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He took a day looking over the bills and bringing his office work up to date as he was the bookkeeper for his company and the next day we went to look over <page 140> some timber across the river from the town of Moler.  There no town there then.  There was a ranch there belonging to a family by the name of Newell.  We took the rowboat from the mill to Nehalem and then we walked across the Peninsula to a ranch owned by a family by the name of Pye who took us across the river in his boat to the Fred Zadback Ranch who owned the timber we were there to look over.  We checked the size and grade as the price of logging was based on the grade and size of the logs.  We put in about two days there.  We did not have so much time in the timber as we made our headquarters at the mill and the days were short and it took part of our time to go and come.  We looked at another tract of timber which joined the Zadach tract which took most of two days.  Then he said, tomorrow we will go up the North Fork as there is some timber there I want to see before you go back.  We put in two days up there and seen some fine timber.  Right here I wish to relate a pecular experience which befell me.  We were walking across a deep, little ravine on an old moss covered log.  I was ahead and all at once something grabbed the heel of my logging shoe <page 141> and squeezed my instep pretty hard and I had just stepped into a trap somebody had set for a wildcat.  I had almost stepped almost over the thing.  Just the heel of my shoe touched the trigger enough to trip it.  Of course it was rather surprising.  Wheeler rushed up and said are you hurt Bill?  I laughed and said no but I am slightly embarrassed to think I would get caught in a wildcat trap.  I told Wheeler that I had been called a Varmint many times and if this stunt should come to pass very often I could qualify for that name.  It was a double spring trap and one of the springs was under the sole of my shoe and rather difficult for me to do anything with.  Especially in that place.  The log was not very large and about ten foot from the ground or the small creek which ran down the ravine.  He helped me extract myself from the peculiar predickament and we left the trap hanging over the side of the log.  I doubt very much whether the fellow who set it ever knew what sprung it.  Wheeler remarked that a heavy shoe saved me from getting a badly bruised foot.  It brought to mind an experience he had while crossing a ravine on a log several years before only there <page 142> > was much more water where he met with his misfortune.  He said, it was very good ground to cruise and fine timber.  He had his knapsack and camping outfit on his back and it had been raining and when he came to this creek it was running quite swift and on looking around he spied this small log laying across the creek and he proceeded at once to try to get over, everything went well until he was about half way across and without warning the log broke and threw him, pack and all in the water.  Fortunately he was not hurt, just shook-up and everything wet.  His matches which he had in a small bottle and that was the only dry thing he had in his outfit.  He went on across the creek and unpacked as soon as possible and built a good fire and dried out and had a good nights sleep.  Got up in the morning feeling fine.  Cole said, he was a little uneasy one time when he was out alone cruising timber in the winter on the mountain between the Columbia and Nehalem Rivers.  There was a lot of snow and he was using snowshoes and one of them blistered his foot and it got bad as blood poisoning set in and he suffered a great deal of pain <page 143> before he reached the settlement where he could get medical aid which he needed.  He said, he did not like to go out on long jobs alone after that experience.  We put in about two days in the Cole Creek timber and then I was ready to return to Portland and make my report to Mr. Lyons.  The next A.M., I told Cole of my plan to start out and he said, if I would wait till the next morning he would go with me and that struck me just right and was glad to wait.  There was no boat in either Nehalem or Tillamook, so we had to walk to Seaside.  That meant a hike of thirty miles.  We left Nehalem about noon next day and went as far as Cannon Beach and stayed all night.  A lady by the name of Austin ran a kind of stopping place there where we could get a bed and good meals.  We made the trip without much hardship  We did get caught in a rain storm before we arrived in Seaside.  We had to face a Northeast wind that did not help us much.  We arrived in time to take the train to Portland.  Landed there a little late as we found a small slide and some rock on the track between <page 144> Astoria and West Port and it took the section crew some time to clear it up so we could creep through.  The road bed was new and soft so the train had to operate at a slow rate of speed.  Before the railroad extension from Goble to Astoria the year before we had to go by boat and that was much slower.  We arrived in Portland just about the time they switched on the lights in the evening.  Both tired and hungry enough to chase a termite out of a lumber yard.  We took the bus to the old St. Charles Hotel as that was the headquarters for the Columbia River loggers for many years.  Cole Wheeler Senior, the father of the well known Cole Wheeler of the present also made his headquarters there.  He registered there and I went to my home on East Washington Street.  We were to meet next day at 150 Union Avenue at 10 O’clock A.M., and talk things over.  