Historic Hood River
Oregon Lumber Company Logging
We saw this one a while back, but I have a little more context. When I first posted this I thought it might be part of an A.J. Shepler grouping circa 1900. In fact there are two men in this view who look very much like men in this A.J. Shepler view. Another image identifies those men as A.J. and T.F. Shepler (one of them is in the center of the photo and the other is behind him to the left). I also notice the staple pattern on the margin of this print matches the staples of the Oregon Lumber Company brochure we looked at a while back. It’s very possible someone removed this image from the book for display at some time.
This is a good reminder of how important context is for artifacts. By itself this is just a nice image of guys in the woods logging. If we know it is part of the Oregon Lumber Company brochure we know where and when, and if it was part of A.J. Shepler’s collection we know who is in the image and how it got to the museum.
Our current practice is that if an image is “borrowed” from the collection for reproduction or display, a record of that action is placed in the collection so the original will (theoretically) find its way back to the proper context.
The text of the Oregon Lumber Company brochure has some great descriptions of the logging operations behind these images.
What a wonderful (and unknown?) writer. I learned so much. But I wonder if the climbing hand and foot holds on the cliffs have ever been located and identified. Men must have been valued more for their brawn than for their brains in taming the land. But engineering of the log roads and flumes took considerable engineering skill. And living away from family while in the camps? And no obvious signs of such a large operation at Viento? The current sight of the camp ground could possibly have been a possible location for the mill?
Thank you so very much Arthur for hunting this down and sharing with all of us.
In the 1900 census, Alfred James Shepler and (I think) his older brother Thomas, are working at Chenowith.
In 1904, Thomas F. married Wilhelmina Wyers, sister of John, Pete and Teunis Wyers.
Thomas and Wilhelmina lived in White Salmon for a while and then moved to Portland where he set up an electrical shop.
I believe the campground at Viento and I-84 overlay the site of the Viento mill. I have shared this information with State Parks, and hope someday they will add some interpretive panels.
Much of the flume route is on private property, and what isn't is pretty dense with poison oak and other vines, so I am not expecting anyone to find the tunnel and footholds, but nels is correct in highlighting the ingenuity needed to move logs around this dense forest.
I hope that you will lobby the OSPR to also recognize the conscientious objector
community of that same place. It seems it is a buried history of our county's WW II history.
The conscientious objector camp was at Wyeth campground. I've just started reading a book on the subject. I believe there are plans for some interpretive signs at the location. I think this was also the location of the camp for convict labor involved in construction of the original Columbia River Highway. You can read about the men from “Camp Benson” here:
I have seen concrete, now under blackberries, north of the RR and west of the present parking lot. I assume that was the mill site.