Page 20


In the early 1880s the New London area, at the head of tide-water on the West Hoquiam, was logged by W.D. Mack, Jim Gillis, Alex Polson, George Davis, and Dan Dineen. Robert Lytle had a camp near Nisson's landing at the head of tide-water on the East Hoquiam. The Northwestern Lumber Company also had short-time camps in the area.

But, while the Hoquiam River was an open waterway, the Humptulips was blocked by a huge jam near its mouth and a smaller one near Stevens Prairie. With no roads, the isolated settlers up river despaired of ever being able to market their huge stand of timber. Their objective was to clear the land for farming. In consequence, much valuable timber was destroyed in ruthless fashion. Not only were huge bonfires lighted in every clearing, but men even set fire to standing trees just to see the flames race up the trunk and crown at the top. Timber was expendable.

Then the big jam in the Humptulips was dynamited, causing millions of feet of timber to be washed out to sea and lost, and a man by the name of Stiles constructed the first boom at the mouth of the river. Simultaneously, the Humptulips Driving Company was organized, and stationed a boom-man there to catch and sort all marked logs that came downstream. Logging now began on the Humptulips.

Richard Walker relates the following story:

"Pat McHugh and Billy Leck were logging on Big Creek. They didn't like the boom stiuation at the mouth of the river, so made themselves a private boom. Stiles and a couple of other men went up there to break it up. McHugh happened to be there with his rifle. He claimed he shot Stiles' pipe out of his mouth, whereupon the men left without wrecking the boom."