Yeon and Pelton


July 20, 1905; reported in the first issue of the Rainier Review:

One of the finest largest logging camps in the Pacific northwest is that of Yeon and Pelton, who employ over 150 men winter and summer. The mammoth logging camp is located about three miles from Rainier, in one of the finest timber belts in the United States. This firm has over 8,000 acres of timber land and has also the only incline railway on the Pacific coast. It is 3,800 feet long and has an incline of 33 percent. Four large locomotives are used in carrying the logs down the incline [?], and there is one man to each car. The descent is very dangerous, and a most thrilling one to witness. This big camp is a boon to the city of Rainier, and several others will soon be put in operation by the same firm.

[?] If locomotives were used in lowering the carloads of logs it indeed was a dangerous procedure. More likely is that the “Incline Engine” (A steam powered donkey) was used. But that’s easy for me to say. — Larry Rea

Yeon and Pelton Sell to The Portland Lumber Company

The Yeon and Pelton company turns over its big logging camps on January 1st [1906] to the Portland Lumber Company. While the work will run along in the same manner, it is with regret that Rainier bids goodbye to Mr. Yeon, the principal owner in the retiring company. Since his arrival here five years ago, when he purchased the Peterson logging camp for $75,000, he has by good management and hard work, increased its value to $225,000 — Editorial. (Reported from the Rainier Review dated December 29, 1905)

John B. Yeon shipped his automobile to Portland Tuesday [December 26, 1905] on the “T. J. Potter,” and he left on the train the same day for a business visit to the city. (Ed. Note: This is a glimpse of the days before the advent of the Columbia River highway between Portland and the ocean.)


The Incline

inclineThe incline railway was built in order to lower train car loads of logs from the rim down to the slough below. One of the traditions of the incline was that when John B. Yeon had it built he was determined to ride the first load of logs down the incline against the advice of his father. He is reputed to have said, “Everything I have is invested in that incline and if it goes to hell I want to be on it.” (Story told by B. C. Witham, a former railroad man, who worked for Yeon.)


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