National’s 128 foot Timber

Load of 128-foot timbers, manufactured by Pacific National Lumber Co.
Load of 128-foot timbers, manufactured by Pacific National Lumber Co.

These 128-foot timber were milled at the Pacific National Lumber Company. It’s hard to get an idea of how really large 128-foot timbers are until you see these 40 people lined up on one.

The University of Washington Library says . . .”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.

Photo courtesy of Debbie and Gary Saint.

Click on image to enlarge.

10 responses to “National’s 128 foot Timber”

  1. My Great Grandfather(Mathew K. Monsen) worked at the mill in National. My Grandfather Mel Monsen was born there. He would tell stories of those days. At one point Mathew broke his back on the job and his co-workers carried him home on a plank.

    Does anyone have any more information on Mathew K. Monsen or the town of National

    John Miller
    University Place, WA


    • I looked through a couple books I have, but didn’t see anything. Hopefully someone else will be of more help. Do you recall any of the stories he used to tell?


  2. I just want to thank you for posting the pictures and info about National, Wash. I’ve been researching my grandfather and he had Camp 25, National, Washington down as his residence, and ‘Cascade Timber Co.’ as his employer in his WW1 draft registration in 1918. It’s wonderful to see these photos and read the history of the area!


      • My fathers name was Phillip Luther Wilson my mothers name was Nola WWilson. They both went to work at the mill in National around 1942 or1943. I remember a few names of families who lived there also. Sandusky,Waters to name a few.
        We lived in a house that was vacated by a Japanese family who were taken to camp at Fort Lewis. All of there things were left, I remember my mother boxing it all up and storing it under our front porch.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: