Wally Knott on saw and his partner Red Meyers at Meades Creek Oct. 1945 by W.H.Gold PhotoMOFM Logo
 
 
 
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Ken Hallberg

Ken HallbergI was born in 1914; just east of Nanaimo airport… it was called North Oyster.  I worked in the forest industry from 1928 to 1975.  My dad was in the forest industry for most of his working days.  He worked as a foreman for a bridge crew for logging.  Just before I turned fifteen, I decided that I didn’t want to go to school anymore, so my dad got me a job at a logging camp near Shawnigan Lake.  I worked bucking wood, and firing a steam pile-driver, it was hard work!  I think the owner’s name was Munzie, but I don’t know the company’s name, maybe it was Shawnigan Lake Lumber Company.  When the saw mill burned, the logging camp stopped working and I lost my job.  The Depression was coming on, and lumber prices were down… it was rumoured that the mill was intentionally burnt for insurance.  During the Depression years, there were a lot of fires that were suspect.

After that, my dad and I both went to Lake Cowichan where I found a job blowing whistles for Groskleg & Truman, a contract logger.  That didn’t last long.  I got fired after three days!  I guess I didn’t know what I was doing.  In April 1930, we both went to work for Joe Kerrone on Blue Grouse Mountain.  I worked there for maybe eight months, setting chokers, then the Depression hit all the camps and, by October, they had shut down.  Dad decided that we should go trapping, since there was no work anywhere.  My dad, youngest brother, and I went into the headwaters of Nanaimo River, Jump Creek, and built a cabin.  We were there all winter and caught about ten martens, which were worth nine dollars each.

My oldest brother, Cliff, was ‘batching’ at Camp 6.  The camp was shut down, but a lot of the families stayed on.  Some of the younger single fellows were ‘batching’ there, and my oldest brother was one of them.  I’m not quite sure how they Fishing with Strawlinesurvived – I know they trapped a few muskrats.  I think they also got a little bit of money from the government – families got what they called ‘relief’ in those days… I think it was fifteen dollars each, which wasn’t much!  Of course, they shot deer, and oddly enough, the game warden was very strict. 

My brother and a friend of his came over the mountain from Camp 6.  They hiked up McKay Creek and over the mountain to where we had our cabin.  His friend, Albert Hendrickson, went with me to check a trap line.  As we were walking along the line, we noticed big prints in the snow… we thought it was a bear!  When we got to the trap, we saw there was blood all around, and the animal was inside this hollow log.  Once we got a chance to look at it, we found out that it was a wolverine!  I had never heard of wolverines on the Island.  I never packed a gun, because it was too heavy, but I had a little hatchet, and another bigger trap; so I pushed this trap into the hollow log, and the wolverine stepped into it.  In the meantime, Albert was cutting a pole about five feet long– he was a big strong man.  So, when I pulled the wolverine out of the hole, snarling and growling, he dispatched it!  (They are supposed to be one of the most ferocious animals for their size.)

When the spring and summer came, we moved out and went down towards Nanaimo to one of Macmillan Export railway tie camps.  There were just two one room shacks, with two young Swedes living in one of them; so we moved into the other, and stayed there for the summer.  My dad got a job for two months working for Buck and Turner; they were one of the first truck loggers in BC.  His trucks had hard rubber tires.

Somehow, my dad got word that his father had died, so he went to the funeral.  I think he went with his sister who lived in Yellow Point.  On his way back, he stayed with his sister and her husband, Joe Trudell.  They had a farm at Yellow Point, and gave him a sack of turnips.  Then, Joe drove him to within ten miles of where our cabin was, and he had to walk the rest of the way.  My younger brother and I had been there alone all this time, we were washing gold in the river.  We managed to get eight dollars worth for about two weeks work!  Our dad sold it in Nanaimo to a jeweller– it caused a bit of interest there.  Everyone was getting interested in gold in those days; because the price had gone up from about twenty-seven to thirty-five dollars.  Compare that to what it is today at nine hundred dollars!

