Logging in the Widgeon by the Swiss

Recently, I had the privilege of driving a one-time Widgeon logger on a trip down his own memory lane.  Ab Harvey, now 91 years of age, had logged that specific area from the late-1940s to about 1960.  In that latter year, a Swiss company had been contracted to facilitate the logging of the high mountain benchland on the northeast side of Burke Mountain.  Ab’s job was to gradually make his way up the mountainside- a strenuous effort in itself – to a level area where a significant stand of large fir had been located.  Once there, Ab felled those trees, the cut logs from which were then ‘skylined’ down to the valley floor by the ingenious Swiss high-skyline rigging and dumped in very close proximity to Quarry Road.

Currently, though, while on the valley floor, Ab initially struggled with the placement of the location of that one-time Swiss high-skyline log dumping ground.  The growth of standing trees during the subsequent six decades had dramatically deteriorated the visibility of the nearby mountains, to the point where he initially had difficulty confirming the Swiss high-crane log piling area.  However, Ab’s careful recollections of his early observations paid off in the end, with his establishing that location with a fair degree of certainty.  Quarry Road traverses a level stretch, immediately south of the E-W creek that flows down to Widgeon Creek, below the current Widgeon Campground.  It was on that stretch of Quarry Road, just south of that creek, that the Swiss high skyline rigging had dumped the logs that had been cut much higher up on Burke Mountain’s slopes.

Once again, a local resident was able to add an additional patch to our history quilt.


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