After making my report to the boss, Mr. Lyons.  Cole was there on time and they went into a huddle.  I answered any questions that either of them ask me.  To the best of my knowledge and that of course was very limited on my part, especially the donkey logging which they were also discussing.  They thought the first part of 1898, might bring a spurt of <page 145> prosperity.  There was not enough to create much development and business was slow getting started.  However, the thrashed the subject out quite thoroughly before the meeting broke up.  Cole said, he had to go before the United States Court the next day as they had a suit against some transportation company for the loss of a cargo of lumber that was wrecked somewhere along the Oregon Coast.  Himple and Wheeler brought suit for the amount of the loss and other damages to them.  He ask me to attend court if it was convenient for me to do so.  We could talk over some of the details concerning the logging contract.  I do not recall much about the court proceedings, except that C.E.S.  Wood a well known Marine lawyer was Himple and Wheelers Attorney.  The case was not settled that day.  The Judge said, he would take the case under advisement and render his decision at some later date.  I do not remember whether the decision was favorable for Himple and Wheeler or not.  I do not think Cole ever mentioned the matter to me again.  The following day Cole phoned and said he would see us at 1 O’Clock P.M., and finish up the discussion about the terms of the contract.  He was there <page 146> at the office when I returned from lunch.  Mr. Lyons arrived in a few minutes and we soon began talking over terms of the contract.  We called Dan J.  Malorky and made an appointment for 10 O’Clock next day, February, 8th 1898, to draw up the necessary agreement.  We met at Dan’s office and were not long getting started.  We gave the Attorney the main points to be covered by the contract.  He was not long putting it in perfect form.  Cole signed for Himple and Wheeler and told me to my surprise M. Lyons told me to sign as he wished to be a silent partner as he expected me to run the outfit as he could not be there much of the time on the account of his other business which required his personal attention.  We did not have much time to get ready so we went to the bank and borrowed some money.  I went out and bought some axes, sledges, wedges, undercutters, and some other logging equipment such as lines and a couple of small blocks and had some logging dogs made to couple the logs together so we could string them out on the skid road.  We had some three quarter inch tugs made for our harnesses to keep the rigging from bumping the hocks and heels of the horses <page 147> We also bought two pair of fresh horses and by that time the bank roll was looking very small.  We felt pretty good about the whole set-up.  Our horses were in good condition and the rigging and tools all new.  We were raring to go.  I picked three good men to take with me.  One was my brother C.T. Blackburn who was a good horseman.  Otto Heitsmith and Bill Butterfield, two fellows I had known for some time and were goos reliable men.  We took one of the wagons with a gravel bed on it and loaded up our stuff.  Got through the evening of 19, February 1898,.  We got started out early the next morning and was on  our way at daylight.  A man by the name of Henry Jones was to meet us near Beaverton with oats for the trip.  He was there when we arrived and we did not loose much time after we got out of Portland.  We went out the Canyon Road and when we hit the level road we found plenty of mud and a few chuck holes and coarse rock and sthat made the road rough.  The horses had not done much work through the winter and they were soft and sweat easily.  We took plenty of time the first day but they were wet with sweat when we stopped <page 148> for lunch.  One of our troubles was finding a place to stay at night.  Four men and ten horses was quite a crowd for the average farmer.  We had blankets but the horses had to have shelter and ten horses take considerable room.  So, early in the afternoon I told the boys to go ahead a little ways and see if they could find a place to stay all night.  They did not have much luck.  One of them finally got some information about a place a few miles ahead.  After we passed Gaston we had no trouble getting in there for the night.  They had a large home and a good stock shed.  However it was dark when we got there.  We gave the horses some hay but no oats, some more water, and rubbed the over with the brushes and some straw.  Put straw on the floor of the stalls so they could lie down and rest.  This done we felt like going to bed soon after returning to the house.  We were up early next morning.  It was raining and you could tell it was snowing near as the air was quite cool.  After eating a hearty breakfast we paid our bill <page 149> and we hit the road and soon as we came to the foothills we began to find snow and before night it became quite a problem.  A man by the name of Pat Doney run a place I think they called it the Half-Way-House up on the summit.  We got there late in the afternoo and he threw-up his hands and said hivens mon I haven’t barren room fer all thim harses.  I ask him if he would let me look around the place and see if we could figure out anything.  There was room for six horses in the barn and there was room for two in an old lean-to on and old building that the snow had smashed the main roof in.  We could put two in the woodshed on the side of the bunkhouse if he would consent.  We told him what we had found and he said sure oi am glad you found a place for all av-thim.  