One day a settler who had been losing logs between his place and the mill, discovered several branded log-ends floating in the Humptulips. A raft was grounded along shore. Becoming suspicious of the boom-man, he watched until he caught him sawing off the end of a log. Then he sent a bullet whizzing past the thief's head which frightened him so badly that he left the country.
Jim Newbury, of Humptulips, had been out to town at the time. Someone jokingly accused him of firing the warning shot. "No, it wasn't me." he declared calmly. "If I'd shot at him, I'd have hit him."
Not only was there danger of losing logs on the way to the mill, but the settlers had to trust to the honesty of the mill owners and their employees. By the early 1920s the stealing of logs had become a huge racket on the Harbor. Not only were markings obliterated and others substituted, but whole rafts were stolen and delivered to some mill. To protect their property, the logging operators incorporated and hired log patrols.
One night, a patrol member noticed a small raft being towed out of Hoquiam. Suspecting crooked work, he called Jerry Walker out of bed and they took a boat to Cosmopolis. There they found the raft and identified the logs as belonging to Walker Brothers.
With some fifty mills on the Harbor, all eager for timber, the logging industry advertised for more men. Swedes, Finns, Norwegians from the devastated logging areas of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan, as well as from the old country, responded in large numbers. So much so, that the population of Grays Harbor is now predominantly Scandivavian.
Tough and hardy as the early loggers were, they did not believe in all work and no play. Individual loggers came and went at will. But, twice a year - at Christmas and the Fourth of July - the camps shut down so that their entire crews could celebrate in town. Both Aberdeen and Hoquiam had scores of saloons, which on these special occasions remained open all night. As their double-doors swung open liquor fumes and tobacco smoke poured out, along with music and the sound of rowdy laughter. In the back rooms there were card games where gamblers took the unwary. There were also gaudily dress "soiled doves to keep the loggers happy and help them spend their hard-earned money. Most of the men returned to camp completely "broke", swearing they'd never do that again. Six months later they were ready for another fling.