high rigger brooks scanlonThe years 1924 - 1928 saw old-growth logging at its heyday in the Powell River area. In addition to many small "gyppo" outfits, three big outfits were taking enormous quantities of old growth timber.

Brooks, Scanlon and O'Brien were well through their 1.5 million cubic meters of Douglas fir and cedar from Stillwater through the Horseshoe River Valley, until the big fire swept through the Horseshoe area in July. Their railway had 30 miles of track, four engines, and 112 cars.

Another big operation owned by Ring and Merrill was in its third year on the Theodosia River, with six locomotives and many miles of track.

Bloedel, Stewart and Welch operated 24 miles of track and five camps between Myrtle Point, Haslam Lake, and east of Duck Lake.

We've linked to  a series of photos from the B.C. Archives website taken in 1926 by photographer H.W. Roozeboom. Most are from the Stillwater operation, but some are from Theodosia.

 His 1926 collection included many shows on Vancouver Island as well as the Powell River area.

These Roozeboom photos went to BC archives from the Powell River Museum Archives; check locally for print-quality photos.

See links to some of Roozeboom's local collection below

More historical photos here

 high rigger at workLogging in a new area began with a high rigger preparing a spar tree. (from a Brooks,  Scanlon, O'Brien location).
brooks scanlon rigger
 Then the fallers would do their work with handsaws. (Chainsaws didn't make their appearance until the 40's.)
 The "high lead" system (cables suspended from spar trees and special pulley blocks) reduced damage to the logs and terrain. The steam donkey and crawler tractor assisted crews to get the felled, trimmed and bucked logs to the railway loading point.
donkey crew brooks scanlon
 The yard crew loaded the logs onto skeleton cars on the railway.
Both the Brooks Scanlon and Theodosia shows used similar techniques
the train crews at Theodosia and Brooks Scanlon also looked similar
 The #4 Shay with its offset boiler and gearing on the right side
 Turf to Surf.  The logs reached water either by log dump or chute
 Pond cews got the logs or shingle bolts ready for towing

Then the logs were towed to mills.


That concludes our links to the Roozeboom collection, as seen from the spar tree preparation through felling, yarding, loading onto trains, dumping into ponds, and towing.