From the Magazine
I am very mechanical minded. If anyone would like to offer your sympathies to Gerards Sister Dilani Nesanpillai in States her telephone number and her Aunt Mrs. The carriage rides on tracks, like a railroad car. I worked in the mill before going into aviation in It was good exercise for an 18 year old and has stood me well and I feel I could still do it at
It looks like a green operation to me using their wood waste to heat the boiler. I toured this mill and took a number of photos. This mill is a throwback to the past and I love the history. After college, I worked in the Weyerhaeuser sawmill in Springfield, Oregon.
They had a 10 foot bandmill for the large logs but everything was pretty much computerized at the time. The smells, the flow through the mill, and skill sets required by the various machine operators will also be remembered. Thanks for sharing the Hull-Oakes story. Dad was a logger and pony-sawyer skilled labor. Nineteen sixty-seven, , Dad remarked how many people lost their jobs, how many families were no longer there. How he greived that year. Our town housed one of the largest sawmills in the British Commonwealth, owned at the time by B.
These pictures bring back a lot of memories for me as my father was the chargehand electrician for many years and I worked part time in the mill while in high school and post secondary school. This series of photos and descriptions of the mill workings is a treasure and should be in a museum for posterity. May I suggest sending it to the forestry museum in Duncan, B. It is very closely reminiscent of all that I remember in Youbou. Well done to those who developed it.
My dad worked in the woods and then in sawmills and planer mills all his working life. By the time I can remember he was working in a planer mill in Junction City, Oregon for his brother-in-law, Don Shelton. These pictures provoke wonderful memories of my childhood and visiting daddy at the mill! Thank you for the trip down memory lane and a more gentle time. Thanks to Grant Cunningham for the link. One of the last steam powered mills in the east was torn down to make way for the Georgia Dome in Atlanta about 20 years ago.
I used to go there to pick up bundles of survey stakes. I loved to stop by and watch the mill run. Thanks for a wonderful presentation. It brought back memories of my first job out of High School. With corked shoes I snagged the logs, pulled them into the mill, cut to length and split them to shingle bolt size.
It was good exercise for an 18 year old and has stood me well and I feel I could still do it at I purchased the the old Car-Win cedar mill in Forks Wa. It cut old growth cedar and exported it all over the world. Before I dismantled the mill I took hundreds of photos and of course recognize many of the same equipment as was in your presentation.
I restored the straddle buggy and take it for a short ride now and then. This mill was not steam operated but it took so much power that when it started all the light in Forks dimmed. This mill also had planers and they sold a finished cedar product.
Thanks again Respectfully Bill Sperry. I toured the mill last fall and still have short videos of the headrig cutting huge timbers on my cell phone. This was an absolute treat. Nice to have keepsakes around. It is great to see a wonderful mill like this still in operation. I have a large circle saw 64inch in front of my house powered by a steam engine.. It has an atlas engine with a 10 inch bore and 14 inch stroke.. The headblocks are adjustable, so something a little larger could be set up for.
The boiler is horizontal and has 92 3 inch flues 14 ft one inch long in it. The great area is five by nine feet. We fire it on slabs and railroad ties. The engine is an Atlas manufactured in Indianapolis Indiana.
The flywheel is about five feet in diameter and 14 inches wide. It drives a 10 inch flat belt which goes to the husk and an edger. Sawdust is carried out by a drag chain.
I have a machine shop next door in which all the lumber except the poles was sawed on this mill. Schwenk passed away a few years after setting up this mill. He had always wanted one. He also owned a horsepower Nichols Sheppard engine, a A. Baker engine and a Minneapolis engine,and his fathers engine a M. Rumley engine built here in La Porte Indian. The baker engine was his favorite. Baker had invented a very modern valve gear for the engine, and was sought after by many railroads to put his steam efficient valve gear on their engines.
I new have a two cylinder upright westinghouse single acting engine to be used for the swing cut off saw, and a two cylinder water pump engine. We also have a twin cylinder pumping engine one injector,and a manual pump for water in the boiler. You just cant beat the smells and sounds of a saw mill running cutting oak and steaming steam cylinder oil in the air.
My hat goes off to you guys there for keeping your mill operating. I guess I am showing my age. I was lucky enough to run all the steam locomotives at Cedar Point in Sandusky Ohio for two summers. I pulled five cars four trips an hour and hauled three hundred and fifty passengers on every trip. The second year I not only ran the engines, but fired, took on water, and shovelled the coal into the tenders every morning by hand by myself.
We had the old waste stuffed journals and I oiled them all every morning. I also started the fires, blew out the flews with a steam hose to knock out the excess soot. My friend Don was one of the last to shock wheat and oats and corn here so he could thresh it with his old advance rumley separator. Come to Indiana in the fall to our threshing show. I was one of the founders about 25 to 30 years ago.
