Deer Island Logging Company


July 13, 1916: Albert Burcham, a Kelso contractor, has just landed a big job from the Deer Island Logging Company. The contract calls for the construction of a rollway landing at the booming works in Deer Island Slough and for nearly a dozen trestles and bridges on the logging railway line that the company is building to tap a heavy timber belt back of that place on the Nehalem.

The company has a large crew of men at work on the construction of their logging road and it is their intentions to start logging operations this fall. Over 12 miles of logging railroad is being constructed at this time and additional extensions will be made as required to reach the timber while it is being logged off.

The piling and construction contract secured by Mr. Burcham comprises considerable work, and his pile driver outfits will be employed for the next six weeks or two months.



Friday, July 16, 1926: What is probably the worst fire in Oregon today, at least from the standpoint of damage already done, is the one that broke out of bounds in the holdings of the Deer Island Logging company four miles south of Apiary just after noon Saturday.

This fire swept camp 9 of the Deer Island company, leaving nothing except a donkey engine, a pile driver and the machine shop. It was believed Wednesday that the latter would be saved. All of the down timber, amounting to about six or seven million feet, was burned with the other property. A trestle on the logging railroad track also went before the fire.

Damage done by the fire in this camp is estimated at $200,000, although it is impossible to ascertain the exact extent of loss at this time. Smoke in the immediate territory has been so dense that even an effort to determine how many acres it had covered would be almost impossible.

The fire that swept the camp is now spreading in all directions in the uncertain wind and tinder dry cutover land. One wing of it is moving toward the Clark-Wilson camp back of Goble and already has entered some of the green timber holdings of that company.

Another wing is moving onto the Benson timber tract in the direction of Clatskanie on Carcass creek, but very little green timber has been touched there. Fighters are out in both of these places, and it is expected that the fire may be checked now before it does further serious damage. No homes were in danger at any time, except the effects of the people who lived at the Deer Island company’s camp, and these were removed when it was seen that the camp lay in the path of the fire.

At the company’s office at Deer Island it was stated Wednesday that the camp may be rebuilt. It was partly coverd by insurance. A report which has been circulated recently to the effect that the company was about to move its camp was denied.



The Deer Island fire actually started on June 28, when a charge of dynamite was set under a big log to make room to run a cable under and around it, instead of digging under the log. The stick was defective, and burned like punk instead of exploding. At the time there were from 150 to 160 men around, and the fire was checked and held under control. It smoldered, however, and, creeping along the ground almost unnoticeably, suddenly was fanned into the proportions of a mammoth fire just after noon Saturday. The camp had not resumed after the Fourth of July shutdown.

There was almost no warning before fierce flames were shooting up from dry and highly inflammable slashings where logging had been carried on. The watchman in the camp; who had not noticed the progress of the fire, saw it after it had sprung to dangerous proportions. The fire was between him and the camp, and he feared that he might be trapped by the swiftly progressing fire. Through the smoke he picked his way out ofthe woods as fast as he could move, following the cows out of the timber. It was not until Monday noon that the camp was swept clean. Because of the intense heat, it was impossible to go near enough to fight the fire.



January 7, 1927: The Deer Island Logging company camp [9] will resume operation about February 1, according to reports coming from St. Helens.

The camp has been down since last July, when a slashing fire [?] jumped the fire trail and destroyed practically the entire camp and equipment. Some of the donkey engines were saved, and some of the logging machinery also was saved from the fire. In addition to the equipment some railroad track and several trestles also were lost in the fire. A subsequent fire broke out in the district closer to Deer Island and damaged more trestles. The loss was placed at around $100,000.

Since that time new buildings have been put up and new machinery has been brought in to replace that which was damaged beyond salvaging.

The camp employs 200 men when in operation.


Charles E. Clapperton Dies

— Charles E. Clapperton, manager of the Deer Island Logging company, died at St. Vincent’s hospital in Portland Sunday [July 29, 1928] after an extended illness.

Mr. Clapperton was born in the Province of Quebec, Canada, and since removing to Portland in July, 1916, has been manager of the Deer Island Logging company.



Deer Island, January 2, 1930 (Special) — The Deer Island Logging company is moving all machinery and equipment to Yacolt, Wash., this week.

The company has not been in active operation since the tracks were taken up more than a year ago, having completed their logging activities at that time.

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