Rainier Oregon Historical Museum

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Rainier, Oregon Logging and Lumber Mills

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Lumbering In and Around Rainier
from the Columbia County (Oregon) Historical Society booklet Volume VII, 1968, Page 28

In 1862 J. C. Gilbreath owned and operated the first cedar sawmill. It was run with an undershot water wheel. It was located near the present Hudson school. Dean Blanchard's sawmill, located where the Rainier Creamery office now stands, was established in 1864. In 1881 Jared Wilson worked with Fred Winchester on a log chute, getting out logs on the old Perrine place. Joseph Smith built a sawmill about one-half mile east of town in 1890. The first shingle mill, built in 1891, stood on the location of the Van Vleet mill. It was ruined by the 1894 high water. About 1900 Jacob Brous built a door factory where the present cheese factory stands. (This was moved from Pittsburg in the Nehalem Valley). It was sold to Mr. Patch and Mr. Plue. After it burned in 1892, the owners rebuilt the Columbia River Door Factory farther west, near the location of Van Vleet's mill. This was destroyed by fire in 1915. Olsen and Norby operated a very complete and up to date shingle mill in 1903.

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