By the way the boiler on our mill formerly heated the New York Central track pan in Chesterton Indiana, and was hauled over to this area on a wagon drawn by horses. Best Regards, Rich Lidke I have a video of our mill on here made by a friend. Thankyou for a wonderful journey through the operations of an old Steam driven sawmill. Thank you, and I hope the mill still keeps going for generations to come. If at all possible, young children age should see this process to become aware of the hard ardous work necessary to obtain wood down to paper.
We are honing in on becoming more green and appreciative of nature but a hands on visible look would be worth a thousand words. I am very impressed and enjoyed reading about the process of a tree.
Later, my father and his brother took over the operation around In my cousin and myself both started working on the mill and in the woods of central PA cutting timber and running the backend of the mill. We would take the lumber off the edger and stack it and cut all the slabs and edgings to either fire wood size or slabs for firing the brick yard kilms. We sold the sawdust also. This story really brought back the memories from that time. We supplied a lot of ties to the railroad and prime oak for hardwood flooring.
We also subblied ash blanks to be turned into handles and baseball bats. We also custom cut lumber for many special projects including homes and other buildings which required special timbers. It was quite an experience.
One of the stories my father told me about my grandfather was that when he was young, he lived in a logging camp. On Saturdays, the logging camps would get together and each camp would have a camp champion to box bare knuckle. My grandfather was champion for a number of years and according to Dad, wan never defeated. A very enjoyable and informative presentation.
I learned quite a bit with each picture. I love history information like this and hopefully it will stay around for many years for others to see and learn from. I sure am glad that I have taken the tour and being from California, plan on coming up north to take the physical tour so I can see, hear and smell the complete process.
I hope that will be o. I was sent this by a friend who knows my interest in steam power. But I found the whole mill operation absolutely fascinating. An operation like this is a one of a kind thing and deserves to be kept in use as long as possible. I noticed that they say the steam engines have less trouble than anything else they could use.
Unfortunately boilers are maintenance intensive by comparison. Thanks for all the work to put this together. I grew up with this mill. My dad worked there until he died in I spent my summers during high school with Hull family across the road from the mill.
Field trip to San Francisco when in sixth grade spent the night on The C. Thayer and did all the stuff that was done on the ship back when it was in operation. Great photos of mill. It should not be closed down. I graded lumber after it was dried in the kilns for a few years and then changed to the river crew, where I fed logs into the mill in a steel cable hoist, up to the head rig. I sometimes worked as an off bearer behind the head rig, but finally transferred to the log dump.
I ran the cantilever dump, lifting the entire loads off of the trucks and dumping them into the river where they were sorted and graded to be formed into rafts and stored until needed by the mill.
Then the truck trailers were loaded back onto the trucks, so they could return to the woods for another load. IP built a paper mill next to the saw mill and plywood plant, and used the slabs from squaring up the logs to chip into pieces to digest into paper pulp. The logs had to be barked before they could use them, so they were cold decked and not dumped into the river anymore.
The old cantilever dump was sold to a shipyard across the river in Reedsport to lift boats onto the drydock. IP cut all of their timber and shipped it to China. Leaving Gardiner like so many other lumber towns in the Pacific Northwest. I walked and sorted the logs before sending them into the mill. But, it sort of made me mad as I sat and thought about it. We live in a country where the ones who are rewarded most handsomely are those who produce absolutely nothing of value.
Here, we have workers who actually work, yet more and more of their country is owned by the bankers, lawyers and speculators, those who have produced little of value for our country. Long live sawmill workers. I just called them up and asked if I could visit and they said yes. While I was there, one of the employees took me on a tour. Same thing the second time I went. You should make a video and get this on a program like This Old House. What a great story and my hat is off to those that have spent their life working at this mill.
I moved from N. Last year they closed the mill at Frenchtown and the Lumber mill at Bonner,Mt. It is appalling that we now send our logs over to China to get made into different products and when they are finished they are shipped back to the U. I have seen this when I drove Truck picking up loads from the docks in Ca.
Ironically I have even been sent to deliver loads and pick them up at the papermill plant in Frenchtown,Mt.. I can remember everything coming from Japan when I was growing up and now our country is suffering from loss of jobs because our politicians,bankers and government has sold us short.
Now we know that these groups have been lying about what is really going on and they did this so they could get government-taxpayer money over all these years for their special programs. Our government and politicians are letting this happen. Forest fires destroy more trees than a logger can cut in a hundred years. Trees can be grown and harvested just like crops of wheat,barley etc.
Maybe we can turn this around and start producing in our own country again soon. The woods, the mill, made boxes, doors and the town. The mill saws could handle giant sugar pine logs cut from the slopes of Mt. One never forgets the smell and whistles of a company owned lumber town. And a previous comment was true: Blessed to have followed my Dad into forest products, and to have spent some time in old sawmills both as a laborer, and as a safety professional. The sounds, the feel of the wood, the aroma of freshly sawn timber, and the satisfaction of surviving yet another damn difficult day hard-at-it, are unforgetable memories.
