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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Bend in Deschutes County, Oregon — The American West (Northwest)
 

Thank Goodness for Water and Gravity

The Railroad and the River Moved the Logs to the Mill

 
 
Thank Goodness for Water and Gravity Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 27, 2016
1. Thank Goodness for Water and Gravity Marker
Inscription.
Huge trees were felled in the woods and the logs were transported by railroad to town. They were then dropped into the Deschutes River to await their turn in the mill. The river was a perfect storage place for the logs. The natural flow of the water made it an automatic conveyer to the mills. Additionally, the cool water prohibited the growth of the degrading blue stain fungus and kept the logs moist, preventing them from splitting in this dry climate.

Look at all those logs! As they drifted downstream, a floating boom separated the logs destined for the Brooks-Scanlon Mill from those going to the Shevlin-Hixon Mill on the west side of the river. The massive logs waited in the river until the mills were ready to process them into lumber. In the winter, work was grueling as the pond men worked to keep the river from freezing by keeping the logs moving.

The men who worked the logs in the river were known as pond men or sometimes pond monkeys or slough hogs. They would use long hooked poles called pike poles to prevent log jams and navigate the logs to the mouth of the mill. The pond, as the lumbermen called the Deschutes River, was divided between the two mills by log booms, floating logs chained end to end, which were anchored to rock filled cribs. The log booms kept the logs belonging to each company separated.
Marker detail: Logs are dumped into the mill pond image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 27, 2016
2. Marker detail: Logs are dumped into the mill pond


Logs were hoisted from the river by the bull chain and hauled inside the mill to the log deck. They were then moved on to the band saw on one of the three head rigs to begin the first steps of lumber processing. In the 1970s, due to environmental and river clean up concerns, Brooks-Scanlon began storing logs on the side of the river. Those log storage areas along the river banks were referred to as the cold deck.
 
Erected by The Old Mill District.
 
Location. 44° 2.744′ N, 121° 18.98′ W. Marker is in Bend, Oregon, in Deschutes County. Marker can be reached from SW Powerhouse Drive north of SW Columbia Street when traveling west. 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: 425 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. Today's Old Mill District (within shouting distance of this marker); The Mill Transformed Trees into Highly Prized Lumber (within shouting distance of this marker); Location, Location & Location (within shouting distance of this marker); Journey of the Log to Lumber
Marker detail: Pond man image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 27, 2016
3. Marker detail: Pond man
Pond man, Dan McLennan "...couldn't swim his way out of a goldfish bowl." Pine Echos 1935
(about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Logs Finally Become Lumber (about 500 feet away); Old Post Office (approx. 0.9 miles away); Bend Veterans Peace Memorial (approx. 1.1 miles 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
 
Categories. Horticulture & ForestryIndustry & CommerceRailroads & StreetcarsWaterways & Vessels
 
Marker detail: Bull chain hoist image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 27, 2016
4. Marker detail: Bull chain hoist
Thank Goodness for Water and Gravity Marker (<i>wide view</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 27, 2016
5. Thank Goodness for Water and Gravity Marker (wide view)
Deschutes River (<i>view from marker</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, June 27, 2016
6. Deschutes River (view from marker)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on February 11, 2018. This page originally submitted on February 8, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 60 times since then. Last updated on February 10, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on February 8, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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