Once upon a time… Do you like stories that begin with those words? Or do you feel they only belong in children’s storybooks? I couldn’t make up my mind, so on that basis I believe I’ll use them in this brief history of the Storey Timber Company.
Once upon a time there was a logging railroad which ran from the South Rosedale Slough southerly through the Dan Brown homestead and probably through the John George Schindler homestead. The time period was in the early 1900s; most likely 1905 or a bit later, with 1910 as the time of the most activity. The actual history has been lost. Most people in
Rosedale generally agreed that it originated about where the Chalet in the Woods is now located, and that the superintendent of the old style, “ground-lead” logging operation was a man named Frank Fuhrman. Mr. Fuhrman lived on the Arletta site.
The two men who had an interest in this venture were Frank Fuhrman and
Chester Thorne of . It is unsure which of the men worked for the Old National Bank which loaned the money to finance the logging operations. There is no record of whom the other members of the company were or who were the fallers, buckers, men, and equipment to yard the logs. Lakewood
The steam locomotive made several runs in a day hauling the logs from the hilly forest between Arletta and
South Rosedale dumping them in the water at the slough along today's Ray Nash Drive. This log dump was on the Dan Brown homestead on the east side of the slough on the flat area south of the present bridge. The Storey Timber Company operated this log dump through 1912.
After the dump was abandoned by the railroad, and other loggers ceased to use it and all the old growth had been cut, the rails were taken up for salvage.
A spur of the tracks ran from the vicinity of the Kopperman land and Bill Sehmel’s place to the main line. The Arletta to
Rosedale road ( Ray Nash Drive) was blocked whenever the locomotive was approaching or leaving the log dump. Henry Kopperman (born 1908) remember that some of the bigger and older boys from nearby farms would paint the tracks with axle-grease and hid in the wooded area to watch the heavy iron wheels spin out of control.
According to Bob Crandall, a
Rosedale historian, young John Schindler was a witness to an accident in 1908 when he was 14 years old. Bob Crandall wrote “This day, John was watching the engine with logs moving towards the dump. The grade to the water was quite steep. The train was traveling too fast! John was likely the first person to arrive where the train left the tracks. Logs were everywhere. He remembers lifting a steam line off one man’s neck and burning his hands severely.” The fireman and engine were taken to the hospital in . The engine was righted, but the logging operations didn’t last long after this accident. Tacoma
Mollie Yates Bothwell, daughter of George Yates, remembered playing on the trestle after the tracks were gone, using it as a shortcut home from school. With child’s eyes Mollie saw the trestle support as a “tall tower” and looked upon it as a local wonder.
|Chrissy Yates walks her dog along the railroad trestle over Whitmore Creek in south Rosedale, circa 1918.|
Chrissy was the daughter of Albert and Sarah Yates, early Rosedale pioneers.
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