But the best part of it all — and the single most endearing aspect of Hull-Oakes, is the folks who work there and live that life-style as close as you can find to how it was. All that old technology, and the effort they put into maintaining their historic designation is impressive to say the least. It is by Green Frog Productions, Ltd. It is very well done, tracking a log through the process just as your photo essay does.
This was on the Menominee Indian Reservation in NE Wisconsin which had some of the last remaining old-growth timber left of the great forests that once covered most of that state. The mill was unusual in that it was built by the US government to provide an industry for the tribe, so the main mill building was of cast concrete, sturdy enough that it still operates today. Back then, it was still powered by a big steam engine, and the sights, sounds, smells and overall action of all the saw carriage, jacks, moving chains and workers was immensely fascinating for a 7 year old.
And still is for a 68 year old! I lived near Placerville, CA. Not many had bandsaws, most used circular saws, one mounted above the other which permitted them to cut large logs.
The circular saw blades had removable teeth, occasionaly a tooth would come off and go through the roof of the mill. Most lumber was not planned, homes were built with rough lumber. A two by four was acually that size and had lots of splinters, must have been tough being a carpenter in those days. I worked as a log setter in a small mill in Riddle Or. I was a timber faller for some time. All the logs shown in these pictures are douglas fir. I fell thousands of them, some even larger than any pictured.
I got out of the woods in I worked as a furniture salesman for 30 years. I met Mrs hull at Blackledge furniture in Corvallis Or. I was out to her home several times and sold her a lot of things over the years.
The family was all wonderful. She had a large log house built over by Bend Or. One of the store decorators furnished it for her. Barker would to me imply to place the bark onto the log. Other areas may use different terms. I think you have the time of Mr. Hulls death wrong, it must have been ,it was some time before I retired in I worked in sawmills Bandsaw mill such as the sawmill Pictured located in Hilis, CA from age 18 years of age until I was The teeth on the back of the bandsaw also served to cut pieces of the log that may spring out after the sawyer went through the cut.
We referred to the teeth as splinter teeth. I was the person that rode the carriage and was called a ratchett setter. Pictures bring back many memories from into My dad work for the Kerr Lumber co. He not only worked in the saw mill but was the engineer of the train that hauled the logs out of the forest.
I was born at that time but he used to tell us about it. My mother would talk about it also. He died in I have part of one of the boards found in an old barn that was torn down several years ago. Nothing like the smell of fresh cut wood and the beauty of a finished object made of wood. What a great, great presentation, but just as interesting have been all the follow up comments, so many by people in my age bracket, i. Incredible memories, and I saw most of the large mills in CA when I was a woods rat cruising timber.
I am surprised to see that there is still at least one log pond around. Once the big handling equipment that LeTourneau, Cat and Euclid built came on the scene, most mills turned to log yards, sorting on land instead of water. Beyond the head rig the conveyor system could handle only small dimension stuff. If they were cutting an RR tie or a large square, once it was to dimension the sawyer would bring back the carriage at full speed, the dogs would be lifted, and when the carriage came to a stop the timber would shoot back out of the mill, fall some 20 feet, and land in the pond with a gigantic splash.
Could give you quite a start if you were driving by and not expecting it. I used to work in a lumber yard back in Ames, Iowa for several years. I received your presentation from friends in Central Oregon this morning and how great it is. I have read every one of the comments and much to my suprise there are none from Anacortes, WA, where we had two huge sawmills, a pulp mill, a plywood mill, and a dozen shingle mills, plus numerous individual shake cutters.
Wood and fish was our life blood on this island. I grew up hanging out at our local shinglemill on Similk bay at Summit Park, and knew every hand there. IT was all steam, as all our mills were. My dad worked in the logging industry before me.
Years later as an engineer and business owner, I converted two steam mills to Hydraulic. The first at Johnsondale, CA a complete company owned town and mill and the second was a smaller mill at Davenport, CA. I did live in the Bloedel-Donovon Owners house in Bellingham, Washington in that over looked their mill. Thanks for sharing this wonderful piece of history.
I have driven by this mill you showcased many times. The lovely old log trucks were out though and made for great photographs. The sawmill is going to be open to the public for a tour on May 18, as a part of Historic Preservation Month.
I grew up in the Wauconda Area Graduated from Republic High schoo in , As a kid I used to help a friend of the family cut railroad ties I used to use a sort of knife like article and cut the bark off of the ties that he cut. Made a dollar a day then after a stint in the Army after being discharged in I worked in a steam powered saw mill in Tonasket, Washington for quite some time so I really enjoyed this article Thanks again for bringing back fond memories Bill Fischer.
I visited Hull Oakes a few years ago and found it fascinating. Now I am involved in a writing project involving specific elements of Oregon history and would like to use this story as a resource, with permission. When I got out of the Navy in 79 my new bride lived in Corvallis. We moved from Georgia to Philomath Oregon where there was I believe 5 sawmills within the city limits or very close to it. I went for a millwright position at Pedee lumber company, which had already been filled.
