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Tillamook in Tillamook County, Oregon — The American West (Northwest)
 

Steam Donkey

 
 
Steam Donkey Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 8, 2015
1. Steam Donkey Marker
Inscription.
Steam donkeys such as this "Tacoma Wide Face Yarder" were a vital part of a logging team's equipment in the 19th century forests of Oregon. Their name is derived from secondary engines called "donkey engines" used on sailing ships to load cargo, raise large sails, or to power pumps. Many cable-logging terms are derived from merchant sailing ships because they used similar riggings.

Steam donkeys had a boiler, a water tank or fuel tank mounted on the rear of the sled, and a "donkey house" that sheltered the crew from the weather. They also had a powered winch that was wound with hemp rope in the early days and steel cable in later years. This cable would be carried to a downed log and attached. The donkey's engineer would power the steam engine, allowing the steam donkey to drag the log towards itself. The log would then be transported by animal, tractor, or truck to a landing dock where it would be transferred to a mill via a river, road, or railway spur.

The donkey's skids or sleds were usually made of giant logs to aid in transporting the donkey from one setting to the next. One of the cables would be attached to a tree, or stump and the machine would pull itself along to the next timbering location.

This Steam Donkey is called a "wide face" because the width of the drum is greater in proportion
Steam Donkey Marker (<i>wide view</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 8, 2015
2. Steam Donkey Marker (wide view)
to that in later machines. Wide face donkeys were used for a variety of logging jobs such as dragging logs along the ground, loading operations or "high lead" (in which logs were yarded with one or both ends in the air). It was manufactured by the Puget Sound Iron & Steel Works, probably in the early 1900's. Abandoned in the woods when the Reiger family finished logging their land in about 1952, this donkey was rescued and restored from 1979 to 1981. It was donated to the Tillamook County Pioneer Museum by the Ned Rieger family and has been on display on the Museum grounds since then.
 
Location. 45° 27.436′ N, 123° 50.549′ W. Marker is in Tillamook, Oregon, in Tillamook County. Marker is on 2nd Street west of Laurel Avenue, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is located beside the subject machine, on the east side of the Tillamook County Pioneer Museum. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2106 2nd Street, Tillamook OR 97141, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Tillamook County (here, next to this marker); Mill Stone (within shouting distance of this marker); Kelly Building (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Tillamook Hotel
Steam Donkey detail: skid image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 8, 2015
3. Steam Donkey detail: skid
(about 500 feet away); Beals Building (about 500 feet away); A Way of Life Centered around a 1-Ton Crystal Lens (approx. 6.7 miles away); Captain Robert Gray (approx. 8.2 miles away); a different marker also named Captain Robert Gray (approx. 8.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Tillamook.
 
Also see . . .
1. Donkey engine.
A donkey engine was an integrated machine consisting of a powerplant and gearing that turned one or more drums or winches containing wire rope. Designed to lift, drag, and move logs from the stump to an accumulation point, donkey engines were also used to load logs on cars that transported logs to distant mill sites. Though invented in California, the donkey engine helped accelerate timber harvesting throughout the Pacific Northwest. It was used extensively in Oregon and contributed significantly to the state's economy and culture from the late nineteenth well into the twentieth century. (Submitted on February 2, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Steam Donkey. Steam donkey, or donkey engine, is the common nickname for a steam-powered winch, or logging engine, widely used
Steam Donkey detail: cable drums image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 8, 2015
4. Steam Donkey detail: cable drums
in past logging operations, though not limited to logging. They were also found in the mining, maritime, and nearly any other industry that needed a powered winch. (Submitted on February 2, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. Horticulture & ForestryIndustry & Commerce
 
Steam Donkey detail: piston image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, July 8, 2015
5. Steam Donkey detail: piston
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 5, 2018. This page originally submitted on January 25, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 45 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on January 25, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.   3, 4, 5. submitted on February 2, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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