The Hood River Glacier, Hood River, OR., October 29, 1908, page 8


     Hood River, says the Oregon Journal, is enjoying a period of great prosperity. The returns from the apple crop are large and the trend of improvement is noticeable in all directions. Among the big industries that will bring gold to Hood River's bank deposits is the lumber business, and in this connection it might be said that few people of Portland or in the state of Oregon are aware of the fact that one of the most pleasant pleasure trips is a visit to the sawmill and camps of the Stanley Smith Lumber company 11 miles northwest of Hood River. Far up among the red fir and white pine forests this company has established one of the model lumber plants on the Pacific coast.
     The sawmill has a capacity of 150,000 feet daily. It is what is called a double mill and has seven large boilers. This company has three lumber camps and two planing mills, with 359 man on the payroll. In a seven-months run they have cut 21,000,000 feet of lumber. The most peculiar thing about this plant is the method of transportation. Flumes are built for miles through the great forest, where eight donkey engines with long wire cables draw the logs from deep canyon or high mountain sides and place them in the flumes where they are floated to the mill. The little stream that supplies the flumes with water and carries the mammoth logs to the mill is still further pressed into service and carries the lumber in another flume for 11 miles to the railroad.
     This plant is located at an elevation of 2,500 feet, and for two months in the winner the snow is too deep for logging. This body of timber seems to be almost unlimited; it will average about 30,000 feet per acre and reaches back for many miles from the railroad. This company makes a specialty of bridge and construction timbers and railroad crossties, while their better grades of lumber are shipped largely to Chicago.
     To the lumbermen in the forest have always been a mine, both in the sense of a wealth producer and in the manner of their exploitation. As long as virgin supplies were in sight, the forests were treated precisely as a mine would be, that is, depleted of all useful material and then abandoned for new fields. There is probably no one problem before the railroads today of more vital concern than that of cross-tie production. They have exhausted the supplies in certain regions, and foresee a shortage from present sources.
     The magnitude of the problem is indicated by the fact that the annual consumption of ties in the United States for renewals and new lines is about 110,000,000, which requires the timber from over 200,000 acres, if railroad construction timber be included, it means that the railroads strip the forest growth from more than half a million acres annually.
     Lumbering is our fourth great industry. Hood River county has from 1,600,000,000 to 1,800,000,000 feet of standing timber. If the reader wants a few days of recreation that recreates he can find some of the best fishing in the state in close connection with the Stanley-Smith camp and a few meals at one of their several logging camps will make one wish he were a lumber jack. The visitor is sure to receive a royal welcome at any of these camps, and as he walks down the steep road that leads back to the town -- back to the world -- he feels stronger and better and happier for his trip.

©  Jeffrey L. Elmer