The owner did me a favor since we were both navy men from the black gang boiler rooms he put me on as the off bearer by the big bandmill. I soon began to wonder if he really did me a favor or not, when you work in one of these old mills where most all of the work was manually done, there was know slowing down and you generally had more than one job at a time. If you worked in one of these mills and lasted, you were a real man.
Thanks for the memories. I am in the process of setting up a small mill in the back of my place, not to really make money but to enjoy the sounds and smells of logs being milled. Some guys want bass boats, I prefer a sawmill.
Sawmill in Monroe, Oregon. There also has been one book written about the mill, its processes and history. Here is the citation:. A Case Study in Industrial Archaeology. Keep up the good work. What an excellent documentary of the mill and the timber industry. It brings back a flood of memories as my entire family has been involved in the industry in one way or another for over years. The company would later become Publishers Paper Co. Sadly, the mill was recently forced into bankruptcy when it was unable to compete with the Chinese for raw materials.
My Grandfather started a career in the woods in Alsea maintaining a steam donkey for the logging operations. He later moved to the Hull-Oaks mill in maintenance to work on the steam engines there. To know the toughness of these folks, my Grandfather talked of the times that he would walk from Alsea to Corvallis for food provisions for the family. That is an uphill walk back of some 22 miles carrying a load of groceries!
During the depression, another group took the risks and constructed a plywood mill in Albany. This mill used steam power for the lathe while the balance of the machinery was electric. The electric power came from two steam turbine generators that had sufficient generation capacity to run the entire city of Albany in an emergency.
The steam was also used in the dryers to dry the veneer. At times the peeler blocks were so large in diameter that they would be chucked off center and rocked back and forth to cut down one side and then re-chucked to clear the floor. During World War II, these thick panels of plywood were used for the carrier decks on our aircraft carriers.
I started my career in wood products at this mill; learning to run every machine station there was while going to college, studying in the field of accounting.
Later, as a CPA working for a national accounting firm in Portland, I would return to this mill to audit the books as an independent accountant. Sadly, this mill too is gone; lost to the Spotted Owl controversy that closed down logging operations for so many mills. One of my major clients turned out to be Publishers Paper Co. Later, I would leave public accounting and take various accounting positions with Publishers.
I later moved on to other wood produicts companies finally retiring. I still build from wood and will until I die. In my early years I would pass through the mill many times on my way to hunt for deer in the hills west of the mill and later on, to ride motorcycles all over those hills. If you knew the old dirt log roads well enough you could ride all the way to the Oregon Coast. The guys at the mill were always friendly and would wave as you went by or stop you on your way out from hunting to inquire of your luck.
The sound of the screaming saws, the steam engine, debarker and the mill overall was a symphony of pure pleasure.
Finally, being politically incorrect, as most timber folks are, I will note that the favored term for the articulated arm on the carriage that turns the log is the Nigger.
Thanks for a great story of real America. I was a personal friend to Ralph Hull. He wanted the mill to continue after his death and his genius was in acquiring timber ownership to leave as a continueing raw material supply. The mill does not run exclusively on Ralph Hull timber but I sincerely doubt if it could still operate without the private timber holding. Ralph was a Good Samaritan. Not only are the folks at Hull-Oakes fine and respectful, they are intelligent as well.
There are no computer-operated machines in the mill; every operator is working with the computer in his or her head. Furthermore, every log cut is to meet a specific order, which can vary from one log to many, and from small to large as the photos showed.
It is an unusual and remarkable place. Thanks for a great photographic record. I just read this online and I wanted to tell you that I grew up around Hull-Oaks. My grandpa worked there for years until he finally retired. Even today if you ask around the mill if they knew Barney, they would. Also my uncle still works up there has since he was 18 years old.
My father worked there off and on when I was growing up. I really enjoyed reading what you wrote. I hope you get a chance to go back out there and do another article. I throughly engoyed this entire article. I am an old fan of steam power in every application and am fortunate to live only one 1 mile from a steam traction engine museum here in Portland, Tn.
The museum also contains over gasoline, diesel and kerosine powered tractors on steel and rubber tracks or wheels. They belt up many different tractors and Traction Engines to it to cut the mostly popular and oak logs. It was donated to the Celebration and most effectively powered by the owner of several Keck-Gonnerman engines. They can bee seen, heard, and smelt working away every October on the first week-end. Right off of state rd. Come see us, and Remember,…….
Beautiful job on this site thanks Wayne. Gary Katz I would like to thank you for your work and photos on the Hull-Oakes mill. As a young man I had one of the best childhoods growing up there, I wish every kid could have had that growing up and this world would be a better place. My father worked for Diamond Match Lumber Co. He past away at 47yrs. However the memories that your story stirred, when we would cut the pine and redwood boards, oh the fragrance, working late in the night to get the orders out for next day deliveries.
As you can see I have started a small lumber company just because I love it, certainly not for the money. Can you tell me if Hull-Oakes mill has someone there that I can contact to visit them? Once again, thank you for preserving the past. Found your site thru the net. That is a cool machine and history too. My husband has managed to line up a Coutts 2 head rig.
