Caspar Lumber Company’s Camp 20 on Route 20 between Fort Bragg and Willits

Thanks to information and links provided by readers of our website over the past months we have “published” a fair amount of material relating to Caspar Lumber Company’s Camp 20 on Route 20 between Fort Bragg and Willits.

Reader Jerry Barney is the latest person to contact us. Jerry’s Dad worked for Casper Lumber Co. from 1948 until 1952. He was a “catskinner” and heavy equipment operator. Jerry’s family lived at the junction of Chamberlain Creek and Highway 20. Jerry’s house was the first one up the hill. Jerry remembers going in and out of the barn on the corner of Highway 20 and Chamberlain Creek many times..

Here are some photos taken at  from Camp 20 from Jerry’s files. The first is of Jerry’s House:

Jerry's House at Camp 20

Jerry’s House at Camp 20

The second was taken in 1949 and is of Jerry’s Mom Ida Mae Barney and his Sister Shela posing in the cab of Daisy.

Daisy at Camp 20

Daisy at Camp 20

Other blogs about Camp 20:

Caspar Lumber Company Photographs from the 1920’s

Caspar Lumber Company Bulldozer Barn at Camp 20

Barn at Camp 20

Peeling Redwood Logs

After I made the above post I received an e-mail from Jerry Barney’s uncle, Dean Barney, providing more information:

“I worked one summer as a choker setter and second loader for Caspar Lumber Company. The year was 1951 and very close to the last of Caspar Lumber Co.  My logging year was from March to November.  “Happy” Cook was the woods boss and his brother “Peggy” Cook was the double drum operator. Happy’s son Don was a catskinner as well as 7 other men.  My brother Virgil was one of those seven.

I got married that summer and my wife Maxine and I lived in what was once a house attached to the post office and company store and faced the highway.  Most of the houses were still occupied and the maintenance barn was active.

The ‘stud” camp had a couple of tenants, but most employees were married.  The store was no longer open and we went to the company store in Caspar when we didn’t have any money and needed to buy on credit.  The cook shack was not in operation so everyone ate at home or lunched in the woods.

There was a fire that year in August, near our logging operation.  I was away for the weekend deer hunting in Lake County and went to the fire lines Monday morning.  All men in camp over the weekend had been on the fire line all weekend.  The fire was mostly contained on Monday morning but we worked for at least three days putting out hot spots.

No one was killed that year in the woods, but one man did go to the hospital after a log slid down the hill and hit the back of his D8 cat while he was waiting to bring his logs onto the landing.  One man was killed the previous year when his cat was pulled off the skid road and rolled down the hill and over the top of him.

I have other stories of parties, near misses and happy times .  It was a good year to work for Caspar.”