The Unionj Lumber Company’s Picnic, July 12th 1919

Eagle’s nest was located twenty miles from Fort Braggon along the Skunk Train Route. Eagle’s Nest was on the north side of the tracks across from Rest Haven just east of Camp 7. The annual Union Lumber Company picnic was held there every year. Hank Simonson (a club member who has passed) was a regular on the picnic and he fondly remembered the swimming hole there and the wonderful food. Hank’s father was an accomplished violinist and was one of the band that played at the picnic. Below is a picture of the 1919 picnic trains.

July 12th 1919 Union Lumber Picnic Train

July 12th 1919 Union Lumber Picnic Train

Ten Mile Bridge around 1949

Here is the pic that appeared in the Westport Wave of September 1, 2013:

Ten Mile Bridge in 1949

Ten Mile Bridge in 1949

Two bridges at the same time? Er, no. Let Thad Van Beuren, archaeologist and local author, explain:

Jan Haagen-Smit shared the image above of two former bridges over the lower Ten Mile River. I’m guessing this was taken around the time the railroad was converted to the haul road in 1949. The bridge on the right was built in 1916 at the time that the (Union Lumber Company’s) Ten Mile Branch railroad was constructed. There is evidence of recent demolition of the railway with bulldozer tracks and rails in the foreground. The old bridge is blocked off and a car is visible on the new low-slung bridge. The approaches to the new bridge are very newly placed fill with no plant growth. It was a time of big changes in the woods and along the state highway.”


Logs for Today – Trees for Tomorrow – a movie made by the Union Lumber Company of Fort Bragg circa 1950

I was over at Roger Thornburn’s house a week or so ago working on a project. After our “work” we spent some time looking at “stuff” which Roger (our computer guru) had accumulated which we had not used in the websites. One of the “things” was this movie. The text and maps were added by Roger as was the music. The movie details logging from A to Z. It’s quite long (38 mins) but worth watching if you are into the history of Mendocino County logging. If you don’t have the time for the whole “show” just take a peek at the maps that Roger has inserted at the beginning.

Thanks for your efforts Roger.

Before Bandsaws there were Circular Saws

The ability of the Union Lumber Company mill here in Fort Bragg  to cut very large logs was due to the introduction of a Band-saw in place of a circular saw. The circular saws were very  wasteful because of their thickness. You can see a circular saw in operation at Sturgeon’s Mill at Green Hill road in Sebastopol, CA.

The sign for Sturgeon's Mill is painted on an old sawblade used in the mill's operations

The sign for Sturgeon’s Mill is painted on an old sawblade used in the mill’s operations

Some of the blades were very large to handle the huge tree trunks:

Sawblade that is taller than a man

Sawblades that are taller than a man

The circular sawbades’ replacement was a band saw blade. This pic shows one similar to those used in the Union Lumber Company.

Giant Bandsaw being manhandled

Giant Bandsaw being manhandled

Now suppose you were building an Egyptian monument (pyramid?) 5,000 years ago. Is this how they cut those blocks of granite? A giant circular saw with a copper blade

Eygyptian Circular Saw with a Copper blade to cut granite blocks

Egyptian Circular Saw with a Copper blade to cut granite blocks

Union Lumber Company’s (ULC) Log Pond

In our website there is a gallery of pictures of log ponds attached to mills up and down the Mendocino Coast – see here. Alas, there are no pics of the log pond that belonged the biggest mill on the Mendocino Coast, that of  ULC here in Fort Bragg. Well, that has changed as I have just unearthed not one but two pics of the ULC log pond:

ULC Log Pond

ULC Log Pond

ULC Log Pond - logs being unloaded

ULC Log Pond – logs being unloaded