Well, along came the first snowfall, and with the snow came Joe Trudell and his truck.  He stopped in front of our cabin and said, “Come on you guys, jump in the truck, and come down to the farm for the winter!”  He was a rough-talking kind of guy with a big heart.  So, we went down to his farm for the winter and enjoyed home-cooking, scones, fresh vegetables, and milk with cream on top.   We dug a basement under his house for him to store his potatoes.  He had a big crop, and nowhere to put them with the frost coming on.   He had some Last Train Load of Logs from Caycuse by Andrew Kisssecond-growth fir on his property, so we cut that down and built a barn.  Then we went to Cowichan Lake, and stayed in the cedar cabins.  There were some big, cedar snags right there that had been burnt.  So we cut them into shakes, and had Gordon’s store haul them down to the farm.  In payment, Joe Trudell gave the store potatoes.  Gordon’s store gave us credit for groceries – no GST!  Some of the other farmers heard about this, and two of them with old barns and roofs that were leaking, contacted us and we cut shakes for their barns. 

Dad had worked for a big logging contractor on Cowichan Lake for years:   Matt Hemmingsen.  All of Matt’s logging machinery had been idle since the Shawnigan Lake mill burned down.  He was getting interested in gold mining, like everyone.  A son of Matt’s friend had a big truck.  He was going up to the Barkerville area to see if he could find work for his truck hauling freight.  Dad convinced Hemmingsen to “grub stake” us (to finance us… “grub” means food).  We were to take Matt’s son and his friend along.

Dad had a plan:  he was going to build a scow at Summit Lake. The Crooked River flows north out of the lake.  In his earlier days, he had seen waterwheels working on the Saskatchewan River.  They would use the power of the water to turn the water wheel, and it would scoop up water, and deposit it in their slues boxes.  So off we went to Summit Lake, built the scow, and started down the river!  I was about eighteen at the time.

Dad knew that a few miles down the river, there were rapids called “The Long Ripple”, so he brought along some strawline (small wire cable) to snub the scow down through the rapids.  When we came to the rapids, we used poles to stop.   The river was flowing slowly.   So, he snubbed it down twice, and then he thought we must be through it, so he jumped aboard!  Well, we just got down to the first corner, and the rapids got stronger and the scow hit the bank.  I was on the other side when it hit, and I went overboard into the river with the sheets of floating ice.  We were all drifting down the river together:  the scow and I with the floating ice!  My brother reached out with one of the long poles, and I was able to grab it and pull myself out of the river. 

When this happened, my father jumped out with the strawline, and tried to wrap it around a tree to stop us, but it ripped it out of his hands!  After drifting downstream about a thousand feet, we were able to stop the scow and start poling it back close to shore and away from the fast-flowing water.  We were elated to see dad working his way through the ice-filled water.  He had the biggest smile that we had ever seen!  He was in deep trouble himself, and didn’t dare think of what had happened to his sons and friends.  Fortunately, it was a nice sunny day; we hung our clothes up to dry, and went slowly drifting down the Crooked River.

So we got down to the spot where we heard there was gold, and we pulled into a back eddy in the river, tied up there, and sure enough – we found quite a bit of gold!  You could actually see the gold; there was a long bank where the river had cut in for a long distance, washing all the gravel out of the bank, and then deposited it all on a river bar below.  Gold, being the heaviest metal, stopped right at the top of the bar.  Sure enough, there was a lot of black sand with it, which was a heavy metal too! 

Dad decided that we should build two dug-out canoes.  One was twenty-three feet long; we would use this one to travel back to Summit Lake.  The other one was much smaller; it would be used to travel the rivers in search of the ideal location to build and operate the water wheel.  Dad and my oldest brother went all the way to Finley Forks.  They couldn’t find a better location so; we started to build the water wheel.

To saw the lumber, we mounted a log six feet above the ground on two supports.  One man would stand on top, and another would stand below.  Using a whip saw, they sawed all the lumber required.  The water wheel supplied all the water we needed, perhaps far too much!  The large volume washed far more gold out of our crude slues boxes than it saved.  The gold was very fine and flaky, which made it hard to save. 

