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Old 08-26-2015, 05:00 PM   #1
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The great dinghy debate

I guess the "lapstrake" style skiffs today just don't cut it.

The second picture below is a 12 foot, 2 row station, wood boat that was the a standard workhorse on the coast long before the first distant, lonely pushpuh...pushpuh...pushpuh of the Easthope was heard.

My ancestors (pic 1) arrived, as settlers, on the (sunshine) coast by planked, round bottom row boats in the 1800s, some 20 or more years before Powell River existed. The only source of supplies was the mine store at Van Anda on Texada Island, a 5 mile row across Malispina Straight. They did it year round. Had to.

The old boy sittin' on the boat in the picture is my grandfather, Frank. He and I spent much of our summers in that boat beachcombing logs for fire wood. The logs beiing bucked by the old drag saw are what we peeved down the beach, dogged and towed home, 3 or 4 at a time, then hand winched above the tide line for bucking.

The boat would be so full of chopped cedar blocks, it was my job to bail out the water coming over the gunwales, while Frank sat in the stern push rowing with the logs in tow.

We kids used that old boat to deliver, again by oar, magazines and newspapers to the passing tugs in exchange for a piece of fresh baked pie.
What a great life.

Those same boats were on all the sterns of Forestry, Fishery and Mission boats running up and down the coast for decades.
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Old 08-26-2015, 08:22 PM   #2
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Great history, I love it.
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Old 08-26-2015, 08:32 PM   #3
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Great stuff, Hawgwash. Stories like that and the people involved are what make the whole BC coast so intriguing to me. Thanks for putting up the photos and telling the story.
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Old 08-26-2015, 08:36 PM   #4
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Aww nuts. I came for a debate & all I got was this cool story.
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Old 08-26-2015, 08:49 PM   #5
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Great history, I love it.
Thanks rogue.
I have lot's of good memories growing up on the coast.
Pity the whole family only owned one bellows camera and it was never where the action was. Still, I have enough to show what it was like.
Even a couple old tin ones.

I'll throw some more at ya.
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Old 08-26-2015, 09:07 PM   #6
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Hawgwash,
Those long and heavy "Longboats" wouldn't "cut it" on the deck of a yacht typical here on TF. Great boats though doing what they were designed to do.

The Wooden Boat Festival in Port Townsend WA is comming up. See you there.

"Drag saw" yes that's when you do the cutting .. dragging back the blade. I've had time on the drag saws but we called them "two man saws". Liked the ringing sound the blade makes.
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Old 08-26-2015, 10:19 PM   #7
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"Drag saw" yes that's when you do the cutting .. dragging back the blade. I've had time on the drag saws but we called them "two man saws".
A drag saw is a powered saw, not a manual saw.
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Old 08-26-2015, 10:46 PM   #8
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Yes that looks like the one in the picture.
Never seen or heard of one of those. I was a forestry student in the late sixties and never came accross the drag saw.
Does it have a wheel and a con rod? Must be what predates the chain saw and post dates the "two man crosscut saw".
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Old 08-26-2015, 10:58 PM   #9
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Understand they were used as "buck" saws, cutting up downed trees into manageable lengths but not to cut them down.
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Old 08-26-2015, 11:02 PM   #10
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Stories like that and the people involved are what make the whole BC coast so intriguing to me.
Thanks Marin, I love to share this stuff but, you know, Washington is full of those tales too, but, like up here there are fewer and fewer to tell them.

So, let's carry on a bit, shall we...
Old Frank;
Born in Missouri on the trail from New Brunswick out west. His family hooked up with an American family that was always on the move and had already been west and back. They led the way to Oregon and on up the coast to settle at Myrtle Point, across from Van Anda.

No iron pins or wooden stakes back then so it was just "from that there crooked tree t' the next point."

They lived in tents, hand logged and built homes. By the turn of the century the house was finally finished; every piece of wood hand hewn. The outside of the house was covered in hand split shingles. The front had one row pointed the next one rounded.

The spar tree pic is 1900 and the house is 1910 when things really started happening.

In 1911 Bloedel Stuart and Welsh Logging pushed the railroad through the homestead and built a booming ground. That's Frank atop the engine and again on the boom.

The mill in Powell River was started in 1908 and completed in 1912 when the first roll of paper was produced and the typical company town built.

It would be another 15 years before the folks could quit the regular rows to Van Anda although the Easthop Engine was starting to appear and making life easier. My father was born in Van Anda.

In 1920 the Government requested they choose land boundaries, for title and assessment. In 1922, 122 acres was granted and assessed at $10 an acre for 60 acres of waterfront and $5 an acre for the rest. The $910 was paid off in 2025 and the deed issued in 2026.

