Historic Logging Sites and Equipment

Discussion in 'Pacific Northwet - Where it's green. And wet.' started by DiggerD, Mar 14, 2018.

  1. DiggerD

    DiggerD DougFir from SuperDuke Days

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    Hah....I moved grade pins around also as a kid.
    Had a pristine wood lot behind my child hood home with 100 year old trees.
    The creek ran down to a fishing / ice skating pond.
    New 'hood went in up stream so they needed a storm drain.
    Woods was never the same.
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  2. dammitdave

    dammitdave Long timer

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    Shady, I don't think you're particularly unique in that regard. Most of us had stoopid phases as we were growing up. Some were just lucky enough to grow out of it.
    When I was about 12 my buddy and I hiked into an old homestead behind our place to look at a logging show there. They had an ancient truck mounted-cable heel boom loader. I crawled up in the cab and started pulling levers and stepping on pedals until the boom came crashing down on the logs in front of the loader. I was too busy running from that horrendous crash to finish crapping my pants.:lol3
  3. PNWRR

    PNWRR A study in Mopishness

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    Nice one double "D". :lol2
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  4. Anatoli

    Anatoli Pale rider

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    I revisited the site of what I believe to be the oldest railroad incline in NW Washington State. The Lake Whatcom Logging Company built this around 1902 about 2 miles south of their new log dump on Lake Whatcom. JJ Donovan, a major partner in the company, was an accomplished civil engineer who had previously help design and build for the Northern Pacific Railroad across the continent. I believe he was the first in the region to see the value of the railroad incline to harvest timber in the steep mountainous terrain. The incline required 1/5 the iron of using switchbacks. The snubbing engine could winch itself up and down the mountain and was reusable. Fuel and labor savings were enough to make this a popular solution.

    Yesterday’s visit revealed some interesting artifacts beneath the carpet of moss. I don’t know what these metal components were used for. Any guesses? My best guess was that this was part of a wood fired firebox.

    The incline ran downslope directly behind DB Cooper, my yellow Labrador in the last photo. Notice the mouldering old growth logs laying parallel to the tracks. I believe that this is where the logs were loaded onto the empty disconnect cars. The absence of stumps supports my notion that this was a work area. This is about 100’ feet below where the snubbing engine was anchored.
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  5. tommybelvedere

    tommybelvedere Adv alacarte'

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    Looks like fun Annatoli, I'm in Skagit Valley as well. I haven't been riding much this winter though, gotta get out and get at least 1 ride in this winter, guess I'm getting a bit older!
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  6. Anatoli

    Anatoli Pale rider

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    We are neighbors. I ride 3 days a week. PM me when you are ready. My ride buddy today was 77 and I could hardly keep up in the rough stuff.
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  7. tommybelvedere

    tommybelvedere Adv alacarte'

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    That's pretty awesome, my father in law is usually my ride partner he's 75 and a hell of a rider and companion. I will PM you when I am able to get out for a ride around.
    Cheers TB!
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  8. Teamoatmealpie

    Teamoatmealpie Adventurer

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  9. DiggerD

    DiggerD DougFir from SuperDuke Days

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    Nice info there Team Pie.

    Always nice to have a destination for a ride.
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  10. Shady Pass David

    Shady Pass David Long timer Supporter

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    M-Kay...I found this site the other day when messing around about Wallace Idaho...In the old days..prior to 1967?..kidding,
    Any how I hope you folks find this interesting...U of Idaho digital barstock Barnard-Stockbridge photo collection....
    The pictures I have yet to go all through, but having fun knowing I had a Detroit diesel rig....when working....:jkam.......
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  11. what broke now

    what broke now Petroleum Brother Supporter

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  12. Mr. Vintage

    Mr. Vintage Family Dude Supporter

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  13. what broke now

    what broke now Petroleum Brother Supporter

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    Shows a location in Wallace,Id. being near Polson, Mt. though. I guess you run out of room for circles in a productive mining district.
    Great resource, anyway.
  14. Shady Pass David

    Shady Pass David Long timer Supporter

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    I've spent hours looking at all they have and not finished yet.....One of my working jobs was for the Seattle Army Corps of Engineers...I was able to travel all over the dam sites in Wa.-Ore-Id.-Mt.-Wy..
    On the gov's dime...Some jobs I've had were more fun than work, as I look back....Being single was an asset also...:rofl.......................
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  15. Anatoli

    Anatoli Pale rider

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    A long period of searching paid off big yesterday. My buddy and I spent the day running down every lead in our search for Dempsey Logging Company’s lost Camp 6. Built in 1922, this was the last and highest camp built on the mountain. All the materials for the camp not scavenged on site were winched up the mountain on a mile long railroad Incline that approached 45 degrees. Camp 6 was shown on old maps to be around 2000’ elevation on a railroad lateral west of the Incline. Locating the Incline itself was the first order of business. It didn’t help that the DNR recently locked the 2 gates providing motorized access to the south facing slope. Careful study of old maps, new maps, Google Earth, and Lidar scans revealed the old rail grade lateral and hinted at the camp location. There was only one place on the steep mountainside that was flat enough to try to squeeze in a High Camp.