We removed the harnesses and watered and fed and put some old straw down for bedding and then began to think of ourselves.  We went inside of the bunkhouse and found it warm and cozy for bachelor quarters.  There were no women around the place.  Pat prepared a good dinner for us consisting of boiled potatoes with their <page 150> with their jackets and overalls on and some homemade smoked ham and gravy with hot biscuits, coffee, and honest to God, cream as he kept a cow.  I promise you we did that meal full justice after a very stormy day on the road with only a small sandwich for each of us for our noon lunch.  We sat around fire and wondered what kind of experience the following day would bring.  We went to bed with the understanding we would sleep on this days work and try to do better tomorrow.  We crawled in to our blankets and soon fell asleep.  We rested well and were all up early the next morning and ready for the battle which we knew was ahead of us.  The snow had built up very fast overnight and was still falling steady.  Anyone could have bought my interest in the outfit that morning for a song and he could pick his own tune for the words.  There was about 30 inches of wet-sticky snow and there was  some small vine maples loaded with snow lopped across our wagon and we had to cut them off  and dig the wagon out before we hitched the team on and get started.  I was driving six horses on <page 151> the wagon and the boys took the other four ahead to break road.  It was bad going because the snow was so wet and heavy it balled-up on the horses feet and they got very warm wallowing through.  The road was narrow and some sharp curves.  It was not laid out for the kind of equipment we were taking over it in a heavy snow storm.  We were making gook progress, but there was trouble ahead as we came around a sharp curve we were confronted with our number one problem.  There was a five foot tree across the road.  Somebody had built a fir in the side of it at sometime and burned a big hole just above the ground at the side of the road on the lower side of the grade and it fell uphill.  It was about four feet off the ground and that put the top of the log nine feet above the road and it was hanging on the stump and had a side swing so I decided not to try taking it out.  We looked around and made up our minds to go around on the lower side.  I told the boys to unload the wagon and carry the stuff down the road to the other side of the log.  When that was done we removed the gravel bed from the wagon and all we had was the running <page 152> gear of the wagon.  That alone would be quite hard to tip over.  We left one span of horses on the tongue of the wagon and put one span on behind to hold back and with the help of the deep snow we meandered along the steep hillside to a place we had formerly planned to get back on the grade.  We took a mattock and shovel and dug some of the loose material that the wheel of the stage had thrown out on the lower side of the road and when that was finished we were able to get back on the road.  We were as happy as a bunch of schoolboys with red top boots.  We put our wagon box on and loaded our equipment and started on our way.  We had lost about two hours of valuable time.  Oh, yes, it snowed fast all the while, never let up a minute all day.  The mail carrier overtook us soon after we left our trouble spot.  He had left the stage at the foot of the mountain and was going through on horseback.  He had the Doctor and his wife for passengers.  I believe his name was Dr.  Hawk the doctor who josted me and said I should go up to Alaska and take a wagon over the Chilcoot Pass.  I told him if you or anyone else ever see me in <page 153> snow above my knees again it will be because there was no forewarning in time for me to get away.  We plugged along and done the best we could.  The snow had began to push-up ahead of the end gate of the wagon and we were not doing so well but kept moving as long as I could follow the trail the boys had made in front of me.  I finally got foggy and we stopped to light the lantern.  I told them we would leave the wagon and go on down to the toll gate and stay all night and return in the morning for a fresh start.  We soon noticed the difference in the depth of the snow as it was not so deep on that side of the mountain.  When we arrived at the toll gate the were looking for us as the mailman had told them we were coming and would be a little late.  They had a good hot-dinner ready for us and as soon as we had taken care of the horses we attacked that meal with great force.  After dinner we sat around the fire for a short time and then went to the barn and took a wisp of straw and rubbed the horses good and put some straw down for bedding.  Went back to the house and soon hit the bunk <page 154> for the night.  We were up early as usual the next morning.  ON examining the horses found we had lost some shoes in the scramble the day before.  Our extra shoes and tools were in the wagon up on the hill.  I took one man and four horses and went after the wagon leaving the two men there with instructions to curry and brush the other horses.  While we were gone as they looked pretty shabby to me that morning.  We reached our destination in one and a half hours and it had not snowed very much through the night.  We dug our stuff out and got hitched to the wagon without much delay and arrived at the toll about noon.  We got our horse shoeing tools out after lunch and found we had several horses that needed some work on their shoes.  