December 21, 2014

1938 Bordeaux Washington Old Growth Logs

Old Growth Fir from Bordeaux2

I found a couple additional Bordeaux – Mason County Logging Photos this week and want to share them with those of you following the history of Bordeaux, Washington on this blog.

My dad (William Gale Yates) would probably be able to tell you who the man is in this photo, but I’m sorry to say, I cannot.  Judging by the size of the photo and it’s age I do think it’s very likely that my dad took the photo. He always had his trusty Leica camera with him.  The caption on the back of the photo, written by my dad reads:

Mason County Logging Company at Bordeaux Wn.  Logged near Fuzzy Top in Capital Forest. 1938  Trucked by Betcher Trucking Aberdeen.

As you can see from the map above, Old Fuzzy Top was at about 1700 feet of elevation.  That doesn’t sound like much until you look at the Douglas fir log above and how hard it must have been to get that monster felled, cut in ‘manageable’ pieces and brought to the yard at Bordeaux to be milled.  The small map in this article was taken from a larger one of the whole Capitol Forest supplied by the Dept. of Natural Resources, WA State.

No matter how you feel about logging old growth trees now, this is what happened in 1938.  The back of this photo reads:

Logs taken out at Bordeaux, WN by Mason County Logging Co. About 1938 – Near Cedar Creek.  Trucked by Betcher Trucking, Aberdeen.

I believe what my dad was saying was that this log was hauled out of the woods near Cedar Creek and driven on logging roads by Betcher Trucking to the mill at Bordeaux.  I’m not sure of the spelling of the trucking company name.  It could have two t’s.

By no means is that log one of the biggest ever harvested, but for the times I would think it was thought of as pretty good sized.  I suppose someone could tell how old it is by looking at the photo…someone other than me!

You might also like to read:

A Visit To Old Bordeaux

This was Logging in Washington State

1904 Death on the Tracks in Bordeaux, Washington

The Yates Family Connection To Fruitville Missouri

West Plains High School girls

Torreytown and Col. Jay L. Torrey

Colonel Jay Torrey

From its inception around 1909, Fruitville, near Brandsville in Howell County, Missouri has always been part of our family history.  Col. Torrey was the owner of ten thousand acres in Howell County, and his plan was to sell individual plots of land to those interested in investing $5000.  His vision was to create an idyllic town around which these farms would be located.  Much like a planned community of the modern era, he offered the chance for investors to attain their lifelong dream of health and happiness.

Aunt Martha Yates Scott Worked At Fruitville

In my Great Aunt Martha Yates Scott’s journal she recounts what it was like to work in the kitchen at Fruitville.  She related how the others that worked there were astounded when she was easily capable of lifting and “toting” 50 pound bags of flour needed for each day’s bread they baked for the other workers on the farm.  She didn’t count herself as one of the premier bakers though, and felt that honor should go to my aunt Mirtha, her step-sister.  The red arrow in the picture above indicates the woman I believe is my Aunt Martha.  As you can see, she was a very big ‘girl’.

Will Yates and Fruitville Farm

My grandfather, Will Yates also lived near to, and worked at Fruitville, and I do think he probably was on a local baseball team for the farm.  Will’s father Jim Yates had come to Howell County, Missouri in the 1880’s with his half brother Gideon Morrison as well as his sister Myra Yates.  In 1900 Jim Yates purchased 80 acres near Brandsville and began his farm and lumber mill.  Jim would reside on that land in the Ozarks until around 1937 when his second wife died and he came here to Washington State to live with his children, including Will Yates who moved here in the 20’s when the drought took its toll on southern Missouri.

In letters I have read that were exchanged by Grandpa and his brother-in-law Richard Dewey Moore, Sr., I think the two of them were initial investors in Col. Torrey’s land scheme, but at some point it fell out of favor with them and they paid Torrey back and sought their fortunes elsewhere.

The Demise Of Fruitville, Torreytown and Col. Torrey

If you read through the whole page about Col. Torrey and his life and times, it is quite fascinating to see how this man came to be a land owner in Missouri, his political history and his sad death in 1920.  Make sure you read the excerpt written by Cherie Reavis written in 1979 for the West Plains Quill.  I think that many things happened that resulted in the downfall of Fruitville and Torreytown.  Soon after Col. Torry began we were at war with Germany and personal lives and incomes were uncertain.  Weather patterns changed for a time and new lands and opportunities were opening up in the far west.

Will Yates had already scouted out the west by 1915. As a young man unmarried man of 23 he was a seasoned laborer and had traveled by himself to the Pan Pacific Exposition by train to Oregon and then by boat the rest of the way to San Francisco.  He knew the lumber milling industry from his time at home on his father’s farm and when his second son Guy was about two years old in 1924, Will and his wife  left Howell County to make their new home eventually in Bordeaux, Washington.

W. G. Yates – CCC Honorable Discharge Alaska

Civilian Conservation Corp Experience, Wm YATES 1940

Recently, when going through some more of our Yates family documents, I found one that I hadn’t remembered seeing before. Or, at least I didn’t remember scanning it and putting it in the Yates documents folder until now.  My dad passed away in June of 1996 and in the four years previous, he had written for us some of his memories of events in his life.

(Click text for larger view)

One of our favorite stories he would tell would be of his trip to Alaska when he was twenty traveling there with  his Bordeaux, Washington friends. (Story above).  When my mom died in 2001 I went through all the valuable family documents and brought them home (with my brother’s blessing) for safe keeping.  And, little by little I’m going through them and writing a story or posting an image to share with family and anyone else who might be interested.

The previously mentioned document I spoke of at the beginning of this article was my dad’s Civilian Conversation Corps honorable discharge.  If you read his Alaska story version of it first, it kind of gives you an idea of just what kind of guy he was at that tender age.  Let’s just say he was practical, OK?

I’m not sure who took this picture of my dad and his friend from Missouri  after they caught these dog salmon near the CCC Camp. Dad had his own Leica camera and had learned to develop his own photos when he was in high school (I assume), but who knows if he actually had the camera with him on this trip or not?

On the back of the picture, in my dad’s handwriting, it says, “myself and a friend of mine and some fish we caught at twin creek camp. the friend is from Missouri. the fish are dog salmon that we caught in the creek just beyond.” Too bad he didn’t identify the guy by name, but maybe some descendant of his, looking for information about Twin Creek CCC Camp at Petersburg, Alaska will find this post and recognize him. :)

Last, but not least, here is the front and back of Dad’s 16 October 1940 honorable discharge document from the Civilian Conservation Corps:


(click on images to see them full-sized)

For more information about the Civilian Conservation Corps, please visit their homepage at Civilian Conservation Corps Legacy.

2010 Census: Keep A Copy For Your Descendants

1930 Yates, Bordeaux, WA

1930 Yates family, Bordeaux, WA

Have you filled out your 2010 census and sent it back yet? If not, make sure you do, and be sure to make a copy for your records so your descendants can find it 72 years from now!  Granted, there’s not a lot of information they ask for in this census, but it’s still important to keep a copy of it.

Quick tip: I’m pretty sure it’s OK to add additional information where you can on the census you keep.  A little additional ‘gift’ for your descendants.

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