Logging and Sawmilling Information for the Western United States  

November 2000 - Volume 25 Number 11


Stocking Stuffers 

If you want a gift for that logger who has everything, you might consider taking a look in the local bookstore. This year two local authors penned books about this region's rich timber history. Relive stories about the men and women who walked the forests of yesterday and helped create the industry we enjoy today. 

Widow-Makers & Rhododendrons 
Loggers - the unsung heroes of World War II 

While "Rosie the Riveter" was hard at work in the factory, thousands of timber fallers, chokermen, and cat skinners were putting their lives on the line in the forest of Oregon and Washington in support of the war effort. While "Rosie" went on to become a household name, recognition for the contributions and sacrifices made by loggers of the Pacific Northwest remained painfully absent. Until now. 
Widow-Maker and Rhododendrons is a tribute to the indomitable spirits of the men who cut, stacked, hauled and processed the lumber used in cantonments, packaging, dunnage for ships, explosives and paper vital for victory during WWII - and the women who cared for them. It's an intimate history of the lives, loves and labors of residents in the tiny logging town of Sutherlin, Ore. 

The way in life in Sutherlin bears a striking resemblance to the rugged, frontier of the Old West. The author, Doris Hubbard, takes you to the stores, schools, sawmills, brothels, and hotels. And places like Jug's Club where loggers would gather to get dry, get drunk and toast to those who gave their lives for forest and county. In her vivid descriptions, Hubbard typifies many Northwest communities that based their existence and support of the surrounding timber resource. "These men deserve the applause and respect of a grateful nation," writes Hubbard. "And it is long overdue."

Hubbard was so moved by the logging stories and the lack of recognition the loggers received, her book became a labor of love, taking her over five years to finish. Her book has now moved others and is a best seller in Oregon. 

Traditions Through the Trees: Weyerhaeuser's First 100 Years 
A bit over a hundred years ago, three people armed with blank ledgers, ink wells, and fountain pens moved into a two-room office in downtown Tacoma, Wash. Their only task was to determine exactly what their employers had purchased from the Northern Pacific when they signed what was then the largest private land transaction in U.S. history. Published by Documentary Book Publishers, Seattle, WA Their employers were the 18 founders of the Weyerhaeuser Timber Company, which quickly grew into one of the nation's largest forest products concerns. Traditions Through the Trees, published to mark the company's centennial, traces key themes in the company's history and illustrates them with photographs and anecdotes. The author drew upon personal experience as a Weyerhaeuser employee as well as dozens of interviews, documents, books, and photographs from the company's extensive archives. Employees around the country contributed fascinating tales: The first national lumber brand. 

Great Depression markets that drove managers to chip finished lumber for pulp. Wartime blackouts, "Pauline Bunyans," and mills staffed with prisoners of war. Hijacked planes. Salesmen who removed their pants to press them in pulp balers before a customer call. From new products and environmental awareness to the new challenges of a global economy, senior managers describe why they believe Weyerhaeuser has endured and how they hope to take the company another 100 years into the future. A freelance writer from Enumclaw, Joni Sensel is also the author of Bears Barge In and manager of Dream Factory Books, a children's environmental press found online at www.DreamFactoryBooks.com

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