We decided to stay until morning as it would take most of the afternoon to finish-up shoeing and tightening up the loose horse shoes on the other horses.  We finished about the middle of the afternoon and greased the wagon and was ready to hit the road early next morning.  It quit storming during the night and that was the first nice day we had on the trip <page 155> We did not travel far until we were out of the snow and old mother earth never looked any better to me than it did that morning.  The road was soft but you could at least see where you were going.  We went as far as Tillamook that day and staid there that night.  It was a very small place then.  We got an early start next morning and intended to get to camp that day but the elements conspired to bust up our plan.  We had to stop in Garibaldi.  While going around the bay at the mouth of the Miami River.  We pulled the tongue out of the wagon.  The bolt that held the tongue in the hounds broke letting one side drop down and the stay chains held but so we could go, but I could not control the wagon.  So when we got out of that mud hole we stopped and checked our damage.  We were down for the count at least until we could get that bolt which was a small matter if we could find some one that had an anvil and bellows.  I sent two men out, one to see if he could find a place to keep the horses and see if there was a shop anyplace, the other man and myself unhitched <page 156> the team.  I left the man with the horses and started out looking for a stock shed or a blacksmith shop.  Not being acquainted with the surrounding neighborhood.  One guess was about as good as another, which way to go.  I turned toward Garibaldi and had not traveled far when I seen an old rambling looking barn with some sheds in back of it.  I went in and found a nice old gentleman.  I told him we had a little mishap out on the road and would have to stay all night some place and told him we had ten head of horses that we wanted to stable for the night.  He showed me around and said, if you can get along with that you can bring the horses in and we were glad of the chance and it was not far from our wagon.  Someone told the boys there was a good sized barn up the road that would have room enough to take care of our outfit, but I had found a place much closer.  So we took the one best suited to our needs.  One of the boys found a place we could get the bolt welded.  So we were pretty sure of finishing our trip the next day.  After making our repairs and taking care of the horses we went <page 157> down the beach to Garibaldi which was near where we were stopping for the night.  Everything was quiet in the little Berg.  Although there was a small schooner anchored in the bay.  Bar bound and had been there two days.  The crew was ashore having as much fun as they could under the circumstances.  We had our dinner in a little lunch room.  Returned to the ranch where we were to be quartered for the night.  We went out and took care of the horses and then to the house and sat around for a while.  I found an Oregonian and read for a while.  It was about three days old but it helped to pass the time away.  We went to bed early as usual.  Got out early in the morning.  We were on our seventh day on the trip.  I had made in less than eight days the year before both ways.  But the heavy snowstorm was a contributing factor in our slow progress.  The reason I had made time in the fall of 97, the trip from Portland was made in fine weather.  The road was dry and when the trip from Nehalem was made about the first of November, 97, there was some mud, but the road had not got cut-up and there was no snow <page 158> and another thing, I had no load either way.  However, we had not fooled away any time and there was no kick a coming and early next morning we hit the trail and expected to make camp that day.  When we arrived at Balm at the mouth of Foley Creek, also the head of tidewater on the Nehalem River she was on the ram<page, running bank-full and no ferryboat.  That complicated things to a certain extent.  The ghost about barnroom showed up again.  A Mr. Bales at Balm had room for four horses and Mr. Eastham who lived up river a short distance came in to get his mail and said he could take the rest, so that took care of all the horses and two men.  I took the other man and two rolls of blankets and asked of Bales boys if he would take us across the Nehalem in his boat.  We went to camp which was located about a mile down river from Balm.  I had made arrangements with Zach Seeley and his wife to go in and get the cookhouse opened up and have the bunkhouse dried out so they were looking for us sometime in the near future.  Seeley knew where <page 159> we could get a small scow.  We employed a couple of men with a fishboat to tow the scow up to the mouth of Foley Creek and ferry the horses across the river and that took all the next day.  We had no use for the wagon so we put it in the shed and left it there almost two years until the camp closed down late in the fall of 1899,.  The next day I told the boys to clean the horses off and examine their shoes and look the harnesses over.  Then I went out over the skidroad to see what condition it was in.  I found out that the winter had played havoc.  The road went through a swamp for a short distance and the water backed-up and floated some of the skids out of place.  I went to camp and after lunch we took shovels and mattock and started ditching or cleaning out the old ones.  The boys worked for a couple of days at that job.  By the that time most of the crew had arrived and we had plenty to do to get started.  <continued>

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