The Klickitat County Agriculturist, Goldendale, WA., September 9, 1927, page 1
J. NEILS LUMBER COMPANY SUFFERS A HEAVY LOSS
The big sawmill of the J. Neils Lumber company, at Klickitat,
was destroyed by fire, that started in the boiler room, early last Friday
morning. The fire was discovered by members of the night shift. The dry kiln,
planer, and the lumber yards, were all saved by quick work on the part of
the mill's employees. Loss is put at $150,000.
The plant was in full operation at the time, the company operating two shifts, and the crew engaged a successful fight to save the yard equipment and stock, planing mill, and the large battery of dry kilns.
J. Neils, head of the company, came to Klickitat the same day from Portland, and said at Klickitat at the plant would be rebuilt immediately.
The burned plant has a daily capacity of 100,000 feet and was acquired by the J. Neils Lumber company, large operators at Libby, Montana, when it purchased the sawmill plant and holdings of the Western Pine Lumber company.
There is no fire apparatus at Klickitat, as the town is not incorporated, but the Neils people have the plant well protected with an extensive system of its own.
There was no suspicion of incendiarism.
Sufficient insurance was carried to cover approximately the total loss.
The J. Neils Company plans to rebuild at once and install new equipment, and probably double the capacity of the mill.
Klickitat is some 13 miles north of Lyle, on the Big Klickitat river. The company employs on average 200 men in its plant.
The Goldendale Sentinel, Goldendale, WA., September 8, 1927, page 1
FIRE DESTROYS MILL AT KLICKITAT
Fire at the J. Neils Lumber Co. saw mill at Klickitat
last Friday morning, about 1 o'clock, destroyed their large modern mill,
which was located some distance away from their planer and lumber piles.
The fire started in the fuel boxes, presumably from a "blow-back" into the
boiler room. The fire fighting crew were unable to make any progress against
the blaze, although the blaze was confined to the mill. The company have
plenty of water for fire purposes.
The fire loss has been estimated at $150,000, and insurance is carried that will cover the loss. It is the intention of the company to rebuild at once, and a statement has been made that the new mill will be ready by the time they are out of lumber in the yard.
J. Neils came up from Portland Friday morning on the train. It is possible the location of the new mill will be changed somewhat from the one just burned. The old capacity of 100,000 feet a day is to be increased, and a modern mill constructed.
The J. Neils Lumber Co., operating at Libby, Montana, purchased the property at Klickitat from the Western Pine lumber Co., in 1919. Since that time the property has been improved, logging roads extended and a considerable greater acreage of timber bought for future cut. The planer, dry kiln and other company holdings were not damaged by the fire.
© Jeffrey L. Elmer