The five boys slept under a blanket, and mosquito netting covered their heads; even so, in the morning, we could see the sun shining on our blood in the red bodies of a ball of mosquitoes in the corner of the netting.  While working, we had smoke pots close by.  When we went for a bowel movement, we took one with us, for when we dropped our pants, the mosquitoes took it for an invitation to attack!

Towards the end of September, it started to rain, and the next morning drift wood started to flow down-river.  We watched a large, full-length tree punctured the scow.  When it filled with water, the tie-up line broke!  On its way over shallower water, the paddles on one side would hit bottom and roll the scow to the right, then the buckets would hit bottom and roll it back.  We sat and watched it waddle like a big, fat goose on its way to the Arctic Ocean.  It was fortunate for us, because we decided that we had to leave.  The next morning it was starting to freeze.

When we got to McLeod Lake, we camped where the river goes into the lake.  The ducks and geese had the same idea – they were going south, and they were flying everywhere!  So, my youngest brother went down to the canoe, picked up his .22 rifle, and was going to shoot a goose.  He pulled the trigger, and found out it was frozen!  My dad was making breakfast just outside this lean-to that we were sleeping in, and my youngest brother came and stood beside the fire with the .22 rifle.  When the ice melted in the rifle, the firing pin went off, and the shell exploded!  He said, “I’ve shot myself!”, and fainted.  He was right there in front of us, and he pretty near fell into the fire!  So we pulled him into the shelter, and stripped him down.  We were looking all over for bullet holes.  When he woke up he said, “What the hell are you doing?”  We found that the bullet went through the fleshy part of his hand and then through his little finger without breaking a bone!  I still can’t figure that out – it must have bounced off the bone.  So, on we went in our dug-out canoe using poles.

We got to Summit Lake just as it was getting dark, and found that the lake was frozen over with a thin sheet of ice.  My dad figured that if we didn’t go over the lake that evening, we wouldn’t make it the next morning!  So, we had a big feed of moose meat and rice, and off we went breaking ice all across the lake!  When we got close to the other side of the lake, the ice was thicker and we were unable to break through it by paddling.   We tried by backing up then paddling forward fast.  That used up too much of the little energy that we had left.  Then we took turns breaking the ice with a pole while standing in the bow.  We landed completely exhausted and nearly frozen in the exact place we had left five months earlier around one a.m.  One of the two houses had a light in it.  So my dad went and knocked on the door, told them about our predicament, and asked if we could sleep in their woodshed.  “No way, you can’t do that, come and sleep in our kitchen!”  That is the way people were in those frontier towns.  So they gave us hot coffee, something to eat, and hotcakes the next morning.  Then they arranged for their neighbour to take us to Prince George – he was going in the next day anyway.  We rode in the back of his pick-up truck in this freezing weather, and we were still in our summer clothes! 

At Prince George, dad bought an old car for ninety-five dollars.   It had cellophane windows flapping in the wind!  So we bought the car and headed south.  The first night we found out that the radiator was leaking quite badly.  So, we kept filling it with snow and water wherever we could.  When we stopped at Clinton, a cowboy came along on his horse, and asked, “Do you have a leaky rad there, partner?  The best thing in the world for that is horse shit!”  This is a true story!  So, we said “Oh sure”, and laughed.  We thought it was just the cowboy’s BS.  Then he said, “You don’t believe me?  It really works!”  So, we put a few buns of horse manure in the radiator, and it did help.  The fibres would lodge in the cracks of the radiator, and would swell up Truck Logging Wardroper Creek, Camp 6, 1941with the water.  So, we made it to Vancouver. 

We came back to the Island, and stayed with my dad’s sister on the farm for a little while until the camps opened up in 1934.  Actually, I think they started to open up in 1933.  My dad, and brother Cliff, found work right away back at Camp 6, and I went to work at the Chemainus sawmill for a few months.  I went to work at Camp 6 in April 1934.  The wages in the camps were much higher than in the sawmills, and logging was far more exciting and challenging.  My job was setting chokers on a skidder for two dollars and eighty cents a day.  One year later, I was promoted to hooktender, and was making five dollars and twenty-five cents a day.  I was only nineteen years old at the time, and weighed only one hundred and fifty pounds– the youngest and lightest person to be given this responsibility!

