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Art Prints

The Big Mill, Art Print

In 1906, the C.A. Smith Lumber & Manufacturing Co. began operations in the coastal area of Coos Bay, Oregon, then called Marshfield. Their head rig consisted of 2 band saws, one a 9-ft. double-cut and the other a 10-ft. single-cut, taking 42-ft. and 80-ft. length logs. The mill operated with 2 shifts, cutting 750,000 board feet of Sitka Spruce, Port Orford White Cedar, and Douglas Fir per shift. The company employed 250–300 people in the mill exclusive of woods and other personnel. The mill was huge, having its own narrow gauge railroad for handling lumber within the mill's yard and deep water docks. This mill had a 5-band gang saw; it was the only one in the world at the time.

However, its sister mill across the slough, called the East Side Sawmill (an older mill with the same owners), had a 4-band gang saw, the first band gang saw constructed in the United States.

This painting shows part of the Coos Bay Lumber Co. mill, as it was later known, in operation in 1979. It is no longer standing and is but a memory of past glories. The Coos Head Timber Company mill (formerly the East Side Sawmill) across the slough is the oldest plant in the area and as of 1985 was still operating.

(Information from Mr. F. Willis Smith and Mr. C. Wylie Smith of the Coos Head Timber Company, and from the November 11, 1911 issue of the American Lumberman.)

The Big Mill, Art Print
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