Bend in Deschutes County, Oregon — The American West (Northwest)
Logs Finally Become Lumber
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 1950s, 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
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.
Erected by The Old Mill District.
Location. Touch for map. Marker is located along the Deschutes River walkway, on the east side of the river, in Bend's Old Mill District. Marker is at or near this postal address: 375 SW Powerhouse Drive, Bend OR 97702, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Mill Transformed Trees into Highly Prized Lumber (within shouting distance of this marker); Thank Goodness for Water and Gravity (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Today's Old Mill District (about 700 feet away); Location, Location & Location (about 700 feet away); Journey of the Log to Lumber (approx. 0.2 miles away); Old Post Office (approx. ¾ mile away); Bend Veterans Peace Memorial (approx. one mile away); Oregon's Fabled "High Desert" (approx. 1.9 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bend.
Related markers. Click here for a list of markers that are related to this marker. Old Mill District
Also see . . .
1. Brooks-Scanlon box factory: 100 years later.
The box factory utilized the wood scraps from the lumber mill to create crates that hauled everything from Sunkist oranges to ammunition during World War II. “Here it was, a small mill town out in the middle (Submitted on February 10, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. The Box Factory.
The 100-year old former box and crate factory which was operated by Brooks Scanlon Lumber is the last standing historic box factory in Bend, Oregon. (Submitted on February 10, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
3. The Old Mill District: Then and Now.
(Link includes photo of the Brooks-Scanlon Box Factory from the 1930's.) During World War I, an all-female crew operated the Brooks-Scanlon Box factory, to keep it running while mail millworkers joined the military. (Submitted on February 10, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Categories. • Horticulture & Forestry • Industry & Commerce • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on February 11, 2018. This page originally submitted on February 10, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 61 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on February 10, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.