“In December 1935, the company started another camp at the west end of Cowichan Lake; they called it Camp 3.  I was transferred there, along with several other single men, including Jim Paton who was my second hooker.  Years later, some called us the ‘happy hookers’.  We were fortunate to be put in an eight-man bunkhouse, along with four of that notorious bunch of loggers that many books have been written about.  After supper, they would return to the bunkhouses full of that good cookhouse food, lie down on their beds, and start telling some of the most outlandish stories!  There was no radio or television; they had the stage all to themselves, and they had four gullible teenagers for their audience.  It became a contest to see who could tell the best story.  Some of the well-known characters had nicknames.  There was Panicky Bill, Step and a Half Phelps, Snookums, Ten Spot, Jippo Joe, Roughhouse Pete, Seven Day Wilson, Swede Nelson, Cold Water Wilson, Jesse James, Peg Leg Pete, and many more.”  (Caycuse Memories, November 2005, page 94) 

Peg Leg Pete had a wooden leg.  There was another younger man with a wooden leg who was setting chokers; one was bucking wood for the steam machine with one arm!  Later, he became a fire warden at Nitnat, his name was Lew Edwards

“In June 1937, I went to work as a head rigger for Hemmingsen and Cameronat Port Renfrew.  I was now making a dollar per hour, and working nine hours a day!”  (Caycuse Memories, November 2005, page 95)

“In November 1937, I went to Vancouver and, through a hiring agency, signed up for a head rigging job at Thompson and Clark’s operation at Bowser, B.C.  This was one of the very few camps in B.C. that had no respect for their employees.  The woods foreman would condemn and fire them just to intimidate the rest of the crew!”  (Caycuse Memories, November 2005, page 95)

“In August 1938, I went back to Port Renfrew; while I was there the Camp 6 grade crews were busy building a switch-back up the mountain that divides Nixon Creek and Caycuse River.  When this road was completed, it would open up large tracts of timber that would keep the loggers busy for many years.  Luckily, I was given a job there (at Camp 6) when the road reached the summit.”  (Caycuse Memories, November 2005, page 95)

We did have one fire from the rigging, but we got it out.  Actually, we had two from the rigging; but I insisted that the whistle punk carry a pack can full of water, and he was able to put the fire out!  There was another fire at Port Renfrew that we were able to put out right away with the fire hose from the skidder.  We also had an operation called the “Wyssen”, which had a long skyline – the mainline ran so fast that it started a fire once.  It didn’t amount to much, but we called the Mars bomber in and he ‘bombed’ it with water.  It didn’t do much good, but we put it out pretty quick! 
 
“In December 1939, the company had mounted a skidder and a duplex loading machine on a large sleigh, fifty-five feet long.  To supply steam for both of these machines, the company ordered a very large boiler from Vancouver; it was now mounted on the same sleigh.  The whole assembly weighed about a hundred tons!  My first job was to load it on a bull car (a heavy duty railway car).  Special care had to be taken to keep from turning the rails.  When the locomotive was pushing it, the old railway ties collapsed and the machine and rail car were leaning precariously Skidder off the Tracksover Don Stewart’s house.  His baby daughter was in her crib and looking up at the smoke stack of the boiler!  My first job was to warn everyone to move out of the house, and the next priority was to secure the machines and boiler with cables.  I did this by putting a line around the top of the boiler, and then tying it to a stump to make sure it didn’t tip any further.  Next, I built a cribbing on swampy ground next to the bull car.  The large sleigh and machines were then pulled sideways onto the cribbing.  The Chinese section crew had to replace the ties and rails. I had them lower the railroad bed ten inches before laying the ties.  This was done to lower the bull car to the same elevation as the sleigh, so that it could be moved back on to the bull car without pushing it off the rails.”  (Caycuse Memories, November 2005, pages 95, 96) 

Looking back, I am surprised that I was given the job – I was only twenty-four years old!  There were lots of old-timers, including my dad, who had much more experience.

