Steam Logging Skidder

Cwskida.jpg - 5.7 K

This is reported to this writer as being a photo if the first Steam Skidder that Clark and Wilson put into operation. It featured a steel tower and a steel loading boom. As a self contained unit, it eliminated the necessity of high climbers rigging a wooden tree for a donkey. This was a great step forward from the wooden tree solutions to logging. Only loggers could be creative enough to move such a monster around here and there in the woods, but loggers have always been ingenious at doing the impossible.

With lots of winches and lines it could drag itself around almost anywhere, and, since, of course it was made to yard logs to a railroad and load them on a train, it was always near a railroad, and with a little imagination, a railroad can move most anything.

This writer is told that this photo was taken near Benson point north of Vernonia, but there is nothing in the photo to verify that. Steam began widespread use as the motive power for logging in the Northwest near the beginning of the 20th century, and stayed dominant until after World War II when internal combustion engines began to take over. It took a big boiler and a lot of cordwood to keep one of these things going, and the internal combustion engine was so much smaller making it possible to have a much lighter machine.

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