Pages 100 - 119


Pages 1 - 20
Pages 21 - 39
Pages 40 - 60
Pages 61 - 79
Pages 80 - 99
Pages 100 - 119
Pages 120 - 139
Pages 140 - 159
Pages 160 - 179
Pages 180 - End


We got $2,000 Circuit Court decision.  The railroad took the case to the Supreme Court and they reversed the decision.  We did not have the money to carry on any farther, so we lost the case.  My mother had three sons and two daughters, all underage.  My brother next to me who was just starting out for himself.  He and I went to Mr. Lyons and told our story.  He loaned us a team, harness, and wagon.  I signed a note for $225.00 to guarantee their return in the next spring in good condition.  The brother next to me went home for the winter and they put in a crop and then we came back to Portland and worked for a while.  We had bad luck all through 1896.  In the fall my mother dangerously ill.  They sent for me.  It was 5 miles from Portland and I took horse and buggie.  Went out and drove half the night.  I took some medicine with me.  We knew what would help her.  There was no doctor in that part of the country.  Quite often they refused to go from Oregon City or Portland at night because the roads were so bad in winter.  I told the young folks when mother was able to bring her to Portland and I would have her examined <page 101> by some good physician.  If she needed an operation we would have it done.  She would never stand many more spells like the last one.  We had tried all the remedies.  We had some physicians out there from Oregon City years before and temporary relief was all she could get from their treatment.  In about three weeks they brought her in.  I called Dr.  Gillispie and when he stepped into the room from the front porch he turned around and said Bill your mother has gallstones.  She was lying on the old fashioned sofa in the living room and he said he could tell by her complexion.  He said you cannot do any good now by taking medicine.  Only temporary relief.  He said he would try to build her system up before operating.  She said she would have to go back home if it was possible.  He would not give in for her to go until she felt much better.  He gave her plenty of medicine to take as he directed.  She felt very good until the next spring.  In April she came back and was operated on and spent 45 days in the St.  Vincent Hospital in Portland.  She recovered rather slowly.  But did not <page 102> suffer the severe pain like she had formerly.  There are two more things I want to mention before closing the year of 1896.  Hollis Alger a well known old time logger came to the barn one day and wanted to hire some teams and a heavy wagon to move a 9” by 10” Smith and Watson donkey engine up the Coweeman River about 16 miles.  There was a kind of a half breed wagon road.  One half road and the other half trail.  It was a very good saddle hors show and would be considered a poor show for either sled or wagon from a donkey moving point-of-view.  We took the wagon over to the Smith and Watson Iron Works and they loaded the boiler and I took it to the dock.  I left it for the deck hands to load on the boat.  I took the truck and moved the rest of the machine to the dock.  When I got back the boss told me to take a four-horse team and a man to help and do that job.  The shipped to Kalama and the dock was in poor condition so they took us down below the dock and put us ashore on the beach.  We fed our horses and went to Kalama, got something to eat and ask some questions about the road, where we might stay all night and so on.  We started out and made <page 103> good time that afternoon.  It was Saturday and we found a place to stay all night.  We left early next morning.  We took a lunch with us which we got from the good farmer and his wife.  Everything was lovely for a while, only the farther out we got the worse the road was.  We came to a small creek and it had a fairly good looking bridge.  I stopped and gave it the once-over.  It did not look bad, so we drove on and it acted as though it was O.K., but the load was about three-fifth on the hind wheels and just about four feet before reaching solid ground one of bridge stringers broke and the back end of the boiler laid on the center bent of the bridge.  It was a low bridge and one wheel was all that went down very bad.  We were getting ready to use the jack to lift it.  A bunch of loggers came along, it being Sunday they were not working.  One of the fellows and I had worked together in a camp several year before and he recognized me before I did him.  We shook hands and he ask me what my plan was for raising that wheel?  I told him we had a good jack and we would lift it.  He said, may I offer a suggestion.  We told him the floor was his to shoot.  He said we are in no hurry and he would like to help <page 104> you.  We told him we needed all the help we could get.  There were a few heavy bridge plank laying near and they brought on up and put it under the wheel and put a heel under to pry over.  Them big huskies put their weight on that lever and lifted that wheel.  We bloke-up under it and followed up a few times and finally got high enough so the team could pull the load out.  They would not take any kind of a tip.  NOt even enough to buy a drink.  We thanked them and went on our way.  We made good time until evening.  When we came to a sharp rise in the road, it was graded along the hillside and it was steep and narrow.  We started up and got stuck.  I did not try to force the team because if they could pull it they would not have stopped until they were told to do so.  Because they were all good horses and I had used them on plenty of hard jobs before.  It was getting late and we were quite a distance from any settlement.  We unhitched from the load  and I told Jim Mulvanny the little Irishman who was helping me to stay with the team and I would look for water as we had some feed with us.  