Learning to be a foreman came gradually.  There were five men under me, and when I became a skidder-rigger, I had a crew of twenty- three men!  Some of them were a lot older than I.  Another thing that entered into it was that loggers were so hard to come by. When, the war came along, it was even harder to find loggers.  So, we more or less begged the crew to stay.   The company sent Tom Easton all the way to Prince Albert to hire men; he came back with twenty when we only needed four.  They had been used to hard work, and after a short training course they were all good loggers.  
 
The first power saws didn’t come along until a few years later.  I don’t remember seeing them around Lake Cowichan until the early 1950’s.  The earliest one was a two-man saw.

I used to play the horse races a bit, and around the time I was thinking of getting married, I had bet on two favourite horses that were running down in San Francisco:  Sea Biscuit and his partner.  They were both running as one entry, and I bet on them and won!  I had a friend, a Scot, who actually introduced me to my wife in the first place… his name was Jim Paton, the step-father of Mike Paton.  He always said to my wife, “Lassie, if Sea Biscuit hadn’t of won, you wouldn’t have got that ring!” 

Ken & Babe with KennethJim and I went to Vancouver this one Christmas during a shut-down.  He knew this family that had three girls, and he was interested in one of them.  He took me out there to visit them; I fell in love with the youngest.  When I was working at Port Renfrew, I was thinking of getting married, and I decided that I wanted to live at Caycuse when I got married.  Otherwise, if I was up the Coast somewhere in a logging camp, there wouldn’t be much of a family life!

So, we got married on July 1, 1940.  My wife’s name was Elvira Hodgson, but everyone called her ‘Babe’ because she was the youngest in her family.  She had lived as a younger girl at Extension.  Her father was killed in a logging accident at Extension when she was quite young. 

We rented a two-room float house at first, and moved in right after our wedding in July.  In December, a big snowstorm shut the camp down for two months.   I went to work at a camp at the north end of the Island, on Quatsino Sound, and Babe went to Vancouver to stay with her mother until the snow disappeared.  While we were gone, my dad and the fellow that owned the house, Andy Nordstrom, were living in it.  They were over at the store one day, when a fire broke out and the house burnt, we lost everything we owned!  When I received the message, I immediately came back to Vancouver.  The superintendent of the camp told me that there was a house available for us to buy for three hundred dollars.  It was on a float, and had two bedrooms.  So, sight unseen, we bought this house.  Then, with the thousand dollars we got from the insurance policy, we bought furniture, and headed back to Caycuse.

“May 1942.  Bert Peck, the camp superintendent, advised me that I was being promoted to a woods foreman’s job; my salary would be three hundred and twenty-five dollars per month.  We would be able to rent a five room company house for seven dollars a month.  Now we would have electric lights and indoor plumbing.  We liked the house that we had bought and at first we were reluctant to move.”  (Caycuse Memories, November 2005, page 97)

“December 1942 was very cold at night, but warm and sunny during the day.   The snow had all gone from the southerly facing sides of the mountains.  We decided to try burning slash (waste wood after logging).  To our surprise, the fire went roaring up the mountain, and threw a huge plume of smoke a mile into the sky!  Two hurricanes came flying over on a training mission, one decided to fly through the smoke.  The upward draft from the fire caused him to lose control, and he had to eject.  His parachute hung up in a tall tree in the next valley.  He lowered himself on limbs, but finally had to jump, spraining his ankle badly on the uneven ground.  We formed a search party of fifty men, and searched the mountain and next valley.  We travelled a hundred feet apart with three of our engineering crew reading compasses, and keeping us travelling in a straight line.  We were unable to find the pilot or the plane.  The pilot was to be married the next day; but was a little late arriving at the church, because it took him three days to reach an Indian home on Nitnat Lake.  (Caycuse Memories, November 2005, page 98) 

“April 1943.  The company decided to plant the hundred and fifty acres of the burnt over area with fir seedlings.  All of the crews, including the Chinese section crew, planted trees for two days.  This was the first major tree planting program in B.C. by a private company.” (Caycuse Memories, November 2005, page 98) 

“In November of 1943, the company closed all operations at Camp 6, and started up a truck logging show in the Wardroper Valley.”  (Caycuse Memories, November 2005, page 98)

Re-load, Lift load onto truckOn March 6, 1945, our first boy was born:  Ken Jr.  We were both thrilled to have a new addition to our family!