I have contacted All Blades Canada and they have gave a place in Ont to get the blade to be pounded and order the bits. My question is is there a place in western Canada that we can get the blade pounded and order bits.
The timber industry used to be huge there. I knew a young man who, while working in a mill, got hit by a piece of the band saw blade when it hit a spike.
Yes, someone spiked logs in protest of certain logging practices. In researching to write about that incident, I came across your site and found the info very helpful and fascinating as well. This is a great article. Video of those saws in operation would have been amazing. A great story of a successful American family-owned and operated business. I have been in the reclaimed lumber bus.
Our source of material comming from buildings of the Industrial rev. I noticed they had a hand sign to sawer to tell what size of cut. That was developed in the south found in the book The Fasinating Lumber business. Plywood in Eugene, Oregon. Does anyone have photographs, videos, or documentation of any kind on the lathe?
But I am sad. I was there Friday and loaded some beautiful timbers from there on my truck. I should have asked for a tour: The guy who describes the screaming motors and overwhelming noise and vibration all around you as a symphony of pure pleasure obviously has NO clue of what it is really like to come out alive at the end of the day. Pure Terror and broken backs.
Smashed legs and feet. Bill Oakes gave first-aid, probably saving his life. Offbearing that band saw was a near death experience every day! As for those back teeth ,I once saw them cut several feet and 4 inches deep in a log because the setter hit the wrong lever while backing up. Later, they did lose a band which almost decapitated Ralph K while cutting it out. I was laughed at for diving for safety.
My brother was stuffed onto that band saw table by an unaware timber sawyer, almost breaking his legs and inches from those shark teeth. As carrier driver which was one of the best jobs, I had a choice between one carrier with only a hand brake and one s vintage carrier that smoked so bad it would make me sick.
Admittedly this was later remedied with some better machines. They are all still there lined up like a museum. I had never seen one of the pond boats out of the water until recently. It is being repaired for current use. Undoubtedly the ugliest boat ever built. So stare in wonder, I still do.
Thanks for the extensive article about the Hull-Oaks Sawmill. I was re-reading an article about the mill in one of my old issues of Invention and Technology, Spring, I Googled the mill and came upon your article.
I teach engineering and art in two middle schools in Oregon and hope to someday show your photos to my students. It was hard and dirty work, but I loved the smells of the fresh cut woods and their resins aroma. Thank you for this wonderful web site. This should be on the history channel as it is so vital to what we are and how we started out. Washington was our first steam mill developed by Pope and Talbot after President Lincoln gave them 15, acres of timber in Washington State.
The thing that impressed me the most was the work ethic of the personnel. The story is great. From an old logger lady who worked in a logging camp starting in Then transferred to Weyerhaeuser in My husband worked in a small sawmill in North Bend, WA. Am looking for any more info about the mill. If you could e-mail me please. I am an HO railroad builder and would love to model this mill and adjacent buildings and town if there is one nearby. He was married to my mother, Pauline Kyle, from Alpine.
They are no longer living. Oh how I wish I could show him this photo essay and ask him what roll he played. I know he worked in the office but maybe started out in the mill?
Are there records of those that worked at the Mill in years past? Thank you, Paula Eubanks Smith. I was 9 years. The mill had burned down and dad rebuilt it. The planer was there and the 2 boilers survived. They bought used equipment from a mill in central Oregon by Interstate 5. Our carriage gun was shot. We could cut 30 ft logs. The gang saw was powered by its own steam engine as was the whole planer mill.
I have an aerial picture from era. These mills used to be all up and down the Pacific northwest. Shotgun was the old term for a long cylinder that connected directly to the carriage. They called it a shotgun because the steam pressure could be built up by the sawyer, and he could literally shoot the carriage back. Some of the old timers tell stories of getting a green setter on the carriage and knocking him off his seat with a quick blast to the back end.
Lived in Coos Bay Or. Did everything but run the Headrig. Unfortunaly, the mill site is now a casino now. But still think I could walk around and show people where every bit of equipment was. Hate to see the lumber industry go to hell. When I was a kid my dad showed me your mill. More carriage then I have ever seen. Interesting to say the least.
I would love to hear the operation. This is the mix of industry and nature. Thanks for sharing the photographs. My grandfather was a sawyer. There are three saw mills — pole mills in the town where I live. I love the finished products moving out on trucks And I enjoy watching the process. There are four foresters in the congregation I pastor that also help to re-forest the land.
Through some methods of management, these foresters have perfected, there is timber plenty to supply the demand and stay ahead of the curve. This was a very interesting article.
I am a wood turner and it is very interesting to see the processing of log to lumber. Thank you for such a rich and historical article. I grew up there for the first 6 years of my life and learned to swim in the mill pond. When the mill closed, 2 years after the death of my grandfather, It became deserted and falling down. They thought it would be a great place to live and raise their children.
They moved in and rebuilt the homes, grocery store, school house and church. It is now a wonderful place to visit and stir up allot of old memories. Here he plays familiar fiddle tunes with verve and flair. He is backed up by the crew that usually played with him. Fourteen original and seven traditional fiddle tunes performed by three of the Northwest's top old time and bluegrass musicians.
