Guide to the Owen L. Hall Lumber Industry Photograph Collection
circa 1880s-1974

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Overview of the Collection

Collector: Hall, Owen L., 1908-1981
Title: Owen L. Hall Lumber Industry photograph collection
Dates: circa 1880s-1974 ( inclusive )
circa 1880s-1910s ( bulk )
Quantity: 1 box plus oversize materials (121 photographs, 27 postcards, 2 albums and 12 lantern slides)
Location of Collection: 2b.1.10 (box 1)
1a.3.6-7(oversize photos)
VII.b.3 (panorama)
15b.2.drawer8 (lantern slides)
Collection Number: 1981.7351
Summary: Photographs of the lumber industry in Washington State, largely circa 1880-1910, including images of crews, mills, equipment and operations.
Repository: Museum of History & Industry
Sophie Frye Bass Library

5933 6th Avenue South
Seattle, WA 98108
Phone: 206-324-1126

Languages: Collection materials are in English. 

Biographical Note

Born in Renton, Washington, Owen L. Hall was a lifelong resident of Seattle, living in the University District for much of his adult life. Hall worked in the lumber industry as a logger in Washington State for several years in the late 1930s-early 1940s, and developed a lasting interest in forestry. Over the years, Hall collected artifacts and images related to the lumber industry: saws, axes and other small tools, and photographs and postcards of lumber crews, sawmills, equipment, and other subjects related to lumber and logging.

Owen Hall died in 1981.

Content Description

The collection is comprised largely of photographs of the early lumber industry in Washington State, circa 1880-1910. Several specific sawmills and mill crews are depicted, such as those at the Allen Shingle Company, Clear Lake Shingle Company, and the King Mill. Images of mill operations depict various pieces of machinery, from steam donkey engines and steam shovels, to setworks and saws operating inside mill buildings. Several images depict various modes of hauling lumber, from horse or oxen teams to flatbed railcars and trucks. One series consists of 11 photographs of logging in the early 1900s, by the Seattle photography studio of Webster & Stevens. Other images depict the Washington Saw Company float in the 1912 Golden Potlatch parade in Seattle, and the archway cut into the "bicycle tree" near Snohomish.The collection also includes several photographs of later mill operations and equipment, such as the Weyerhauser Timber Company pulp mill in Longview, Washington (1931) and equipment at the Walton Lumber Company (1955). Lantern slides also depict logging operations as well as mountain scenes.

The collection also includes two photograph albums, one containing images of mills and mill operations in Washington State and California, and the other depicting the six "gyppo" mills-- small, independent and often portable operations--in Washington State in 1955.

Use of the Collection

Restrictions on Access :  

The collection is open to the public by appointment.

Restrictions on Use :  

The Museum of History & Industry is the owner of the materials in the Sophie Frye Bass Library and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from MOHAI before any reproduction use. The museum does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners.

Preferred Citation :  

Owen L. Hall Lumber Industry Photograph Collection, Museum of History & Industry, Seattle

Administrative Information

Arrangement :

Arranged in 4 series:

  • Photographs
  • Postcards
  • Albums
  • Lantern slides

Acquisition Information :  

Gift of Amelia Trowbridge, Owen Hall's daughter, December 14, 1981. Ms. Trowbridge donated additional materials (5 photographs and one postcard) in 2008.

Processing Note :  

Numbering of the photographs begins with number 61 because numbers 1-60 were assigned to collection artifacts during accessioning.

12 lantern slides and 8 photographs from the collection were found added to the inventory in 2010.

Separated Materials :  

These materials are part of a donation that also included a number of artifacts. These artifacts are cataloged and stored separately by MOHAI's Collections Department. A complete inventory of the artifacts is also available in the Library.