“April 1945 I was promoted and became the superintendent in charge of all the operations in the camp.  I had no experience in planning, engineering, or road construction.  Tom Fraser supervised these.  The maintenance of the trucks had been delegated.  That left me responsible for the logging and other matters around camp; this was fine with me.  I realized that I wasn’t experienced enough to supervise all of the activities.” (Caycuse Memories, November 2005, page 99)

“March 1946.  I hurt my back at Camp 3 in 1937.  It had given me a lot of trouble.  The doctors finally found that I had broken the corner of a vertebra.  The WCB arranged for me to have an operation in the Vancouver General Hospital.  The doctors removed two discs and fused three vertebrae together.  I was in the hospital one month, and then returned to the camp.  It had been shut down due to a heavy snow pack.”  (Caycuse Memories, November 2005, page 99)

“June 23, 1946.  A major earthquake, measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale, struck.  Its centre was at Courtenay.  It caused a small tsunami on the lake… Fortunately, no one was hurt, and only one man was killed.  He was buried in a landslide on the beach near Courtenay.”  (Caycuse Memories, November 2005, page 99)

“1948. The new camp was built in the spring.  It was by far the most modern camp in BC.  Head office didn’t like the name Camp 6, so they re-named it Caycuse Beach.  Many of the older residents still fondly call it Camp 6.  When finished, the new camp had a store, a snack bar, an office, eight H-shaped bunkhouses with eight rooms in each, a large cookhouse that could seat one hundred and fifty, ten two-storey family houses with four bedrooms, and five smaller houses with two bedrooms.  Later that year, the camp carpenters built new accommodations for the Train WreckChinese section crew.”  (Caycuse Memories, November 2005, page 101)

“April 22, 1949.  The 1 Spot left the summit with ten cars loaded with logs.  When the engineer tried to set the brakes, he discovered that the air to the cars had not been connected.  He advised the fireman and two brakemen to jump; he then followed.  Fortunately, no one was hurt.  The train crashed into the back end of the other train.  The 1 Spot rolled over the bank, eight cars were wrecked and logs were scattered along the tracks for a thousand feet.   Now we had another problem:  how to get the crew back to camp!  The 5 Spot took what was left of its train to camp, and brought back a box-car.  A speeder rounded up the crew, and took them to the scene of the train wreck.  They walked past the wreck, and boarded the box-car, arriving for supper an hour late.  Next morning, they travelled to work the same route, but in reverse.  By quitting time, the tracks had been cleared and repaired.  The engineer and head brakeman were fired, and replaced with a crew to work a night shift.  I thought that this would end the problem of one train colliding with another, it did.”  (Caycuse Memories, November 2005, pages 101, 102)

“On December 17, 1949, two days before our scheduled Christmas shutdown, I received a call on the old telephone; the type with a crank on the side, and on which you could hear anyone else who wanted to listen in.  The head brakeman informed me that the locomotive had run off the end of the tracks in a blinding snow storm.  It was four o’clock in the morning when I arrived at the locomotive.  I took the train crew back to camp, arriving there just in time to announce to the crew in the cookhouse that they could now start their Christmas holidays.  Then I went to wake up the timekeeper and found that he had been celebrating Christmas early and was not able to write up the checks.  I thought that the crew would want my scalp, but when I explained the situation and promised to send the checks as soon as possible; they seemed content and off to town they went.”  (Caycuse Memories, November 2005, page 102)

