Wikstrom Logging in 1890

The following is a reprint of an article and picture that appeared in the St. Helens Chronicle, in St. Helens Oregon on Thursday July 12, 1951.
Old Picture Shows Logging Methods of Yore
The Golf Course as it Appeared in 1890
golfa.jpg - 29.9 K
Click Photo to enlarge
Webmasters note: The Golf course referred to in this article is not the present St. Helens Golf course. It is a long forgotton Golf course which was on the site of the present St. Helens Highschool

Mrs. Cal Howard has loaned The Chronicle for reproduction a picture which has been in the Howard family for more than 60 years, showing logging operations on the site of the former golf course. The picture is published in an adjoining column.

The logging operation was conducted by the late Herbert O. Howard and I. G. Wikstrom in 1890. This was the first logging operation conducted by Mr. Wikstrom, who spent most of his life in the woods. Mr. Wikstrom who celebrated his 94th birthday on July 11, is bedridden at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Ralph Langdon in Warren as a result of a stroke suffered more than a year ago.

Mr. Wikstrom, who came to St. Helens with his family in 1887, purchased 160 acres of the McNulty donation land claim and with Mr. Howard started to log it off with ox teams. Before the logging operation was completed Mr. Wikstrom built a sawmill on what is now the J. N. Burkhead farm and devoted himself to its operation, leaving Mr. Howard to do the logging.

The logs were brought out of the woods by ox teams over skid roads to a point on McNulty Creek where the old wagon bridge is now located on old Portland road, where they were dumped in to Scappoose bay.

In the picture are six yoke of oxen, with Herb Howard standing near the wheelers with a goad stick in his hand. On the other side stands Mr. Wikstrom.

The late Cal Howard, then a mere boy, is one of the three boys standing on the high stump near the center of the picture. It was Mr. Howard's job to grease the skids, walking between the logs and the wheelers with a bucket of grease which he sloshed on each skid.

The skids were adzed out to form a sort of trough for the logs to ride in, and by greasing them the 'trough' became as smooth as glass and it was no trouble for the ox teams to haul as many as six logs, tied end to end in one pull.

The man on the springboard, with the heavy beard is Ralph Hazen, a brother of Ben Hazen of Portland; Mrs. Jim Bacon of Warren and George Hazen whose present address was not learned. Capt. Hazen, of St. Helens, was a cousin.

Mr. Hazen's partner on the spring board was Everett Emmerson

On the extreme right is the late Mrs. Rudolph Kappler, and next to her is Mrs. Herb Howard holder her son Harry. Next to her is Lizzie Howard, who passed away many years ago, and then comes Mrs. I. G. Wikstrom with Mrs. Anna VanNatta of St. Helens and Mrs. Mary Sleeper of Cushman, Ore., the two little girls on the right.

the picture was taken, Mrs. VanNatta recalls by a photographer from Portland, who came to St. Helens for that purpose. The enlargement from which the above picture was taken, was made by Bruno Studios in Portland.

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