Logging

Canyon Road Construction (ca. 1919)

Logging the canyon
Logging the canyon

With all the ongoing work on the Canyon Road right now, I thought it might be a good time to put up some early construction photos.

The first shot is of team logging to make place for the road. The steam donkey is running, so the guys must have just taken a break for a picture.

The second shot is Robert McGilvery and crew working on the road. All the equipment at their feet is incredible — and mostly likely high tech of the time.

Photos courtesy of Pat Van Eaton.

Click on images to enlarge.

Robert Mc Gilvery and team building the Canyon Road
Robert Mc Gilvery and team building the Canyon Road

 

Weyerhaeuser Logging Locomotives

Weyerhaeuser Timber Company Locomotive
Weyerhaeuser Timber Company Locomotive

Early on logging was done by rail. Locomotives came steaming in to pick up the lumber, like these Weyerhaeuser Timber Company locomotives. If you want to see some of these old trails up close,  Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad has live demonstrations — on the rail, not picking up logs. For a fee you an jump on and get a taste of what it must have been like.

Photos courtesy of the King and Taylor families.

Click on images to enlarge.

One of Weyerhaeuser Timber Company's locomotives
One of Weyerhaeuser Timber Company’s locomotives 
Locomotive up close
Locomotive up close

Logging in National (1926)

Steep incline, Pacific National Lumber Co.
Steep incline, Pacific National Lumber Co.

These shots of the Pacific National Lumber Company were taken in National, Wash., August 1926 by C. Kinsey of in 1926.

The first is an extremely steep incline, with tracks running at least half the way up. If you zoom in you can see the cables hanging from the poles and the well-used transport cars at the bottom of the hill.

The second shot was also taken of the Pacific National Lumber Co., in National, in September of the same year, capturing the steam donkey and crew. Take a look at the enormous timbers the men are sitting on.

Although the technology and steep-slope logging techniques have changed over last 86 years, it looks like logging suspenders have stayed in fashion.

Photos courtesy of the South Pierce County Historical Society.

Click on images to enlarge.

Pacific National Lumber Co, National, WA  1926
Pacific National Lumber Co, National, WA 1926

National Loggers (1926 – 1928)

Westfork Logging Co. Mineral, Wash., Sept 1928
Westfork Logging Co. Mineral, Wash., Sept 1928

Here are a few incredible shots taken in the 1920s of the loggers in Mineral and National, Wash.

The first shot is of the guys at Westfork Logging Company of Mineral, Wash. The picture was taken September 1928. Looks as though safety equipment hadn’t even been invented yet.

The second picture was taken around the same time. Take a look at the size of the logs they are shipping out and the saws sprinkled throughout the crowd.

The third shot was taken in National, Wash., in 1926. You can see the steam donkey in the background.

The photos were all taken by Kinsey, a famous photographer who was able to capture the early logging scene.

Photos courtesy of the South Pierce County Historical Society.

Shipping out the logs
Shipping out the logs

Click on images to enlarge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

National WA Sept. 1926
National WA Sept. 1926

Logging in the Early Days (Pictorial)

Early logging — check out those cables
Early logging — check out those cables

The logging business was what got Eatonville up and running. Here are five fabulous shots of logging in the early days and the use of the steam donkey. It looks primitive today, but it was a huge step up from using horses and cattle to drag the logs.

These pictures are loaded with details. Click on any of them to take a closer look.

I’m not sure where in the  wood these photos were shot, or the men in them. So, if you recognize anyone please let me know.

Photos courtesy of the Kjelstad family.

Click on images to enlarge.

High tech logging in early 1900
High tech logging in early 1900

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Logging using steam donkey (check out the hat)
Logging using steam donkey (check out the hat)

 

Steam donkey in the woods — check out the logs UNDER the steam donkey
Steam donkey in the woods — check out the logs UNDER the steam donkey

 

Proudly standing next to split wood
Proudly standing next to split wood

Fleet of Kelly Springfield Trucks (ca. 1923)

Griffith & Graeber's fleet of Kelly Trucks, early 20s
Griffith & Graeber's fleet of Kelly Trucks, early 20s

Fabulous shot of a fleet of Kelly Springfield Trucks operated by Griffith & Greaber logging out of Eatonville.

This photo is worth clicking on to enlarge to see the incredible detail. The trucks look pretty primitive compared to the trucks of today, but look at the size of the logs they’re hauling.

Courtesy the Jack Graeber family.

Click on images to enlarge.

Logging in the Canyon (ca. 1919)

Logging the canyon
Logging the canyon

Eatonville was a logging town for decades. And you can still see guys in rubber suspenders and cork boots around town.

There are no end to amazing “old timey” Eatonville logging shots. Here’s one labeled “logging  the canyon”. Maybe up near Canyon Road?  And the gentleman 2nd to the left if Robert McGilivery.

Despite the lack of information about where it’s shot, there’s a wealth of information in the shot — a look at the old steam donkey, with its beat up tin roof and the stack of wood to fuel it, as well as the spools holding the cable.

Photo courtesy of the Eatonville Historical Society and Pat Van Eaton.

Click on image to enlarge.

Logging with Steam Donkeys

Logging with Steam Donkey
Logging with Steam Donkey

Steam donkeys (basically a steam-powered winch) may seem primitive today, but they were state-of-the-art in the late 1800s and early 1900s.

How it works
A cable was wrapped around a log and the steam donkey drug it in. For a more elaborate explanation, Wikipedia explains is like this:

A logging engine comprised at least one powered winch around which was wound hemp rope or (later) steel cable. They were usually fitted with a boiler, and usually equipped with skids, or sleds made from logs, to aid them during transit from one “setting” to the next.

The larger steam donkeys often had a “donkey house” (a makeshift shelter for the crew) built either on the skids or as a separate structure. Usually a water tank, and sometimes a fuel oil tank was mounted on the back of the sled. In rare cases, steam donkeys were also mounted on wheels. Later steam donkeys were built with multiple horizontally-mounted drums/spools, on which were wound heavy steel cable instead of the original rope.

When the combustion engine hit the scene, the steam donkey faded away. However, if you look around, you can still sometimes find one out in the woods.

Photos courtesy of Rich Williams.

Click on images to enlarge.

Train full of logs

Train Loaded with Logs
Train Loaded with Logs

This shot, I believe, is a Weyerhaueser locomotive loaded with timber.

Until the Panama Canal opened on  August 15, 1914, shipping Douglas fir to the East Coast had been too costly. Soon, Atlantic Coast retailers were clamoring for this new and exceptional Northwest lumber product.

Here’s an interesting Weyerhaeuser fact. In the 1930s, the company marketed this innovative new product called a Pres-to-Log.  It was made from “scrap” shavings and wood fragments.

Photos courtesy of the Taylor and King families.

Weyerhaeuser Locomotive #120
Weyerhaeuser Locomotive #120

Click on images to enlarge.

Griffith & Graeber Logging

Floating harvested logs on the river
Floating harvested logs on the river

In the early 1900s, before modern logging trucks, getting the logs out of the woods and to the mill was difficult and dangerous. One way to get the log to market was using a nearby river.

This Griffith & Graeber Logging shot definitely shows logs being dumped into Ohop Lake. The company logged the ridge all the way to Clear Lake.

Men who worked on the free floating logs — moving them around and sorting them — were constantly in danger of drowning.

The tools of their trade were the pick pole and peavey.

Photo courtesy of the Graeber family.

Click on image to enlarge.