“1951. Once again we were running out of timber that could be reached with the railroad.  To solve this problem, we started up a truck show.  The trucks would bring logs down from the steep side valleys to the railroad.  A duplex steam-powered loading machine would then unload the trucks, and load the logs on rail cars.  We heard that a camp in Washington was lifting, and then transferring the whole load onto the rail cars.  A trip was arranged to see the operation.  It didn’t take us long to decide that we Truck Loggingshould copy this method.  As soon as I arrived back in camp, I gathered up some old skidder rigging, raised two spar trees and, by using a small gasoline-powered winch, we were transferring loads.”  (Caycuse Memories, November 2005, pages 102, 103)

“1952. A track loader was bought from Washington Iron WorksWally Carlson was sent to Seattle to watch the machine while it was being assembled.  Wally operated this machine for twenty-three years.  It proved so valuable that a second one was bought a year later.  Then an 80D North West shovel, D8 Cats, logging trucks, a Tyee slack skyline yarder, and other equipment were purchased.”  (Caycuse Memories, November 2005, pages 103, 104)

“1954. A plan had been approved to pick up all the railway steel and convert to 100% truck logging.  Three new diesel trucks had arrived in camp, and our grade crew had constructed a short cut to the summit; it replaced the railroad switchback.  We started in June, and were finished by the first week in August.  Eight miles of steel and ties had been lifted.  Five miles of road had been gravelled.  Several hundred tons of railroad steel, rail cars and old steam equipment were sent to a foundry via the spruce raft and CN.  Our old 110 ton Climax locomotive had now been working a double shift for five years … Now it was time to send it to a foundry.  When it was loaded on the spruce raft, it spelled the end of steam logging and left a lump in the throat of many.”  (Caycuse Memories, November 2005, page 104)

“1955… The road to Honeymoon Bay was officially opened.  The provincial government built the first mile, and BCFP built the last eleven miles.  A grand welcoming party was planned.  One long column of sixty-five cars left Honeymoon Bay at noon.  Boy Scouts welcomed them with signs.  Everyone in Caycuse turned out to welcome Full Suspensionthem.  A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held; then everyone gathered in the community hall.  Liquor, tea, coffee, and sandwiches were served.  A very enjoyable afternoon was had by all.  Many old friends enjoyed meeting each other again.  A baseball game was played, and at a dance that night, the crowd kept asking the orchestra to keep playing until three a.m.”  (Caycuse Memories, November 2005, page 106)

“June 1957.  A road had been constructed from Caycuse to Camp 3Camp 3 was then shut down and some of the crew moved to Caycuse.  Others left because they had lost their seniority.  A five-man forestry crew had been working from the two camps for several years, they had planted millions of trees, some are now large enough to be harvested – this will add millions of dollars to the economy of our province.”  (Caycuse Memories, November 2005, page 106)

“April 1964.  I was asked to report at our head office in Vancouver; no reason was given.  I wondered what I had done now.  The logging manager, Harry Dembecki, advised me that they wanted me to transfer to the Renfrew Division.  I would be the manager and receive a substantial increase in my salary.  I was not happy, but felt that I couldn’t refuse.  It was a very sad day for me and Babe when we followed the moving van, and said good-bye to Caycuse (Camp 6).”  (Caycuse Memories, November 2005, page 107)

Ken HallbergThe logging industry supplied logs for the sawmills and pulp mills– together they made B.C. one of the most prosperous provinces in Canada.  In the middle of the Depression, back in 1933, the sawmills and camps started to re-hire hundreds of employees.  No other industry came close to:

Jump-starting other industries that serviced the forest industries.

Increasing wages.

Giving governments and cities great wealth in the form of royalty fees,  stumpage and company and employee taxes.

Providing pensions and medical plans for employees.

Keeping the industry viable.  They did this by building roads and planting two hundred and fifty million trees per year.

Some companies are now harvesting second-growth trees when they are only fifty years old – right at the time in the tree’s life when it is adding the most fibre, and improving the quality of the logs. I strongly disagree with this practice.