Some coyotes began to bark soon after I left.  You could hear all around answering the call <page 105> He was all pepped up because he thought they were dogs barking.  He was disappointed when I told him they were coyotes.  He said, Phat koind av a bart is et.  I told him it was a species of the wolf.  I found water but we had only two egg sandwiches for our dinner.  No one came along and having a boiler for a load there was no way to lighten it.  We got up and fed the horses the next morning and started out to look for another team to help us up that steep pitch.  We met a fellow and he there was a small camp near where we were stuck.  The mans name was Baxter and he was logging with horses.  We went there and told him our troubles.  He said, he could not let his team go but he told me where I could find a man who had large span of mules.  I told Jim to go back and have the harness on the horses so we could hitch-up and get started as soon as possible when I got back.  The man was willing to go and help us up the hill.  He said that was the hardest pull on the road.  We were not long getting started after we got there.  His team worked good with ours and in about one hour our troubles for that trip was over.  We pulled into camp about 2 P.M., and fed the team and headed for the cook shack.  We were hungry enough to eat a provision advertisement <page 106>.  The last square meal we had was a noon the day before.  We unloaded the boiler after lunch and then rested for a while the next day.  We got an early start for Kalama and got th had met once before.  By the way, Mr. Alger said, Blackburn, if you get that boiler to my camp without turning it over I will buy you the best gallon of whiskey that we can find.  I told him we had a better reason than that for keeping that load out of some canyon along the rode.  First, I have my own hide to save, besides my partners, and four valuable horses.  When it was all over he was pleased, but Jim and I did not get our whiskey.  Every time I seen Mr.


Alger I dunned him for that gallon and we would have a laugh and let it go at that <page 107> Business remained quiet all the rest of the year.  Everything except the stork and he was still on the wing, on September 27, 1896, our second son Ernest William Blackburn was born.  Two years and seven days difference in Floyd and Ernest.  We had but little work the rest of the year.  On Thanksgiving day I drove a furniture wagon picking up contributions for the Waverely Home.  Mr. H.E. Battin of Battin and <page Company was with me and he knew everybody and it seemed everybody knew him.  He would just barge in any place and generally come out with something.  We delivered our load and got back home about 4 P.M.  The boss told me that evening to take my team and Jim Mulvaney  and go to Sellwood and Monroe and Warner.  A house moving firm would meet us there.  We were to take two empty heavy wagons without the boxes on.  They had a small house to move from Sellwood to the S.P., car shops.  They took two 10” by 10” timbers and put them under the building about fourteen feet apart.  Then uncoupled the wagons and put the hind wheels under one end.  The front wheels under the other end and chained their long timbers to each axle and than released the jacks and the house was loaded.  They measured the distance between the timbers <page 108> and took a 2” by 4” the same length and fastened each end of the 2” by 4” to the end of the wagon tongue.  It acted as a spreader so if one team swung right or left the other would do the same.  Everything went fine, got out of Sellwood and down the Milwaukee Road about half a mile and one of the chains broke on the front end of Jim’s wagon.  We raised the timber up and fastened it.  The 2” by 8” that was to hold the timbers from spreading had worked loose and had to be renailed.  Lou Warner got a nail and then had nothing to drive it with.  He picked up a old pole axe that happened to be there and started to drive the nail and the timber was very solid, so he ask Jim and I to take a bar that was there and hold it so he could drive the nail.  We put a strain on the bar.  Jim was standing next to the building with his back towards Warner.  I was out on the end of the bar facing Warner.  He started to drive the nail again and he hit his finger and I guess he lost his patience so he took both hands and took a swing at the nail and hit it a glancing blow and it flew our way.  It just missed Jim, came over his shoulder and struck me in the right eye.  It destroyed the sight completely <page 109>.  Monroe said, Bill we will go across the field here and flag a street car and I will go with you.  I told him if he could get the car to stop between stations so I could get to the Doctors that he would not have to go along as I could see out of the other eye.  I told him it would need three men with that house so he took my advice  and after he put me on the car he went back.  We called the family physician, he examined my eye and said this is a job for a specialist.  He called one he had in mind.  He said the sight was destroyed.  He said he would be back in the morning.  We may be able to save the eyeball.  When he came the next day he said that sympathetic inflammation had set in and in order to save the other eye it would be necessary to remove the injured eye.  I told him the sooner he operated the better it would suit me for I had suffered the pangs of Hell for the last twenty four hours and was ready for anything.  He told me to go to the St.  Vincent Hospital and he would operate at 4 P.M.  Mr.Lyons came in just as the Doctor was leaving and they talked a few minutes and when he left he said, the hack will be here for you at 3 P.M.  sharp <page 110> to take you to the hospital.  