay-as-you-go policy to cover the expenses incurred by the government for the war effort. In the five loan campaigns that were held, citizens subscribed more than $23 billion. The Victory Libery Loan program began April 22, 1919.
Brighton was founded in 1910 and was named after the seaside resort in England. The Brighton Mills Company was founded in 1911 by the Watts Brothers of Bay City. The mill was closed in 1926.
Among the earliest settlers in the late 1800s was Swedish-American immigrant August Lovgren. After leaving his native Sweden and working as a carpenter in several mid-western communities, Lovgren arrived in Seattle just after the Great Fire of 1889. He invested money he had earned as a carpenter in a mill site at Preston. After a rough start during economic hard times in the 1890s, the mill began to prosper, and Lovgren was able to build an elegant home surrounded by landscaped grounds. The mill and logging operation were built next to the Seattle Lake Shore and Eastern Railway that twisted through Snoqualmie Pass on the way to Seattle. The Preston Mill, located within rock-throwing distance of what is now heavily traveled Interstate 90, was to become one of the powerful forces in carving out the future of the area. The mill drew hundreds of families to Preston and Fall City, most of them of Swedish descent. Preston Baptist Church was founded by mill owner August Lovgren. So dominant were the Swedish in the town of Preston that the Baptist church in the lower part of town conducted services in Swedish until 1939. Not much remains of the historic mill that burned down about 1990, after nearly 100 years in operation. There are a few buildings remaining on the 15-acre site, recently bought by King County for park purposes. One includes old sawing equipment, and the sawdust is still on the floor.
Preston is a community east of Issaquah on the Raging River in central King County. It was named by Daniel H. Gilman, for his associate in building the Seattle, Lake Shore & Eastern Railway through the area, William T. Preston. Mr. Preston served as the district engineer of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers during World War One and was responsible for the construction of Fort Ward on Bainbridge Island.
The Inman-Poulsen Lumber Company was a logging operation based in Portland, Oregon with camps in Keasey, Vernonia, and Kelso, Washington, among others. The company was founded by Robert D. Inman and Johan Poulsen in 1890. Inman was born in 1852 in Ohio. Inman was the president of the company and would remain so until his death in 1920. Poulsen was born as Johannes Poulsen in what is now Denmark. The company built a sawmill on the east side of the Willamette River in Portland. The mill burned down in 1896 but was quickly rebuilt. The company largely operated in Columbia County and was known to be one of the only logging operators in the Vernonia area that used conventional flatcars equipped with air brakes instead of disconnected trucks. The company was bought out in 1954 by the Georgia-Pacific Lumber Company.
The Coos Bay Lumber Company was located in Marshfield, Oregon with camps in Powers and Eastside, Oregon. Rough-cut lumber was then sent to a finishing facility in Bay Point, California.
Caption on image: Coos Bay Lbr. Co. Powers Ore, No. 45. The Coos Bay Lumber Company was preceded by the C.A. Smith Lumber Company, which was established by Charles Axel Smith. In 1916, a creditor’s committee reorganized Smith’s properties under a new corporate name, the Coos Bay Lumber Company. While Smith maintained a role in the company, it was now primarily controlled by investors in San Francisco and Chicago. The company was based in Marshfield, Oregon (which would become known as Coos Bay in 1944) and had operations in nearby Eastside and Powers, Oregon, also in Coos County. Rough-cut lumber was sent by ocean to Bay Point, California. The Coos Bay Logging Company operated from 1916 to 1956, when the company was sold to the Georgia-Pacific Corporation. (Source: Timber Town: Market Economics in Coos Bay, Oregon, 1850 to Present by William G. Robbins in the Pacific Northwest Quarterly, 1984).
Band saw is used in cutting log. It takes 8 minutes to change the 14-inch band saw–52 feet in length. Each saw lasts 5 months and costs $600 a pair.
Brookings is a city near the California border in Curry County, Oregon. The town was founded north of the Chetco River in 1913 by the Brookings Timber and Lumber Company. The assets of the company were merged with the Del Norte Company in Northern California, forming the California and Oregon Lumber Company. The C&O Lumber Company mill closed in 1925.
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.