    My buddy is smiling as I suggested that this innocuous barely there goat trail may be the ticket. This turned out to be a Jarvis worthy 1st gear and lots of clutch extreme ascent. Fortunately it was dry, and the 525 Cheater at 4 lbs did the trick.


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    We ascended to snow level and discovered a large semicircular bench seemingly carved out of the mountainside. Immediately we noticed lots of wire rope and other metal scattered about.

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    A brief survey revealed 2 parallel rail grades separated by this big old stump adorned with lots of wire rope. This anchored something really big.

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    The crescent shaped flat covered a few acres. The grades converged to the east at this steep canyon. The Incline was about 1/2 mile further east. A very impressive trestle crossed here. Large lengths of old growth logs below ( not visible in this photo) probably are the remnants of the trestle. Future brush crashing will tell the tale.

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    In many places the original ties are clearly visible.

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    It is remarkable to consider that men and women lived high on the mountain at this remote site for one or more logging seasons. I am confident that this site is fairly well preserved due to the inaccessible location and that much more can be learned and observed in future visits. All the easy stuff has already been found. It requires greater effort and determination nowadays to make discoveries such as this. Visiting here gives me profound respect for those rugged pioneers who came before us and struggled so hard to make a new life.
  16. Anatoli

    Anatoli Pale rider

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    I returned to Camp 6 a couple days later with a brace of Labradors to search for additional clues. The site was obviously excavated, probably by a Marion steam shovel that was winched up the Incline. This pic is from a ridge of excavated dirt around the perimeter about 15’ high. The ties are clearly visible.

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    We dropped into the big canyon east and Loki soon located these trestle elements laying parallel where they fell.

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    On the eastern side of the canyon rests this sleeper, used as a foundation piece. From bridgehead to bridgehead the trestle was about 300’ long and perhaps 90’ at the tallest. Note the spike visible in front of DB Cooper’s butt.

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    A few hundred yards east of the trestle in the cut we found this galvanized pail. The bottom was mushroomed out, the bail handle broken. I think that it was discarded when the handle broke and was used by the demo crew when picking up the iron for reuse.

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    Back at Camp DB Cooper points out the obvious trestle element that I had missed. This big log is perhaps 100’ long and is studded with foot long spikes. At some point in time it was yarded out of the canyon and now is incorporated into the much more recent bug out shelter visible at the far end. Creative reuse at its best.

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  17. rg sw wa.

    rg sw wa. Long timer Supporter

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    Love the pics, description and to see you have two great helpers along.
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  18. Anatoli

    Anatoli Pale rider

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    Not trying to take over the thread, but this has been a remarkable couple weeks of discovery. The rising snow level combined with the lack of underbrush has created excellent conditions for this type of work. Several miles west of the above mentioned Camp 6 is another mountain which is difficult to access. Near the snow line is an active logging show, but work shutdown on weekends allow for cautious visits. I have no personal working knowledge of these tracked wonders, but have observed them in operation. Mechanization has greatly reduced the number of workers required to harvest a sale. The machine in the background grasps the standing tree, cuts it off the stump, delimbs, cuts to desired length, and piles up the log in less time than it takes to read this sentence. The machine in the foreground collects the logs and loads them on the waiting truck. It won’t be long before these are autonomous machines with a remote operator supervising. The primary limitations are very steep slopes.


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    This is the business end of the harvester. Two powerful chain saws hide here, top and bottom. The grasping jaws are clearly visible as are the studded wheels that delimb and run the tree through the powerhead. Note the armored hydraulic lines.

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    We stopped for lunch on a high shoulder below the sale. While munching on a sandwich I noticed wire rope and these rusty bolts protruding from the slash. Wire rope is common, bolts are not. I gingerly clambered downslope to investigate.

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    I found a 10’ section of a donkey sled hiding in the slash. There were long steel rods still holding the section together.

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    About 40’ west I located the other end. This piece had more metal plates and bolts. So what happened? I speculate that the intact sled was pushed off the railroad grade or road by a big cat after being stripped of salvageable metal.
    At some later date someone came and salvaged the central 40’ section of old growth logs either for firewood or to be milled for lumber in a backyard mill. The end sections contained too much blade or chainsaw dulling metal to deal with.

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    It is interesting to consider the advancements in technology in the last 100 years that these 2 different types of timber harvest machines demonstrate. To find them 1/4 mile apart on the same day is pretty remarkable too.
  19. rg sw wa.

    rg sw wa. Long timer Supporter

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    Keep on exploring and posting, thanks.
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  20. DiggerD

    DiggerD DougFir from SuperDuke Days

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    Nice find.