I could not see but was able to navigate on my own power by someone guiding me.  Everything was shaky and just after 4 P.M., the operation was over.  After I came out from under the influence of anesthetic I just felt fine.  Was not sick or did not feel faint at any time and started to get up.  They were watching me and put a stop to that.  I insisted on going home but they told me not to figure on leaving the hospital for a week.  There was no bad affect.  They released me the fourth day but I had to see my family physician every other day for about a week before they would turn me loose.  Then the doctor told me not to do any heavy work until after the first of the year.  Mr. Lyons told me there was plenty of idle buggie horses standing in the barn and a buggie if I wanted one to go to the country for a while.  All it would cost me was to see that the horses was fed and that was a swell offer.  So the wife and the two boys loaded up and went to the country.  We made our first visit together since we were married as I could not find the time and work was so scarce that you did not feel like losing any time.  I had to be there to get your share of anything <page 111> in the way of work that came along.  We stayed out around the Springwater country for about two weeks and I began to get restless and we hooked old Dobin one morning and went back to Portland.  I did not go to work until New Years 1897.  I did not intend to stay in Portland any longer if there was anything to do in the camps and Mr.Alger had told me there would be a job for me in his camp in the spring.  I was figuring on going there as soon as they opened up in the spring .  They did not start very early so I stayed with Mr.Lyons.  One day in April my chance came.  H.  B.  Bothwick came to the barn and told my boss he wanted to hire a logging team of six horses and a man to drive them.  When I came in in the evening he said, I’m going to send a six horse logging team to Goble and I want you to go along as teamster.  What do you think about it?  Of course, my answer was yes and glad to get the chance.  That was about the middle of April.  We had to make some changes in the harnesses, get the horses shod, and other incidentals.  On 27, April 1898, we loaded the outfit on the old steamer Shaffer and went to Goble.  That the end of part one  My logging Biography consisting <page 112> of forty three years will be in part two which will be of logging experiences.  Only some of the bright and some of the cloudy side of the business.  It will be based on facts to the best of my recollection.  Part one is as near correct as my memory can recall and extends over a period of twenty years from 1876 to 1896 and between seven and eight years of the former twenty was spent in connection with the logging game.  From 1897 to 1940, it was my sole occupation and was busy most of the time or about forty three years making approximately fifty three years in all <page 113>


We arrived in Goble about 10:30 A.M., 27,April 1897.  They met us there at the dock and helped us with the horses.  Sam Warnock an old-school mate of mine went with me, and he was a good scout.  He could not stay long, though he did stay long enough to help get the team started.  The camp and sawmill was located back from the river some distance.  They called the place Red Town.  They told us to use the old ox barn as they had logged there one time with cattle.  There was where we slept as the bunkhouse was full.  We fixed up an old cabin and it worked O.K.  for summer.  We hitched the team up and pulled some chunks and had a heck of a time as most of the team were new to me.  Only one span that were real well broke, but on 1, May I told the boss we was ready to try them out.  He was a swell fellow and said you must load light for a few days until your team is broke to pull together.  His name was Jerry Funna, a typical Irishman and he done more work than any man in his crew.  He himself with a few men built and maintained all of the skid road besides looking after the cutting lines for the timber fellers and all the other incidentals that go with a position of that kind.  He carried an ax and peavy and mattock most <page 114> every place he went.  He used the Mattock as an Adze so he could fix a bad skid if a rough place showed up where the logs had to ride.  Jim McNaughton who got to be one of the best known loggers on the Columbia River in after years was driving the yarding team in the woods making up the loads for the two road teams.  John Conboy drove the company team on the road and I was driving the hired team on the road.  The last thousand feet of the road had some adverse grade as they expected to put in a log haul for that part of the road but the plan fell through and that was why they had to hire the team.  I was driving and it sure made a hard pull over that hump as we called it.  The first of May I took the team to the woods early as I wanted to look around and to see Jim and ask a few questions.  He was a swell fellow and had good judgment and he knew I had a green team to start with.  He said, Bill you just leave that to us, you have a good team there.  In a few days you will go over the hump with as much scale as the old team.  Conboy came in and took the first turn and there was a short steep place a short distance from where we took our load and I followed Conboy down there to see how he went down.  He did nothing different than I had seen done with cattle and the load did <page 115> not crowd the team much so that was a relief to my mind.  I did not want to have to run on the first trip because they would not know what to do.  The load was almost ready when I returned.  We turned the team around and hooked on.  Fastened our Pig on behind, that was a small sled we used to haul couplings and a maul and axe and the skid greasers bucket and swab which was made of a piece of gunny sack tied on a stick about thirty inches long.  