Forum Index > Pacific NW History > Logging history of Quartz Creek.
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hunterofelke
Roland



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Roland
PostFri Dec 18, 2020 9:53 am 
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Pretty sure this is a long shot, but I would like to learn what timber company worked the Quartz Creek area in the Middle Fork Snoqualmie drainage.  Also, pictures of the log bridges that spanned the streams, especially the bridge after the second switchback, would be a bonus.  I know logging occurred all over the Pacific Northwest and records might be nonexistent.  Do you think there would be  an application to build or engineering blueprints in King County records?
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Dusty Trale
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PostFri Dec 18, 2020 10:33 am 
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You could try checking with the Forest Service office in North Bend. The logging was done on their land up Quartz Creek. The logging company would have built the roads and bridges for the logging operation. The FS would have done the surveying for the roads. Since it was on federal land, King County would not have been involved.
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RichP
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here and there
PostFri Dec 18, 2020 11:41 am 
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The Snoqualmie Valley Historical Museum may be able to help you. There is an area to post inquiries under "research." Please share what you find out as many of us are interested in such things as well.

https://snoqualmievalleymuseum.org
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Mike Collins
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PostFri Dec 18, 2020 11:46 am 
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The museum is closed but they answered an email inquiry from me a month ago.
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puzzlr
Mid Fork Rocks



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Mid Fork Rocks
PostThu Dec 24, 2020 12:22 pm 
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Is this the bridge you're talking about? I have an older photo from 2006 that's not mine where two stringers still spanned the gully and people are walking across them. The big 2009 flood probably widened the gully and took down the remaining stringers. Based on the freshly built road and clear cut logging in the aerial photo below, the road and bridge were built in the mid-50s. So it lasted about 50 years.

November, 2014
November, 2014

I've searched for that kind of thing all over the Middle Fork and found information about other bridges on the King County websites and in the local archive files but nothing on this one. T24R10 Section 9 was owned by Northern Pacific at the time the road was built (~1956) but the creek crossing is on the edge of Section 10 and was Forest Service property. I don't know how the logging contracts worked then -- did the Forest Service build the roads or contract it out?

These are possible sources of information

Records of the Forest Service - National Archives, currently closed, still on Sand Point Way but maybe not permanently

King County Road Services - Map Vault - some interesting things in here, but none about Quartz Creek. I've gone through this thoroughly.

King County Archives - currently closed. Hard to search and time consuming in person

1956 Quartz Creek
1956 Quartz Creek

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Mid Fork Rocks flickr
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H. Hound
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PostFri Dec 25, 2020 5:27 am 
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The Rainy Mine and Fathers day prospect would have used \ built the lower portion of the road. The Rainy operated off and on from 1901 til the 50's.
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mtnresqr
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PostFri Dec 25, 2020 11:46 am 
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Some memories, of Quartz Creek. My Dad worked for North Bend Timber Company. He started about 1950-ish. it was bought by St Regis Paper Company, about 1955, or so.  They were the logging outfit up Quartz Creek.

As a youngster, (I was too young for driving), they logged up high. They also built a road that went uphill from that 'noted bridge' (called 'big tree bridge'), that is now famous for washing out.

Once over 'that bridge' the 'main road' went about another 1/4 mile, then a new road was being 'punched in', but it wasn't much to write home about. It did get to top of ridge, and was working it's way east on that ridge, heading to hook up with the system being logged by the road 'up from that washed out 'big tree bridge'.

i can sorta' remember some of that, but being non-driving, I went with friends of my Dad. it was a tough canyon with 'real uppy-downy sides'. And in the 6 years I was beginning to play up there, they had maybe 4 serious accidents.

After all, what was I expected to note and remember, being 14-16 years old, at that time.
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HikerJohn
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PostSat Dec 26, 2020 9:28 am 
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I grew up in North Bend and my Dad would take me out hunting and fly fishing with him up the Middle Fork and up Quartz Creek particularly.
Dad had an old International Scout with a slant-4 gas engine in it-- huge pistons and wouldn't go fast but tremendous torque.  One day we were up on Quartz Creek and one of the bridges was out, but Dad wasn't going to be stopped.  He put that Scout into 4 wheel Low and went down the bank, up the stream a bit, then up the other side.  It was like riding a bucking Bronco (sorry about the pun) but it made it.  Probably not great environmental stewardship, but it was back in the 60s so we didn't have much knowledge about that then...
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hunterofelke
Roland



