Logging With Steam Power


| November/December 1985



Oregon State Highway Photo

Oregon State Highway Photo.

Collier Memorial State Park located 30 miles north of Klamath Falls, Oregon, in the heart of the Ponderosa pine region is an ideal location for a museum displaying Pacific Northwest logging equipment.

In 1945 Alfred and Andrew Collier of Klamath Falls gave 146 acres of land to the State of Oregon as a memorial to their parents. Two years later the brothers began to construct a museum which would depict the evolution of logging equipment and challenge the visitor to reflect upon the past and improve the present. Today the museum is recognized as having one of the finest collections of logging equipment in the country.

Exhibits include a logger's home-stead, a blacksmith shed, and Pioneer Village, where authentic cabins (including a doctor's office, a store, etc.) are filled with artifacts and show a variety of construction techniques.

There are three buildings housing skidding and log transporting equipment. Steam was important in the early days of logging, and several examples of donkey engines are shown. These steam engines provided power for skidding logs to loading landings and their use gave rise to colorful jargon such as 'high lead,' 'choker' and 'whistle punk.' There is a narrow gauge steam-powered locomotive and several steam tractors.

This history of Oregon's logging is preserved at a unique logging museum at Collier Memorial State Park, north of Klamath Falls, Klamath.

The history of one of these steam engines is interesting for collectors of such engines. According to Rick Bauman, district manager of Collier State Park, the Aultman-Taylor horizontal boiler steam engine dates from around 1881. It is a 4-wheel horizontal boiler, steam traction engine with spade grousers. It is 9 feet high, 9 feet wide and 21 feet long and weighs 27,000 pounds. Steam engines were used extensively in logging pine and also in hauling lumber, as this engine was originally used for.