Detailed Description of the Collection

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

1/1 61-65: Allen Shingle Company, Cow Lake Mill, Kent, Washington
5 photographs
Cow Lake is now Lake Meridian
Alexander Allen arrived in Seattle in 1881. He was the manager of Seattle Dry Dock & Shipbuilding and also owned a shingle mill.
circa 1880s-1900
1/2 66: Seattle Cedar Lumber Manufacturing Company (aerial view)
Color photograph is on the front of a card of instructions for "application of factory-primed siding."
VII.b.3 67: Weyerhauser Timber Company pulp mill, Longview, Washington (panorama)
Wilson Pain, Longview (photographer)
Additional information on photograph: "Chris Kuppler's Sons, General Contractors"
1931 March 3
1/3 68-73: Aerial views of mills and timber
Air Photo, Seattle (photographer)
6 photographs
Group includes one non-aerial photograph of boat Steelhead
1/4 74: View of lumber mill across water, Skamokawa, Washington circa 1880s
1/5 75-80, 378: Mill buildings and grounds -- unidentified
7 photographs
circa 1880s-1890s
Mill crews
1/6 81: King Mill Company, Inc. crew circa 1880s-1890s
1/7 82: King Manufacturing Company shingle mill crew, Snoqualmie, Washington
3 copies
circa 1880s-1900
1/8 83: Clear Lake Shingle Company crew
Darius Kinsey (photographer)
11" x 14"
Caption on image: "Clear Lake Shingle Co., Clear Lake, Wash. Timber Views Co."
circa 1880s-1890s
1/9 84-85: Men with pike poles in log pond
Hanson Studio, Snohomish, Washington (photographer)
2 photographs
Both photographs are marked with an "x" over one man, who is identified on verso as Harry Moore.
circa 1880s-1900
1/10 86-88, 380, 382-385: Mill crews in front of mill buildings
8 photographs
One image (86) depicts two African-American men among the mill crew.
circa 1880s-1890s
1/11 89: Steam shovel and construction crew circa early 1900s
1/12 90: Three men near steam donkey
Identifications on verso: B.N. Bighorn, Fred Nygren, Mr. Taylor
circa early 1900s
1/12 91: Five men with axes circa early 1900s
1/12 92: Three fallers standing on spring boards near undercut circa early 1900s
1/12 93: Crew on log near horse team
Copy print
circa early 1900s
1/12 94: Logging crew
Negative on file
circa early 1900s
1/12 95- 98: Men on or near giant logs
4 photographs
Negative for 95 on file
circa early 1900s
1/12 99: Man near pulley circa early 1900s
H1 202: Crew near buildings
Darius Kinsey (photographer)
circa early 1900s
1/13 100-109: Mill equipment at Walton Lumber Company
10 photographs
5" x 7"
Each photograph is stamped or stickered on verso identifying it as originating from The Lumberman magazine.
circa 1955
1/14 110-111: Mill equipment with Selectric setworks
2 photographs
Photographs show men working on equipment at Walton Lumber Company in Everett and Cascade Lumber Company in Ellensburg. Photos are mounted on black paper with captions indicating that machines use Selectric setworks systems.
1/15 112-129: Sawmill and mill equipment
18 color snapshots
Snapshots of an unidentified mill showing exterior structures and interiors with equipment.
circa 1974
1/16 130-131: Circular structure on wheels, possibly a log sorting device
2 copies of each
G2 202: Steam donkey in wood
Darius Kinsey (photographer)
Printed on photograph: General view of yarding donkey in Washington woods.
1/17 132: Oxen team hauling logs on skid road
Boyd & Braas, Seattle (photographer)
circa 1890s
1/17 133: Oxen team hauling logs
Watson, Portland, Oregon (photographer)
Caption on mount: "Logging near Columbia River. About 1880"
circa 1880
1/18 134: Horse team hauling logs on skid road
Copy print
circa early 1900s
1/18 135-137, 379, 381: Horse-drawn flat cars and sleds
5 photographs
circa 1890-1920
1/19 138: Crew on flatbed railcar near steam donkey circa 1890s-1900
1/20 139: Men on loaded Northern Pacific flatbed railcar headed for Wescott's Mill
Pautzke Photo (photographer)
Caption on photo: "For Wescott's Mill"
Caption on mount: "Hauling logs in Kittitas County, Ellensburg"
Caption on verso: "Logging transfer Wescott's Mill. Right to left: Tom Flynn, Dan Wescott. Left end: Frank Wescott"
1/21 140-141: Logs on flatbed railcars
2 photographs
Writing on verso of 140: "Train at Ryder Wood"
1/21 142-145: Rail cars
4 photographs
Writing on verso of 142: "West Fork Log. Co. Andy Mackie, Engineer. 40 yrs old. Mineral, Wash."
circa early 1900s
1/21 146: Rail car loaded with fir logs
Negative on file
circa early 1900s
1/21 147: Truck hauling logs in Thompson Falls, Montana
Negative on file
Webster & Stevens photographs
Webster & Stevens, Seattle (photographer)
11 photographs
Webster & Stevens number given in parentheses
circa 1900-1905
1/22 148: Crew at top of log chute (2434) circa 1900-1905
1/22 149: Crew of McNeeley-Wilcox Logging Company hauling logs to water with steam donkey (2440) 1903 April 3
1/22 150: Hauling log on skid road (2441) circa 1900-1905
1/22 151: Rigging crew, showing lines and chokers on logs (2443) circa 1900-1905
1/22 152: Family near steam donkey and 14 horse team at logging camp (2447) circa 1900-1905
1/22 153: Log crib dam under construction (2449) circa 1900-1905
1/22 154: Logs on rail cars at log dump, Yeon Pelton Company, Rainier, Oregon (2454) circa 1900-1905
1/22 155: Shingle mill, Machias, Washington (2471) circa 1900-1905
1/22 156: Logs descending log chute (2473) circa 1900-1905
1/22 157: Log chute, Yeon Pelton Company, Rainier, Oregon circa 1900-1905
1/22 158: May Creek Logging Company rail car and crew circa 1900-1905
Washington Saw Company float for Golden Potlatch parade, Seattle 1912
H1 159: Washington Saw Company float showing 84 inch diameter saw blade
Pierson & Co., Seattle (photographer)
2 copies
1/23 160-161: Men on Washington Saw Works float for Golden Potlatch, Seattle
2 photographs
Photo 160 by Roman's Photographic Company, Seattle (photographer)
Float pictured in front of Washington Saw Works building at 2921 First Avenue South
1/23 162: Men in cars with Washington Saw Company banner 1912
1/24 163-165: "Bicycle Tree" near Snohomish, Washington
3 photographs3.5" x 5.5"
Photographs of people and a car near the "Bicycle Tree," a large cedar tree with a archway cut into its trunk, along a dirt road in what is now Snohomish, Washington. The tree had served as a milestone on a favorite bicycling route in the 1880s when Snohomish Bicycle Club president David Lewis Paramore led the effort to have a pathway cut through the massive trunk. The tree, compromised by floodwaters from the Snohomish River and buffeted by gusting winds, toppled in 1927.
circa early 1900s
1/25 166: Children on railroad tracks amid timber
2 copies
circa early1900s
1/25 167: Two men and two women on log
Writing on verso: "George and Tony Zoffel camp at St. Paul & Tacoma Lumber Co."
circa early 1900s
1/25 168: Two men shaking hands on tree fallen across pathway
Photograph mounted on page which was probably removed from a scrapbook (with 169-170)
circa early 1900s
1/25 169-170: Man standing on lumber flatbed railcar on collapsed pier
2 photographs
Photographs are mounted on pages which were probably removed from a scrapbook (with 168)
circa early 1900s
1/25 171-172: Views through timber
2 photographs
circa early 1900s
1/25 386: Men near trees and water
Pickett, Index, Washington
Caption on photo: "Pioneers"Photographer's number: 3820