This production is lively, but mellow. Selected as one of "the very best recordings, to be found anywhere, of " by the Sing Out! Vivian Williams - fiddle, with various backup ensembles: Phil Williams, guitar, mandolin; Barney Munger, banjo: Vivian Williams, noted Pacific Northwest champion and dance fiddler, has written a lot of fiddle tunes, some of which have been recorded by others.
This CD includes 33 tunes that Vivian composed, and that were recorded with various backup ensembles ranging from just guitar to dance ensembles and bluegrass, from to This collection includes reels, hornpipes, waltzes, jigs, schottisches, strathspeys, airs, and other tunes that bring out her sensitivity to style and mood.
The styles range from square, contradance, and ballrrom music to "oldtime" and bluegrass. She has won over fifty fiddle contests, playing mostly in the traditional old time dance style of the Pacific Northwest, where she grew up and learned fiddling. The late Joe Pancerzewski is considered by many to have been the Northwest's greatest old time Canadian-style fiddler.
He grew up on the family homestead near White Earth, North Dakota, and learned to play from his neighbors, the Nelson Brothers. By age 12 he was riding out on horseback with them to play dances in schoolhouses around the region. He became a professional dance fiddler in the 's, first in Saskatchewan and later in Bellingham, Washington. In he went to work for the railroad, and in became an engineer and put his fiddle away.
When he retired in , he returned to fiddling and became a top show performer and winner of many fiddle contests throughout the U. He is one of the greatest waltz fiddlers we have ever known.
Traditional tunes from the "Little Dixie" area, the mother lode of Missouri fiddling, played by master fiddlers from this region, Howard "Rusty" Marshall and John Williams. Some of the tunes are familiar to many fiddlers, though the style in which they are played may not be so familiar.
Other tunes are unique to this region. All are played very well with traditional backup by Arkansas Red. Great performances by the king of the Texas fiddle, recorded in the 's by Phil Williams in Voyager's facilities, at concerts, and at jam sessions. Benny plays a wide variety of tunes on this recording, including Irish reels and hornpipes, tunes in cross tuning, old time tunes learned from his father, as well as the "Texas" style tunes for which he is famous. The tunes for this CD were selected for performance quality and uniqueness by Pete Martin and Vivian Williams from many hours of recordings of Benny in the Voyager archives.
Fine fiddling in unique Norwegian-American and Celtic styles. Jeff Anderson is from Waterville, Washington, and has been playing for shows and dances for over thirty years.
Both of his grandfathers were Norwegian style fiddlers from North Dakota, and he is carrying on the musical traditions of his family. One of the smoothest players anywhere!
Vivian Williams - fiddle, guitar, vocals; Phil Williams - guitar, mandolin, banjo, vocals. Phil and Vivian Williams have been playing dances and shows throughout the West for over 50 years.
This CD features fiddle tunes, mandolin tunes, songs, and even an old time fretless banjo tune, representative of traditional music found in the Pacific Northwest. Lee Stripling grew up in a musical family in Kennedy, Alabama. Lee's repertoire ranges from his dad's tunes to western swing music and sweet pop songs of the Depression and Wartime years, to tunes learned recently from younger fiddlers.
Sweet fiddling, sweet songs. At the end of a long day on the Oregon Trail, the pioneers often played musical instruments, sang, and danced on the prairie beside the covered wagons. Here are some of the tunes mentioned in their diaries, as well as other popular dance tunes of the era, played in old time style on fiddle, guitar, banjo and accordion.
Phil and Vivian Williams grew up near the end of the Trail, have known tunes and dances of the Pacific Northwest's pioneer heritage since childhood, and are founding members of the Washington Old Time Fiddlers Association, which was formed to perpetuate the pioneer music of the region. The liner notes discuss the history of these tunes. Ye Banks and Braes. Great contra dance music! From December through February , Salmonberry produced and played for a contra dance on the second Saturday of every month in Seattle, Washington.
The style of playing was inspired by several New Hampshire and Vermont musicians and bands, by the transplanted contra dance music evolved in the San Francisco Bay area, by several English regional traditions, and by the adaptation of Irish styles to contra dance playing. This CD was recorded live at the May 11, dance. He was Missouri fiddle champion in , and his specialty is red hot versions of the famous old exhibition tunes.
Canaday is accompanied by some of the "Little Dixie" region's best backup musicians on this production. This is hot, traditional Missouri fiddling by a master fiddler in this style, recorded live.
There are extensive liner notes by Howard "Rusty" Marshall. Leroy Canaday is the complete Missouri fiddler. What the Reviewers Say Liner Notes. Gil Kiesecker was born in and raised in Anatone, Washington, in the ranching and wheat farming country of the Blue Mountains. By the time he was 9 years old he played the fiddle and performed at local dances. At age 14 he would ride on horseback 25 miles across the Grande Ronde River in Oregon to play dances from dark to daylight. His fiddling represents a truly Pacific Northwest style.
