Logs finally become Lumber
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Volcanoguy
N 44° 02.834 W 121° 18.976
10T E 634885 N 4878497
History sign #7 of 7 in the Old Mill District of Bend, Oregon.
Waymark Code: WM7ZP5
Location: Oregon, United States
Date Posted: 12/29/2009
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member TheBeanTeam
Views: 1

There are seven history signs (installed in mid-2009) along the river describing the history of the Old Mill District. This sign is the northern most sign on the east side of the river.
Marker Name: Logs finally become Lumber
Marker Text: The Lumber Journey and the Era come to an End
Trees were felled in the woods and hauled to the Deschutes River where they floated downstream to the mills. The final steps of this log-to-lumber journey occurred as the wet lumber, known as green wood, exited the mill on the green chain. As it moved along the chain, men called chain pullers sorted the lumber by size into units of 2500 board feet of lumber each. One unit filled a crib or cart on tracks that, until late 1950’s, were hauled by horses to the drying areas, four cribs at a time. Knowing their job well, the horses wouldn’t budge if you tried to add a fifth cart!
Drying the wood in the dry kilns was like cooking beef jerky. At 150 degrees, using high tech moisture meters of the day, the green wood dried to the correct moisture content in only a few days. When the lumber market was good and the eight dry kilns could not keep up with production, the boards were stacked outside in the drying yard to air dry. This took about three months, even in this dry climate. There were stacks of lumber as high as 20’ as far as the eye could see. Imagine all that lumber.
The dry lumber was again stacked on carts and drawn by horses to the immense planing mill where it became finished lumber. The boards were fed into planers and trim saws that surfaced them to final sizes. The wood was planed or shaved to a smooth finish and cut into standard dimensions. Certified graders would then grade the board based on the quality of the wood. From the planing mill, the finished boards were sent to the shipping platform and the smaller trimmings were sent over to the box factory.
At the shipping platform, the finished lumber, dried, cut and graded, was loaded by hand, piece by piece into boxcars. Loading was a taxing job. Men were paid by the number of undamaged boards they loaded in a day. From the shipping platform, lumber that started out as gigantic old growth ponderosa pines in the woods of Central Oregon was carried by the railroad, on its final journey to build homes and businesses across the country and across the sea.
Due to changing times and less demand in the timber industry, Brooks-Scanlon Lumber Company closed. At noon on September 9, 1993, the last large log was processed all the way through the mill allowing each operator to perform his task one last time. Done in order of seniority, each took his turn, as all watched this great era come to an end. The mills may be gone, but we will never forget the amazing spirit of the lumber men and women that created this great town and contributed to an entire nation.

Historic Topic: Modern Age 1900 to date

Group Responsible for placement: Other

Marker Type: City

Region: Central Oregon

County: Deschutes

Web link to additional information: [Web Link]

State of Oregon Historical Marker "Beaver Board": Not listed

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Volcanoguy visited Logs finally become Lumber 12/29/2009 Volcanoguy visited it