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C. C. Wilson Lumber Co.
Compiled by Mike Clark

This photo, dated 1908, was identified as the C. C. Wilson Mill located at Hudson. It was noted that the picture was part of the Blaine Harr Collection, now in the hands of the Tom McCaskey family.

It was reported in the April 1906 issue of "The Packages" magazine1 that the "C. C. Wilson Lum. Co., Rainier, Ore., will build saw mill." The owner was Chan C. Wilson.2 On September 9, 1908 the lumber Mill was destroyed in a fire (see article below). At the time of the of the fire C. C. Wilson had already proposed moving the mill to Rainier.

It seemed that Wilson continued his lumber operation, probably at a smaller capity, while he constructed his new mill on Rainier's water front. In the November 1909 issue of "The Timberman" it reported "C. C. Wilson Lumber Co. has been operating steadily. The company may soon resume work on the construction of its new plant on the water front. The foundation for the frame has been laid for some time."3

But the new mill on the water front was not to be. In the February 1910 issue of "The Timberman" it stated "T. W. Nordby and M. Olson, of Portland, have incorporated the National Lumber Co. and acquired the interest of C. C. Wilson in a water front mill site at Rainier. A 100,000-capacity band mill will be installed; the foundation for the plant having been laid for some time. It is the intention of the new company to have the mill in operation about June 1."4

Wilson had a daughter named Alice who fell victim of an attempted assault per the April 1910 issue of the "The Timberman." "Miss Alice Wilson, daughter of C. C. Wilson, of the C. C. Wilson Lumber Co., Rainier, Ore., was the victim of an attempted assault by an unknown miscreant, April 8. Miss Wilson is the bookkeeper for the lumber company and was returning home from the office when attacked. Her screams speedily brought help and frightened away her assailant."5

The last mention of the lumber mill was found in the Polk's business directory for 1911-1912.

C. C. Wilson Lumber Co. fire September 9, 1908

Newspaper clipping from the (Portland) Evening Telegram

September 9, 1908


C. C. Wilson, of Rainier, Loses $34,000 in Sawmill Fire.

[Telegram Coast Special.]

RAINIER. Or., Sept. 9.-Years of hard work by C. C. Wilson, principal proprietor of the C. C. Wilson Lumber Company, were lost early this morning when the sawmill of this company, 250,000 feet of lumber, five cars of lumber in the dry kiln, $5,000 worth of machinery put in this Summer, and other equipment were destroyed. Mr. Wilson's loss is $47,000. His insurance is $13,000, which will meet his outstanding debts, leaving him where he was when he began to build up the big plant years ago.

A sailor working at the plant wakened at 3 A. M. and built a fire in the bunkhouse. At 4 A. M. he wakened again, but saw no sign of fire. At 4:30 the blaze was discovered, having started in the planer shed. Two men were asleep in the fireroom and no night watchman was in evidence. Flay Aldred, the watchman, took his blankets and left during the conflagration. So fierce was the blaze that cinders were found in another sawmill yard two and a half miles distant. It was so quick that a nearby tenement house was scorched before the inmates were aroused.

Six weeks more would have finished work at his plant, when Mr. Wilson proposed to move the mill to Rainier and cut during the Winter months. Three previous fires have been discovered this Summer, but all were put out without any damage. There was no fire in the slab pit this morning and no wind, so the origin of the blaze is hardly understood. Many orders are left unfilled.

A September 9, 1908 newspaper clipping of the C. C. Wilson fire, filed at the Rainier Oregon Historical Museum.


(1) The Packages - Volume 9 - Page 63, April 1906 (click here for link).
(2) Polk's business directory for 1909-1910
(3) The Timberman - Volume 11 - Page 32A, November 1909 (click here for link).
(4) The Timberman - Volume 11 - Page 48M, February 1910 (click here for link).
(5) The Timberman - Volume 11 - Page 43, April 1910 (click here for link).

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