Gil is a dance fiddler's dance fiddler. Whether he's punching out a jig or a hoedown for square dancing, a stomp, waltz, schottische or a polka, there's no mistaking that this fiddler means business, and that business is dance music. Billy Lee is a legend in Missouri fiddling, both as a dance fiddler and entertainer.
His family has been in America since , and in Missouri since His fiddling reflects the German and English traditions of his family. Billy Lee came from a fiddling family and he has been playing since childhood.
He plays the old hoedowns for square dancing, the show tunes from the old Grand Ole Opry days, and plays good bluegrass fiddle. He is well known for his fine entertainment in the dance halls and jam sessions in eastern Missouri.
John Hartford credited Billy Lee as being one of his main inspirations to take up the fiddle. Recorded live in Mr. Lee's living room with full band backup on guitar, banjo, and bass, it's "toe tappin' good! There were two fiddlers on the Lewis and Clark expedition as they explored and mapped the route between St. Louis and the mouth of the Columbia River in The fiddling and dancing helped to maintain the morale of the men and to establish good relations with the Indians.
Howard Marshall fiddle, fretless and fretted banjo ; champion Northwest fiddler and historian, Vivian Williams fiddle, harpsichord ; champion Missouri fiddler John Williams fiddle, percussion ; and noted Northwest traditional musician, Phil Williams guitar, mandolin.
Many of the selections feature just two fiddles, with one fiddle backing up the other, and simple percussion. Recorded live in stereo to preserve the natural acoustic sounds of the instruments. Included is an informative booklet with histories of tunes and information about music on the expedition. This is a CD for good old time square dancing, with a couple of waltzes, a jig, and a polka thrown in, just as at a typical Western old time country dance.
The fourteen hoedowns are played long enough for most callers. Vivian Williams is one of the West's best known dance fiddlers with many national, international, and regional fiddle championships as well. Her husband, Phil Williams , has been doing these dances ever since he was a small child. While he plays almost anything with strings on it at a dance, here he sticks to mandolin and bass. Two of the recordings made by this band are still in press as CDs, and still influence present day bluegrassers.
He is one of the true masters of bluegrass style banjo. On this recording Harley's wife, Shera Bray , sticks to guitar, but in real life she also plays mandolin and fiddle, and even calls dances!
A lot of the tunes on this CD are a part of America's old time dance music heritage. A few are relatively unknown. So, get on your dancing shoes and let's all have a good old fashioned hoedown! He grew up on a wheat farm, and at an early age was working in the fields, tending cattle and wrangling horses.
His dad was a fiddler, and by the time he was in high school he was playing fiddle, guitar and Hawaiian guitar for dances in Southeast Washington and Northeast Oregon. After he retired from the grocery business in Seattle, he joined the Washington Old Time Fiddlers Association, revived many of his old tunes and picked up some new ones from other fiddlers. This is a great selection of tunes, some familiar and some not so well known, by one of the most authentic old time dance fiddlers we have met.
Floyd and his band play good old time fiddle tunes and songs as they were meant to be played for dancing and listening. He plays in the typical Pacific Northwest dance fiddler style, with a very experienced band with whom he has been playing for many years. Floyd and his band have been mainstays at old time fiddle shows in the Puget Sound area in recent years. It has been a pleasure for us to record and release this recording of Floyd and his band.
This type of fiddling, which used to be found at dance halls all over the Pacific Northwest, sadly is vanishing along with old time country dances and the dance halls. As a small child he fell asleep listening to the sound of his father's banjo and a neighbor's fiddling at local square dances.
He started playing a "cornstalk fiddle," and at age seven started playing the banjo, learning fiddle tunes from his father. A few years later he picked up the fiddle and started playing for the local square dances. Carthy plays in a generally Southern style, with a lovely sense of melody, phrasing, and bowing.
He picked up other tunes from fiddlers in the Pacific Northwest, and has been a regular performer at fiddle shows, campouts, and jam sessions in the Northwest for many years. He is accompanied here by the wonderful old time banjo playing of Jeanie Murphy, and the steady guitar of Jim Ketterman, with who he has performed for many years.
Carthy's music has been enjoyed by many listeners in the Pacific Northwest, and he has inspired many young fiddlers who have learned tunes from him. The liner notes give a fairly extensive background on Carthy. Gary Lee came from a fiddling family in Oklahoma. Among his heroes were Orville Burns, Benny Thomasson, and Clark Kessinger, and their influence shows in the liveliness, humor, and expressiveness of his fiddling.
Gary Lee is a fiddle legend in the West! Scandinavian dance music played by Jeff Anderson and his wife, Jane Johnson, with the Nordic Exposure Band and other musicians with whom they perform and play dances. Both of Jeff's grandparents were old time fiddlers of Norwegian heritage from North Dakota, and he plays in a uniquely sweet, smooth, and danceable style.
