The timber harvest process was not complete when the log were delivered to the water. Once the logs got to navigable water, whether it be by railroad, truck, wagon, flume, log driving or whatever, they had to get to the mill. Sometimes the sawmill was the direct destination of the logs, but more often than not since the harvest locations changed faster than the sawmills did, the logs when harvested were dumped into the nearest navigable waterway. There they would be rafted (tied together) and a tug boat could tow the raft to market.. This also provided an element of competition which was beneficial to the logging company as once the raft was made up, it could be sold to the highest bidder.
Loggers, like farmers, never seem to prosper if they find themselves captive to a single buyer of their product. The photos here of the Black Prince at work in the Skagit River feature Captain Albert Manwarren Galligan (outside the wheelhouse) who worked the waters of Puget Sound for almost 50 years in the first half of the 20th century. His last tug was the Irene which he ran for Elliott Bay Mill company of Seattle.
A special thanks to Gary Greer of Phoenix, AZ for the photos.
Capt. Albert Galligan also was skipper of the Ora Elwell which was a side-wheeler that was in-service between the Black Prince and the Irene.