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Roland
PostMon Dec 28, 2020 8:06 am 
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Thanks for the replies!  The big tree bridge interests me because a lot of it is still there.  I worked in construction for a decade, even got a degree in construction technology, so building structures and driving heavy equipment across has always intrigued me. 
A quarter section that the old road switch backs through is owned by Green Crow Corp. I emailed them to see if they had any plans for that area, no answer. 
I wonder which washout the scout drove through, might be even deeper now or maybe it was fixed for future timber sales.
I think the road being 'punched in' is the switch backs up towards paper boy. 
There is one quarter section of old growth the main road goes through that didn't get cut.  I saw though that three big cedars tipped over and the loggers harvested what they could.  Maybe because the road was being built or the trees were blocking after. 
I found one piece of a smaller bridge farther up the main road.   Looked like the water just pushed it 90% to the down hill side.  I uncovered some brush and could see the main beams were logs and rough cut twelve by twelves were the deck. 
Looking at the aerial photos and walking through second growth forest, the loggers must have salvage even the old trees that fell over the course of time.  A real old growth forest is tough to go through because of all the snags and fallen giants, plus the brush.
Thanks again!
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oldwild
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PostMon Jan 04, 2021 4:06 pm 
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I don't recall the big tree bridge, but I did make it up to lake Blethen and Marten lake a few times.  The Middle fork was logged originally by North Bend Lumber.  You can still see some of the remnants of the railroad bridges.  If you like big tree bridges, do you remember Wagner bridge on the North Fork of Snoqualmie?  It's all concrete now.  I have a nice photo of it but I don't want to set up a flickr account.
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Brian Curtis
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PostTue Jan 05, 2021 2:35 pm 
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Trail Blazers have been stocking the Blethen Lakes since 1954 and their reports offer some tidbits on activity up that drainage over the decades:

18 July 1954: "...we first stopped in North Bend where we got the key for the "low road", There were 2 pick-ups and a car in the party, and we were soon at the Quartz Creek gate, where the watchman let us through to the Blethen Creek road. Mb left the car at the gate and all got in the 2 pickups and drove up about 2 or 3 miles of rough, steep logging road to the spar tree which marked its end. It was 10 A.M. when we started off through the brush (and I do mean brush) and by 11:30 we were at Blethen."

15 July 1956: "The group met at 4:00 A.M. in North Bend, where due to lack of cars we all piled into Don Barrie's truck and headed up the middle fork for Quartz Creek. Lewis, having made arrangements to go through the gate on the low road, we arrived at the Quartz Creek gate about 5:00 A.M. where we were let through by the guard. On the way, ole' man, Hoff, soon complained of car sickness so was allowed to sit up front."

23 June 1962: "We went up the high road, the scenic route, in order to greet all the wildlife. Arriving-at Quartz Creek, we all climbed into Jack's 4 wheel drive jeep pickup. Despite some pretty bad spots in the road, we had no trouble to the end of the road."

13 Sep 1973: "My tailpipe and muffler fell off the "Bus" enroute to the hatchery. ... With a roar from the "Bus," we growled up the middle fork, into the center of a clear cut operation, almost 2 miles from the road end. ...we sweated our way up the logging road and into the brush..."

18 Aug 1979: "...we headed for the Taylor River. Jack and Martin had both been to these lakes many years earlier so we had no trouble finding the right road. We drove further than necessary and realized by using an altimeter that we had selected an unusual route but were not alone since two other people had spent the night out there looking for Snoqualmie Lake. Kenny had forgotten his jacket and only had a short sleeve shirt. It might be added that the weather was cool, rainy, and a little dark. Our route had an abundance of vegetation which managed to ensure our thorough saturation before we met the shore of Lower Blethen."

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that elitist from silverdale wanted to tell me that all carnes are bad--Studebaker Hoch
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timberghost
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PostWed Jan 06, 2021 8:23 am 
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Wonder if Martin Messing has been up there.
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Brian Curtis
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PostWed Jan 06, 2021 9:20 am 
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timberghost wrote:
Wonder if Martin Messing has been up there.

Martin was on the 1962 and 1979 trips quoted above.

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that elitist from silverdale wanted to tell me that all carnes are bad--Studebaker Hoch
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Pyrites
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PostWed Jan 06, 2021 8:22 pm 
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Wow. A question that to me seemed unlikely for someone to answer. Nope. Answer, with detailed particulars.
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hunterofelke
Roland



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Roland
PostThu Jan 21, 2021 12:53 pm 
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Just an add that might be interesting.  I have been up the old switch back road a few times and think I know how the loggers got their roads across a lot of the creeks up there.  Where there wasn't a galvanized culvert pipe dug up, it appears they made a wooden culvert.  Laying cedar logs along the water course, than stacking cross logs with little gap between them.  Over this they layed a compact layer of rock, gravel, and dirt.  I noticed a few crossings where the logs are still buried, but visible and there is one still functioning as designed under the path before the first switch back and rock quarry.  There is quite a steady stream flowing there and two huge old growth cedar stumps help keep everything in place.  The larger crossings they had to build a bridge like the big tree bridge.
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