Jane Johnson has been playing dances in the Puget Sound area for many years. They both can be found with their bands at many Scandinavian dances in the Pacific Northwest. Lively Canadian-Irish-Scottish fiddling from this great Manitoba-born fiddler, recorded when he was 92 years young. He learned his tunes from fiddlers on the Canadian prairie and picked up a lot of tunes from well-known collections, such as Cole's Fiddle Tunes. He gives the tunes a personal touch that could never be depicted in a tune book!
He is one of the best fiddlers we have ever met and we are delighted to release our second CD of his outstanding playing and great choice of tunes. McMahan, from Harrisburg, Missouri, was born in and died in He developed a personal fiddle style that firmly echoes the Missouri fiddle tradition, and became a role model and teacher, both formally and informally, for a generation of young fiddlers.
His fiddling influenced, and continues to influence, fiddlers from Missouri to the Pacific Northwest as well as elsewhere. He played in a clean style, paying close attention to the demands of the tune for phrasing and styling, and applied his own sense of styling to develop many well known, as well as obscure, fiddle tunes into examples of the best of the art of fiddling.
While Pete did enter and win many fiddle contest, he is not a "contest" style fiddler, but rather one whose fiddling and interpretation of the tunes is so good that he was admired and respected by fiddlers from other traditions.
McMahan's fiddling career and many photos, and a discography and listing of articles about him on the inside of the tray card. Various artists and performing groups, including: It is sponsored by the Tenino Lions Club. They bring in musicians largely from Southwest Washington who perform in their local community halls, schools, churches, and their own living rooms.
All performers contribute their performance and the proceeds from the Festival which fills up the high school gym go to civic improvement projects in Tenino. The Lions present a broad range of performers - fiddlers, gospel groups, bluegrass, banjo bands, harmonica players, local dance bands, etc.
From through the Festival performances were recorded by us and others. We issued three Lps from these recordings in the s. This CD features a wide selection of instrumental performances from the original master tapes from these early years of the Festival. It presents a slice of true Americana seldom heard on recordings today.
Allen's dynamic and sensitive playing truly brings out the charm of the unaccompanied five string banjo and many of the styles in which it has been played over the past or so years.
The banjo became widely popular in America and Europe, and was a principal entertainment and dance instrument throughout the 19th century. It is to this day in the South and among banjo aficionados elsewhere. Except among those in the know, the tunes and playing styles that made the banjo so popular are not heard much today by the general public. This recording by Allen illustrates very well why the banjo was so well regarded in popular culture in past times, and deserves this recognition today.
He grew up with banjo music, and started learning it from his father at an early age. In over 35 years of playing he has learned many great tunes in different playing styles from many well regarded traditional players. On this recording he uses several banjos, each with its own sound and playing characteristics, and each suiting well the tunes played on it. These include his Fairbanks 7 Whyte Ladie; an s nylon strung Cole's Eclipse; a 20 pound Okie Adams; and a replica of an Boucher fretless banjo, presently in the Smithsonian collection, which he makes for present day really "old time" players.
On four of the selections, Allen is accompanied by Clif Ervin, the "Ambassador of the Bones," who grew up in East Texas in the s and started accompanying local banjo players on bones when he was seven years old.
He is still providing great rhythm to old time banjo players today, on real "bones" he makes himself! While Allen is true to the traditions of old time banjo playing, this recording is far from being an "academic" recital of banjo traditions - it lends itself well to being played and enjoyed over and over again!
It will give banjo players additional insights into the potential of the instrument and entertain those who have not yet brought the banjo into their lives. Allen, along with Clif, truly shows why the banjo became an entertainment mainstay in America and around the world. Floyd Engstrom grew up in the Puget Sound region, and was playing dances in the 's in the typical Pacific Northwest style. However, like a lot of fiddlers in the region he also was playing hymns and gospel tunes on his fiddle.
These he plays in a simple, respectful way, in keeping with his strong religious beliefs. It is a pleasure to enjoy listening to these tunes, some of which are fairly commonly known, and others that are not so well known. They bring true pleasure and inspiration. He is backed up very well on this recording by friends who have played with him at many fiddle shows and other events.
Nelly Bly, Mazourka from Mr. Dancing was one of the most important recreational activities for pioneers in the West. They danced squares, waltzes, mazurkas, schottisches, polkas, and Virginia Reels.
Many of the tunes are well known while others are hardly known today at all. Some of the tunes commonly played today without all the original parts are performed with all parts as originally written in the 19th century. The selections offer a rare insight into the broad range of tunes danced to in the Far West over years ago.
This CD is the result of extensive research into the tunes from the region's pioneer heritage by Phil and Vivian, who grew up in the Pacific Northwest playing and dancing to many of them. The Williams have played traditional music together for over forty-five years and are well known in the West as music scholars and performers of the its old time dance music.
The booklet with the CD contains extensive liner notes on pioneer dancing in the Far West and background of the tunes. John White, fiddle, with the Nine Mile Band: Master old time square dance fiddler John White comes from a fiddling family in north-central Missouri.