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Mineral Lake – logging in 1964

Submitted by on November 17, 2015 – 9:00 am7 Comments

Mineral lake - logging 1964

Mineral lake – logging 1964

Martin Burwash writes about this collection of photos . . .

But here’s a little Milwaukee Road history I haven’t seen….the Mineral reload when it was operated by a steam donkey. These were taken with my very first camera, a Brownie Starlite…Payless 127 film in 1964. What you are seeing is indeed a steam donkey pulling logs out of Mineral Lake and loading them on Milwaukee Road cars.

The shot taken of donkey engineer at work was done by the Old Man, as you can see me sitting in the lower corner. That old engineer was so fast at swinging the boom and dropping a log on the car, I told Dad maybe he’d have a better chance at getting a good shot….and that he did. But here’s what’s cool….we don’t have to settle for this blurry crap…somewhere the Old Man [Steve Burwash] has a set of Kodachrome slides of this.

Mineral lake - logging 1964 (2)

Mineral lake – logging 1964 (2)

Martin Burwash watching the operation

Martin Burwash watching the operation at Mineral Lake. His Dad, Steve Burwash, takes the photo.

Finding them is a definite winter “must-do.”

Photos courtesy of Martin Burswash.

Click on images to enlarge.


  • Brian Wise says:

    These are awesome shots! The log loader was built in 1923 by the Willamette Iron & Steel Works of Portland, OR for the West Fork Logging Company at Seabeck, WA. It was originally a tree-rigged steam “unit” (one boiler supplying both a yarding engine and a loading engine mounted on a steel frame). West Fork relocated from Seabeck to Mineral in 1928 after acquiring the assets of the Mineral Lake Logging Company. You can see West Fork’s “hotel” and machine shop across the lake at what is now the Lion’s club camp ground. By the time of this photo, though, the show was being run by St. Regis Paper Company. St. Regis stopped using the big Willamette in the woods and moved it down to Mineral Lake for reloading logs. After its use there was discontinued, it was put on display in the camp ground (minus its wheels). We moved the Willamette to our logging museum in 2013 and placed it back onto proper wheel sets (“trucks”) that we had donated to us some years prior (how fortuitous!). The Willamette is on display in front of our machine shop. One day soon I hope to have new timbers milled so we can recreate the “house” that covered the machinery.

    Brian Wise
    Mt. Rainier Railroad & Logging Museum

  • Michael Kinnaman says:

    February 11, 2018 at 4:05 pm
    I was looking at some photos you and your Dad took at the steam donkey on Mineral lake in 1964. My Dad operated that steam donkey until it was shut down. I don’t know the exact dates when he started, but that is possibly my Dad in the picture. Do you remember the operators name. He went by “Tud” Kinnaman.

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