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173-199:  Postcards, undated
27 photographic postcards

19 black and white and 8 color or colorized postcards. Postcards of the lumber industry depict logging crews, log trains, steam donkeys and other logging equipment, big trees and logs, horse teams and one colorized postcard of Monte Cristo, Washington in 1894. Includes one colorized postcard of a Frank H. Nowell photograph of Gray's Harbor Lumber Company, Aberdeen, Washington.

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2 photograph albums
1 200: Album 1: Lumber industry photographs and postcards
21 photographs
13 postcards
circa early 1900s
200.1-200.2: Log pond, horse team and crew at Shaw Log Company, Snohomish
Copy prints
Identification based on writing on verso.
circa early 1900s
200.3: Logs and steam engine
Copy print
circa early 1900s
200.4: Logs being hauled on flatcar
Frank Reed (photographer)
Copy print
circa early 1900s
200.5: Steam log train and shingle bolts, Everett area
Copy print
200.6: Men near log engine circa 1900
200.7: Log train with Climax locomotive, Port Angeles
Bert Kellogg (photographer)
Copy print
200.8: Log train with Climax locomotive, Port Crescent
Bert Kellogg (photographer)
Copy print
200.9: Sawmill at Index, Washington
Picket Photo Co. (photographer)

Photographic postcard
circa 1910s
200.10: Sawmill at Marysville, Washington

Photographic postcard
circa 1914
200.11: Kulsey Lumber Company mill buildings and yard, Valley, Washington