I have a ton of tales, like the one about the ox and the dynamite...
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Old 08-26-2015, 11:34 PM   #11
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"Drag saw" yes that's when you do the cutting .. dragging back the blade. I've had time on the drag saws but we called them "two man saws". Liked the ringing sound the blade makes.
Nope.
This is a drag saw:
https://www.google.ca/search?site=&source=hp&q=drag+saw&oq=drag+saw&gs_l =hp.3..0l6j0i22i30l4.1695.4240.0.5252.9.9.0.0.0.0. 174.1130.0j9.9.0....0...1c.1.64.hp..1.8.954.0.8WCA _qQKh58

You're talking about a two man crosscut saw (push me pull me).
Like the pic and damn, there's old Frank again.
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Old 08-26-2015, 11:51 PM   #12
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Understand they were used as "buck" saws, cutting up downed trees into manageable lengths but not to cut them down.
That's right, Mark.
There was the cross cut, the drag saw and the chain saw.
We used the drag saw to buck the beachcombed logs into firewood length blocks for splitting.

After the drag saw we had a 2 man chainsaw like this.
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Old 08-27-2015, 12:06 AM   #13
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I used a two-man saw as a kid on a ranch in northern California for a couple of summers (sent there by my mom who was working full in Honolulu and didn't want me to be "wandering the streets" on my own and picking up pidgin English). The two-man saw was referred to at the ranch as a "misery whip." That ranch was also where I learned to use a chain saw--- it had a five foot bar on it, a lot for a kid to handle.

There were steam drag saws before there were gasoline-powered ones. My wife and I visited Expo 86 in Vancouver during their "steam week." They had a whole bunch of operable steam locomotives there from the US, Canada, and the UK in the yard near the station at the head of False Creek.

One of the exhibits was a steam logging show from a museum on Vancouver Island, complete with a working Shay locomotive (similar to Hawgwash's photo in Post 10), a three or four spool steam donkey, and a steam-powered drag saw. They operated this stuff every day, using the donkey to move logs back and forth between a truck and a skeleton log car and the steam drag saw to buck logs into sections. One thing that impressed me was how quiet steam is compared to gasoline and diesel engines.
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Old 08-27-2015, 12:30 AM   #14
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Two-truck Heisler locomotive (two-cylinder V-drive) with auxiliary tender, used to haul logs decades ago in northern California:

https://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47b...D550/ry%3D400/
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Old 08-27-2015, 12:52 AM   #15
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One of the exhibits was a steam logging show from a museum on Vancouver Island, complete with a working Shay locomotive (similar to Hawgwash's photo in Post 10), a three or four spool steam donkey, and a steam-powered drag saw. They operated this stuff every day, using the donkey to move logs back and forth between a truck and a skeleton log car and the steam drag saw to buck logs into sections. One thing that impressed me was how quiet steam is compared to gasoline and diesel engines.
I was born into this stuff.
This is Englewood, now Beaver Cove, south of Port McNeil in the 40s.
My dad ran the steam crane. In later years, I was a steam engineer in the Powell River Mill and ran all sorts of steam equipment there. Compressors, turbines and even donkeys. Great machines and yes other than the buzz of paying out cable or a valve slap all you heard was the release of steam. so clean too.

Not steam any more but there are still logging trains operating on the Island in the Nimpkish Valley.

The last pic is the entire school. One room, one teacher. all grades.
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Old 08-27-2015, 01:07 AM   #16
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To make sure I keep it suitable for a TF, we all cruise right over some of these old pieces. Everything on the coast had to be barged and some didn't make it. Lots of iron in some of those lakes and passes.
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Old 08-27-2015, 01:38 AM   #17
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Hawgwash, thanks for this thread. Very cool history. I noticed in the photo of the cross cut saw in use, the men are standing on planks driven into the tree. Is this because lower to the ground the tree was too thick for the length of the saw? That's a monster tree.
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Old 08-27-2015, 02:10 AM   #18
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Hawgwash, thanks for this thread. Very cool history. I noticed in the photo of the cross cut saw in use, the men are standing on planks driven into the tree. Is this because lower to the ground the tree was too thick for the length of the saw? That's a monster tree.
You are on the right track HopCar.
There are a couple of reasons they used a "springboard" to get above the "butt swell" but mainly it was a time saver.
Too wide for the saw? Naw, they'd just order up a longer saw.
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Old 08-27-2015, 02:22 AM   #19
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Yours truly at the controls of a two-truck Shay logging locomotive:

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Old 08-27-2015, 02:56 AM   #20
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Yours truly at the controls of a two-truck Shay logging locomotive:

A lot of those old locies were bought and sold all up and down the coast.
I bet that Shay you're sittin' in did time in WA and OR for different outfits.

Lots of Baldwin iron here.
Climax and Shay.

A 3 truck shay still sitting in Beaver Cove where it fell off a barge 75 years ago.
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