50‘s photos from the Blagen Mill
12 Jun 2007
These photos are from a box of slides taken in late 1958 and early 1959
This is the Blagen Mill in White Pines which was located at about the far end of today’s White Pines Lake.
Clicking on these thumbnails will give you a larger image
Although I originally thought that this might be the largest log ever brought into the mill, it wasn’t. According to Bruce Linebaugh, his brother Glenn brought in the largest log ever to come into the Blagen Mill. It was over 10 feet in diameter and weighed in the neighborhood of 60,000 lbs. In this picture of a very large log, the driver standing in front of the small end of the log is Chief Walker. The “Chief” was a very well liked driver for Doc Linebaugh. He was part American Indian, but the nickname was said with respect and regard. While unloading a load at the Wallace Mil, a log fell on him, injuring him severely. He recovered sufficiently to work at maintenance for Doc Linebaugh. He and his family lived in White Pines.
The butt end of that Yellow Pine. A log this big couldn’t be handled by the saw mill without splitting it into smaller pieces. This could be done with black powder, dynamite, or cut with a chain saw with a long bar.
Crane at the mill’s log deck loading logs to be taken to the mill pond. Dan Liechty, the loader is loading with bell hooks. Notice that he is holding a rope attached to one of the bell hooks.
Some technical discussion of what you are seeing in this photo. It is winter at the mill, and the crew is taking logs from the log deck to the mill pond. The crane shown is probably the one shown out in the woods in the section of this web site about Linebaugh Logging. The mill has not yet acquired its own crane, so uses one of the two Linebaugh cranes after they have been brought in from the woods. The Cat shown in this picture is “skinned” by Bill Wakefield and is used to build the deck during the logging season. The log is being lifted by a sling attached to the log with two bell hooks. (You can see these bell hooks at the museum) The hooks, as you can see if you look closely, are offset from the center with one being left of center and the other being right of center. If they were both aligned with the center there would be danger of the log being slabbed, in other words having a piece torn off of it. Dan will use the rope that is attached to the bell hook to remove the hook after the log is in place. Bill Wakefield says that Dan is the toughest man he ever knew. One day, a bell hook point stabbed Dan in the mouth removing a number of teeth, among other damage. Dan sopped up the blood and continued to work until the job was done. Tough indeed.
Loggers preparing to split a log with an electric chain saw. The big yellow piece of machinery is a portable generator.
This type of a boom was known as a gin pole and this one was used to unload trucks at the mill.
Logger Bill Wakefield of Murphys contemplating work
Logger retrieving a sinker log from the pond. Hard to see the logger.