The Hood River News-Letter, Hood River, OR., September 29, 1906, page
Includes 2 photographs. One is titled: A Cozy Corner in Stanley-Smith Mill - The following cut gives but a faint idea of the most excellent log flume which is a product of Mr. Davenport's fertile brain. It is a great square trough five feet wide by four and a half feet deep, and extends from the camp two miles to the mill pond. It is built almost on an exact level. The logs are put in as shown in the cut until a train of 40 or 45 at logs are fastened together with iron dogs. A man armed with a pike pole then prods the front log and pushes it through the water, pulling the whole train down to the gate at the pond. Here are two gates working somewhat on the order of the canal locks. The outside gate is closed, the inside one is opened and four or five logs and pushed in between the gates. The inside gate is then closed and the outer gate opened, when the logs go down the steep incline into the pond after the operation is repeated ad infinitum.
The second photograph is titled: Section of Log Flume, Stanley-Smith Mill
Manufactures, Wholesalers and Retailers
The Stanley-Smith Lumber company purchased the holdings
of the Davenport Lumber company, August 19th, 1905, Mr. Frank Davenport retaining
his interest in the business.
The new firm has erected one of the best mills in the state. The picture of the mill is given herewith in a partially completed state. It has since been finished and more machinery placed on it, among others, a trimmer for trimming ties and bridge timbers.
The mill is of the double type, one side being a circular sawmill, the other a single cut band saw with shotgun feed. The company have enough fine fir and pine timber in their section to last them a long term of years. They have five donkey engines constantly bringing logs to the flume, a piece of engineering evolved by Mr. Davenport which enables a boy to move 40 or 50 big logs at a time from where they are dumped into the flume to where they are let into the big fifteen-acre mill pond at the mill. A cut showing a section of the log flume with a donkey engine in the act of pulling up a log, while another log has just been rolled in. We were unable to secure a photo of the mill after it was finished in time for this issue but it will be presented in some future edition of the paper.
The Stanley-Smith Lumber company has a retail yard located at Belmont, eight miles from the mill and about three miles from the city, and the wholesale yards are located on the track of the O.R. & N., a mile farther down the valley at Ruthton, through which yard the output of the mill, some 150,000 feet per day, besides large numbers of cedar fence post are handled. The water which floats the big logs into the mill empties into the mill pond and flows on through to the flume from the mill to the above mentioned lumber yards carrying the lumber to those distributing points, at a cost of less than ten cents per 1000 feet.
The company also operates a lumber yard in the city of Hood River where all grades of lumber and laths and shingles are kept to supply the Hood River trade. The company also ships cord wood and slab woo to supply a large trade of these by-products of their mill and logging camps.
There is nothing connected with the lumbering business which is more interesting than to see the donkey engines working. A line of cable is run out several thousand feet from the dumping place where the donkey is stationed and reaches over little hills and ravines into the section with the fallers are cutting the big trees into the required lengths for the mill. Hear the logs, two or three at a time are attached to the cable by books, and from a distance, one cannot see the cable; which gives the logs the appearance of some peculiar antediluvian monsters chasing each other down one hill and over another to the dumping place.
The falling of the forest giants, too, is an art of itself. The fallers work in pairs. They approach a great big fellow, size him up, select a location where he will fall without breaking or damaging the valuable trunk, and with a big crosscut saw cut the tree off. It sometimes happens that the only suitable location is in an opposite direction from that to which the tree naturally is inclined to fall. When that is the case, steel wedges are driven into the cuts after the saw until the weight of the tree is over balanced so that it falls where the fallers desire it. These fallers become so expert in selecting the place where the tree is to fall that very seldom is a trunk damaged; and when it is there is a certain penalty attached to the work of the men, which is to create an incentive to careful work, rules which apply to all logging camps.
The company has planning machines located at Ruthton and the Belmont yards of sufficient size and capacity to dress lumber of all sizes and they are kept constantly in service in order to meet the demands of their trade which is rapidly increasing, and at times requires the work to be pressed night and day in order to keep the orders filled promptly.
The power for this big mill is furnished by five big engines. A pair of twin engines 14x18; one Atlas engine, 16x22; another Atlas engine, 20x24, and an Ames engine 10x15. The latter engine is used to run the electric light plant, steam drill and lathe, with which they do their own repairing. This engine also runs a large rotary pump, which supplies the mill with water. This steam for these engines is furnished by a bank of six boilers 54 inches in diameter by 26 feet in length.
They have an extensive system of fire protection, the water for which is supplied from a large water tank 32 feet square and ten feet deep, situated at an elevation 100 feet above the top of the mill, and which is filled by a running stream. This tank is connected with the mill by 1000 feet of four-inch pipe which supplies water to three hydrants on each side of the mill. These hydrants are supplied with 200 feet each of standard fire hose with the latest nozzles and appliances; the whole making the most complete fire protection possible.
This is the only mill in the country where it is possible for a patron to phone up to the mill for a piece of timber, the company send out to the fallers, have them select the tree, fall it, cut the desired length, take the log to the mill, saw out the stick of timber ordered, flume it to the planer, ran it through the planer to size it, load it on a wagon, haul it to Hood River, deliver to the contractor, who paid for and put it in the building and the company blowed in the money for surplus all in the same day. This has been done by this company. Think of it, a piece of timber growing in the virgin forests in the morning, less than twelve hours later dressed and standing in a building fifteen miles away! That is what we call a "railroading it."
The General office of the Stanley-Smith lumber company is on Cascade avenue in this city and all inquiries concerning their business should be addressed to the Stanley-Smith Lumber company, Hood River, Oregon.
© Jeffrey L. Elmer