He also had a broom as he had to sweep the dust and dirt from the skids as he came back to the woods after each trip to the pond.  When the load was ready Jim said, she’s all yours Bill, take it easy and everything will be alright.  I spoke to the team and they moved up as well as could be expected for a green outfit and as the load started of course they wanted to go fast for it was not far to the break in the grade and a good chance for too much speed if you happened to be going too fast when you broke over the top.  They soon settled down and we made the decent in good order.  We moved out on the flat and down to the grease station and stopped and I took the skid grease ahead always and showed how much grease to use.  We were using tallow at the time which was best for that purpose that could be <page 116> had.  We moved on and stopped before we started over the hump to give the horses a short rest.  I knew if we negotiated that grade with the first load there would be nothing to worry about so far as pulling was concerned.  We went from there up about half way to the crest and stopped again.  I took the bar we had on the Pig and put it under the manila line we were using between log dogs and by giving a quick jerk it would move the trail logs up so the team would not have to start the entire weight.  It acts the same as moving a heavy freight train.  If the engineer cannot start a heavy load he backs the locomotive up a little, they call it taking slack and it applies to starting a train of logs on a skid road just the same as on the railroad.  The weight of the front logs starts the trail logs without having the entire load to start as a dead weight.  By the time I got the slack the horses had their rest.  We started out without a bobble and landed O.K., at the pond.  My first load over a skid road 1, May, 1897, with a team.  That was May Day and they were going to have a dance that night.  Being a stranger I did not intend to go but after we got the team taken care of my helper went home and I went over to the store and a fellow by the <page 117> name of Bill Hocket came in and he was going to furnish the music and one of the boys who was supposed to play one of the violins got as far as Goble and filled-up on that squirrel whiskey and could not stay on the walk that ran along the side of the flume so he did not come up.  Someone there told Hocket that I played the violin and he was looking for me.  I told him it had been sometime since I had played for a dance and my help would be more or less a feeble effort as my timing could be poor.  He said, never mind the time all we use around here at a dance is Skidroad time and we can give them that so there was no use, he finally talked me into helping.  The hall was full and they had a good time, put on a big feed and danced quite a while after supper.  It was on Saturday night as they did not allow any dancing during the week.  We fed and watered the horses and being my first Sunday away from home Sunday was the longest day in the week.  They had a school there and a Miss Wilson was teaching and they also had Sunday School, a bunch of us went that Sunday and they wanted a complete their organization so they were just starting the Sunday School and they appointed <page 118> some of us loggers.  There was a fellow by the name of Dock Near.  They appointed him Treasure and appointed me Assistant Superintendent.  I protested because my work would keep me busy most of the Sundays.  But they insisted that I accept.  Anyway the appointment stood.  The next Sunday I had to shoe some horses and the next Sunday I did not attend Sunday School.  The following Sunday was my day to go home so I did not go to Sunday School any more as there was no way of telling what a fellow might have to do on Sunday.  Sometimes there was a harness to repair on some other equipment and of course you were supposed to be ready to hit the ball Monday morning and we made it a point to never be late on the job.  So I saw Mrs. Sealy, she was one of the women that was trying to keep the Sunday School going and told her they had better appoint someone else in my place as I could not tell what might happen to keep me busy any Sunday.  That ended my services with the Sunday School.  But it was a good thing for the camp and gave the young folks a place to meet and get acquainted and learn something besides nonsense.  I may not practice what I preach but going to Church never hurt and person <page 119>.  Well, Monday we hit for the woods early as we figured on about so many turns a day and when that amount was delivered we could call it a day.  Besides the early trip was cool and much easier on the team.  After a few trips over the road the team quieted down and was having no trouble making our regular turns.  This story would not be complete without some mention of H.B.  Bothwick.  He was a Scotchman or Scotch decent and very shrewd and knew how to protect his interest.  He and I had met in an informal walk one day not long before we took the team down there.  The boss told me to take a 80 foot pole over to South Portland for the Telephone Company.  The pole pile was on the East Alder Street dock and I had to drag this pole about the length of itself to get in a position  so we could get out on the street.  After it was on the wagon and while we were going through this process Bothwick came along.  He had a horse and buggie and was dressed in a tailor made suit of the latest style.  Stiff white shirt and a large diamond stud and kid gloves.  I did not think about that.  He was just another well-to-do man as far as I knew.  <continued>

Home | xBox | Travels | Photo Archiving | Reading | Math | Genealogy | Wm's Journel | Logger's Lingo

This site was last updated 09/19/04