old logging photo

logging, railroads

Building of Railroads

Erik Andreas Persson  (upper left)  posing for a photograph on a newly finished railroad bridge. (1903-4)

Erik Andreas Persson (upper left) posing for a photograph on a newly finished railroad bridge. (1903-4)

Soon after Erik Andreas Persson landed in the Northwest he became employed with the building and maintenance of railroads, transporting timber and lumber to nearby mills. This post begins with a photograph of him perched high on a massive bridge construction made of old growth Douglas Fir logs.  Resourceful and perhaps practical for it's time, this engineering monstrosity is linked together with enough board feet to make a modern lumber tycoon big money. 

Below, features snapshots of an everyday working mans life in the Northwest timber industry. In the latter photograph we see Erik Andreas as a person of seemingly unstoppable power, while in another we see him cuddling two small kittens in front of his home. It was an extraordinary time for manual labor, looking closely at the Heisler locomotive climbing the grade (pictured below), one can pick out dozens of white shirts catching a lift up the hill to work a long day.

Heisler steam locomotive climbs with several teams of workers on its back. 

Erik Andreas shares a softer side with two kittens.

Without the shade of an ancient canopy, these two workers bake while shaping hand hewn ties. 

Community at Large: The Unknowns

This set of photos features the collection's unknown community members. All are great depictions of life in and outside the logging camps. You'll see a man appearing to be dressed in drag, which is quite unique. He even has a black veil and dress hat, perhaps too many afternoon ales found him rummaging through Mrs. Bennett's chest of drawers. The following image is the same man only this time looking tough and hardened as he poses with his dog. Though my favorite is a woman laughing as she wades in the Pacific surf; you can almost smell the coastal salty air. The few photo portraits with embossments are captioned with street address and company name. Third from the bottom of this set are three brothers, two looking like identical twins.

Trusting you'll enjoy these photos of unknown families and patrons. There's just a few more posts before this segment ends. I'll soon move on to postcards and letters the Persson family wrote to each other prior to E. H. Pearson making the trek to the new land.