Snapshots of Eatonville’s Early Logging (and a few terms)

Earnest Boettcher, saw filier at Cascade Timber
Earnest Boettcher, saw filier at Cascade Timber

Eatonville was built on logging. Here are a few snapshots of the loggers of the early days and a few logging terms that live on today.

Blow Down: 
A tree felled by the wind or some other natural causes.

The logger who cuts the felled logs to size to get the most scale.

Calks: The logger’s classic, high-topped, steel-spiked boot, which gives him steady footing on a fallen log. Not usually worn socially.

Chaser: A person who unhooks the chokers from the logs at the landing.

C. Boettcher bucking (enormous tree to his left)
C. Boettcher bucking (enormous tree to his left)

Choker: A small piece of cable with a knob and fitting bell, used to attach logs to the butt rigging of cable systems or to skidders. Chokerman say a choker is an instrument of torture invented by people who hate loggers.

Eatonvile Lumber Company, Camp 7
Eatonvile Lumber Company, Camp 7

Faller: The person who cuts down the tree.

Grapple: A heavy set of metal tongs with teeth on the inside edge, which can be opened and shut at will by the operator.

A cable used to carry the butt rigging back to the work site.

Hook Tender: Boss of the rigging crew. Inevitably, the name is shortened to “hooker” which gives rise to hundreds of jokes.

Loader: Also sometimes called a “shovel”. The machine at the landing that loads the log onto the truck.

A steel-spiked pole with a hinged tong, which provided the leverage necessary to move large logs.

C.  Boettcher fallig crew
C. Boettcher fallig crew

Rigging Crew: 
The group of loggers who handle, set up and maintain cable systems.

A definite amount of lumber put up fro sale by bid. Also the site on which the timber is standing.

Scaler: The person who determines the amount of footage in a log.

Skidder: A machine, either rubber-tired or tracked, used to drag logs to the landing.

A lightly flexible, iron-shod, strong board, that’s inserted into a notch chopped into a tree and used as a precarious platform from which the tree is felled. A relic of hand-power days, it now has only a few practitioners

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