When my niece, Karen, and her husband and children visited for three weeks over our family reunion, I took the kids to the Logging Museum and forgot my camera. Things they liked the most were the pencil sign at the entrance and a truck full of logs.
Cedar was cut for pencils and milled in a different community about 40 miles away. Mostly ponderosa pine, sugar pine and douglas fir were milled in White Pines.
In fact, this logging truck is very small by today’s standards, but it seemed just right to the kids. It reminds me of a toy truck.
I find this tree pruner one of the most interesting pieces they have. It goes around and around the tree when fired up. It shaves off small branches, bark and levels the knots so the lumber comes out flawlessly flat and clean.
I didn’t count the outdoor exhibits they have, but they are many. The chain saw was like a miracle item for loggers when they were invented. New chain saws don’t look much like these bristling from a log kiosk.
Some loggers lived in a posh cabin.
The bed doesn’t look that comfortable, but Western loggers in White Pines had cabins like these available for single men. Families lived in company built housing. Some of those small houses remain in White Pines from the 1930’s. In other areas of California, loggers shared a bunk house with multiple beds. Meals were provided in a cook house. If a company had good food, they got the best loggers to work for them.
The museum inside is a sunny, beautiful room with a view over White Pines Lake. Rivers and lakes, or even man made ponds were used to move huge logs into the mill. The museum has two excellent animated exhibits.
The kids and I liked this miniature mill with moving men and equipment showing the process of hoisting the logs up out of the pond, processing it from bark removal, to cutting it up, sanding it and stacking clean finished lumber to dry.
A second animated exhibit shows moving logs in steep woods. It is accompanied by a video. Logging was dangerous work, and still is. This exhibit is my favorite.
The museum was jammed yesterday because Tony Bennett gave a concert at Kautz Winery and people came in droves in their suits and ties to see him. (He attracts people from my generation who actually wore suits and ties.) They come for the concert and then stay to enjoy other events like the Logging Museum.
Folks love the mountains and the many events to attend so I didn’t get many pictures of the big tools and huge displays that are here. I did get pictures of a small portion of the Logging Jamboree which I’ll post tomorrow. No matter how many times I come here, I leave glad that I stopped for a visit.
Pat Blagen Bradly is a friend of mine from American Field Service 25 years ago. Pat started the Logging Museum, did fund raising, organized the community behind it and wrote grants. Her Father, Howard Blagen, opened Blagen Mill and built the community of White Piines. No job is too small for the volunteers. Bathrooms must have toilet paper. More tomorrow.