Photographic postcard
200.12: Fire engine at Galen Lumber Company, Index, Washington
Picket Photo Co. (photographer)

Photographic postcard
circa 1910s
200.13: Loading log train

Photographic postcard
circa early 1900s
200.14: Men with large log on flatcar

Photographic postcard
circa early 1900s
200.15: Men amid timber: "Clearing land near Tracyton"

Photographic postcard
circa early 1900s
200.16: Men near steam donkey

Photographic postcard
circa early 1900s
200.17: Palmer and Libby Logging Company Shay locomotive

Photographic postcard
circa early 1900s
200.18: West Side Lumber Company Hysler locomotive

Photographic postcard
early 1900s
200.19: Men with 9 feet diameter log inside Port Blakely mill building circa 1912
200.20: Workers outside mill building circa 1900
200.21: Lamb-Davis Lumber Company sawmill, Leavenworth, Washington
Oakes Photo (photographer)

Photographic postcard
early 1900s
200.22: Lamb-Davis Lumber Company dam, Leavenworth, Washington
Oakes Photo (photographer)

Photographic postcard
early 1900s
200.23: View of sawmill across water, Snohomish, Washington
Elite Studio (photographer)
circa early 1900s
200.24: Birds-eye view of sawmill, Bullwinkle, California
Seely Foto (photographer)
circa early 1900s
200.25: Log train with Shay locomotive at log dump circa early 1900s
200.26-.27, 200.29: Log trains
3 photographs : hand-colored
circa early 1900s
200.28: Logging camp showing railcar on tracks
circa early 1900s
200.30: Birds-eye view of Everett Milling Company and town of Everett undated
200.31: Saw blades inside mill building, Crescent City, California undated
200.32: Truck loaded with lumber on dirt road circa early 1900s
200.33: Large man with axe near tree circa early 1900s
200.34: Trees growing from fallen redwood
Paterson (photographer)
Caption: "Reincarnation of the Redwood. Hartsook's."
200.35-.36: Loggers among trees undated
1 201: "Gypos"
1 album containing 34 photographs
Gyppo (or gypo) loggers were independent contractors, often family-based, in the post World-War II timber economy. These small-time, often portable, operations took on small jobs that would have been rejected by the larger mills.
This album documents six gyppo mills in Washington State in 1955, showing mill owners and employees, with equipment and operations often set up under temporary shelters.
201.1-.7: Waterman's Mill, Langley, Washington
7 photographs
Photographs depict Bernard Waterman and his workers loading a large log onto a cart; caption indicates Corley brand sawmill equipment is being used.
1955 April 12
201.8-15: Frie Brothers Mill, Langley, Washington
8 photographs
Depicts a portable mill, showing equipment and an underslung diesel engine, and two men, "Fred" and "Bob."
1955 April 12
201.16-.18: Pioneer Mill Company, Oroville, Washington
3 photographs
One photograph of lumber under shelter and two of a car in the snow. Caption on page: "Joe Hartley's mill on Chesaw Road NE of Oroville."
1955 April 26
201.19-.22: Landreth Timber Company, Tonasket, Washington
4 photographs
Includes two photographs of "air dogs," one photograph of Bill Siegrist and Ivan Landreth, and one photograph captioned "Landreth's new mater carriage with Sel-Set preset setworks."
1955 April 27
201.23-.27: Roy Neal's mill near Freeland, Washington on Whidby Island
5 photographs
Includes photographs of Roy Neal and of mill operations.
1955 May
201.28-.34: Lee Bloom's Mill on Guemes Island, Washington
7 photographs
Images depict Lee Bloom working on logs at his mill.
1955 May

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366-377 :  Lantern slides, undated
12 lantern slides

Lantern slides of unidentified logging and mountain scenes.

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This collection is indexed under the following headings in the online catalog. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.

  • Corporate Names :
  • Webster & Stevens  ( photographer)
  • Geographical Names :
  • Seattle, Wash.
  • Subject Terms :
  • Climax locomotives
  • Donkey engines
  • Horse teams--Washington (State)
  • Logs
  • Lumber industry--Washington (State)
  • Lumberyards--Washington (State)
  • Ox teams--Washington (State)
  • Railroad cars--Washington (State)
  • Sawmill workers--Washington (State)
  • Sawmills--Washington (State)
  • Skid roads--Washington (State)
    • Form or Genre Terms :
    • Photograph albums
    • Photographic postcards
    • Photographic prints

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