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Spruce Production Division at Siemscarey, Washington photograph collection, circa November, 1918

Overview of the Collection

Title
Spruce Production Division at Siemscarey, Washington photograph collection
Dates
circa November, 1918 (inclusive)
Quantity
26 photographic prints (1 folder)
24 negatives (1 box) : nitrate
Collection Number
PH0405
Summary
Photographs of Army Spruce Production Division lumber operations at Siemscarey, Washington, 1918
Repository
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections.
Special Collections
University of Washington Libraries
Box 352900
Seattle, WA
98195-2900
Telephone: 206-543-1929
Fax: 206-543-1931
speccoll@uw.edu
Access Restrictions

Entire collection can be viewed on the Libraries’ Digital Collections website. Permission of Visual Materials Curator required to view originals. Contact Special Collections for more information.

Languages
English

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Historical BackgroundReturn to Top

The U.S. Army's Spruce Production Division was a major logging and spruce manufacturing operation under the command of General Brice P. Disque, who was appointed to direct the cutting of spruce and other trees for Allied aircraft production. In the Pacific Northwest, The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) had dramatically slowed logging throughout the region with a series of strikes and slowdowns primarily aimed at forcing employers to improve conditions in the logging camps and to institute an eight-hour day. After consulting with employers, the American Federation of Labor (AFL), and members of the Washington Defense Council, Disque used a mixture of force and concessions to fight the IWW. General Disque dispatched a number of soldiers to work as loggers and to harass IWW organizers. He also convinced the War Department to add an eight-hour day requirement to all of its contracts with logging companies in the region.

In May, 1918, the Siems, Carey-H.S. Kerbaugh Corporation contracted with the U.S. Army to build a camp and establish Spruce Railroad No. 1 to Lake Pleasant, Clallam County, Washington. Seattle architecht Carl Gould was hired to design a site to house and support over 2,000 soldiers and civilians just southwest of the town of Beaver on the shores of Lake Pleasant. The ten-mile long Hoko logging road has its start in Siemscarey. The camp was built between July and November, 1918. On November 11, 1918, the war ended and construction on the camp was halted. On November 30, 1918, the railroad to Siemscarey was completed and was subsequently used to carry materials dismantled from the camp. No timber harvested from this area was used for the war effort.

Between 1918 and 1919, the company town of Siemscarey was home to over 3,000 resident and visiting soldiers and civilian workers. It had its own post office, separate from the one in Beaver, as well as a hospital (temporary tent buildings), women's building (completed), sawmill (temporary, main mill not completed) and mess hall (temporary, main facility not completed). The current town of Beaver, Washington, now encompases the site of Siemscarey. There were two known deaths listed at Siemscarey. The cause of death in each case was attributed to pneumonia.

The following Spruce Army Squadrons were stationed at Siemscarey between 1918 and 1919: 115th beginning in October 1918; 122nd and 123rd from September to November 1918; 124th from September 1918 onwards; 21st Provisional (later 85th Spruce) from September to November 1918; 24th Provisional (later 87th Spruce)from September 1918 onwards; 36th Provisional (later 96th Spruce) from September 1918 onwards.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Photographs of camp and buildings at U.S. Army Spruce Production Division lumber operations at Siemscarey, Washington. All taken circa November 1918.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Restrictions may exist on reproduction, quotation, or publication. Contact Special Collections, University of Washington Libraries for details.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

 

Container(s) Description Dates
Folder item
1 1 View of main camp looking north from post office  
Forms panorama with images 2 and 3. Main camp tents, Women's Building (white) and Master Mechanic's Building.
circa November 1918
1 2 View of camp looking north from post office  
Forms panorama with images 1 and 3. Main camp tents, Women's Building (white), Master Mechanic's Office, Telegraph Office, Auditor's Office.
circa November 1918
1 3 View of camp looking north from post office  
Forms panorama with images 1 and 2. Auditor Office (partial), Camp Superintendent's Office, Chief Engineer's Office, General Superintendent's Office
circa November 1918
1 4 Civilian camp tents looking west  
Civilians in this camp included members of the engineering staff and their families.
circa November 1918
1 5 Civilian camp tents looking east with Lake Creek in foreground  
Civilians in this camp included members of the engineering staff and their families.
circa November 1918
1 6 Family at civilian tent house in Gillette, Bertram & Pittey's (?) camp  
Possibly L.V. Gillette, Resident Engineer, and his family.
circa November 1918
1 7 Civilian tent housing with laundry hanging on lines in Gillette, Bertram & Pittey's (?) camp  
Civilians in this camp included members of the engineering staff and their families.
circa November 1918
1 8 Couple at their tent house with laundry hanging on line at Gillette, Bertram & Pittey's (?) camp  
Civilians in this camp included members of the engineering staff and their families.
circa November 1918
1 9 Civilian tent house  
Identified as "My tent" on original storage envelope.
circa November 1918
1 10 Military camp housing looking northeast   circa November 1918
1 11 Mess Hall and main camp with Lake Creek in foreground   circa November 1918
1 12 Mess Hall   circa November 1918
1 13 Men's lodging under construction   circa November 1918
1 14 Men's lodging under construction (left), temporary sawmill (right)   circa November 1918
1 15 Temporary sawmill   circa November 1918
1 16 Steam donkey at sawmill   circa November 1918
1 17 Men's lodging under construction (left), temporary sawmill (right) with Lake Creek in foreground   circa November 1918
1 18 Powerhouse   circa November 1918
1 19 Women's Building   circa November 1918
1 20 Building under construction with tents in background  
Tents shown are probably family tents.
circa November 1918
1 21 Building at Siemscarey with pond in foreground   circa November 1918
1 22 View of Siemscarey looking northeast at railway, main camp, and Mess Hall.  
Forms panorama with image 23.
circa November 1918
1 23 View of Siemscarey looking northeast at temporary mill and railroad depot buildings  
Forms panorama with image 22.
circa November 1918
1 24 View of Siemscarey looking northeast at railroad, railroad depot buildings and main camp  
On verso: Track into Siemscarey, November 30, 1918.Photograph commemorates the completion of the railroad to Siemscarey on November 30, 1918.
November 30, 1918
1 25 Group of men standing and sitting on porch in front of the Engineering Department building  
On verso: Engin'r. Dept. U.S.S.P.S. - Siemscarey, Wn.Standing: 1: James Wilson, Jr., Office Engineer; 2: Joe DeVoy, Inst.; 3: W.A. Warren, Resident Engineer; 5: Sam Smith, Resident Engineer; 6: P.R. Demarse, Chief Clerk; 7: Charles A.W. Musson, Engineer in charge of terminal work and building operations; 8: J.D. MacVickar, Chief Engineer on logging railroad; 9: William Lisenby; 10: Lars Langloe, Assistant Engineer; 11: E.S. Hamilton, Resident Engineer; 12: A.A. Whipple, Loc. Engineer; 13: Peter Jenny, Inst.; 14: A.E. Hedrick, Inst.; 15: Bartram, Inst.; 16: unknown.Sitting: 1: Frank Daly, Dfsts.; 2: F.A. Donner, Resident Engineer; 3: F.S. Menke, Bridge Engineer; 4: F.L. Goodwin, Transit-in-Charge; 5: L.V. Gillette, Resident Engineer; 6: R.J. Young, Transit-in-Charge.
November 1918
1 26 View of houses taken from porch of 1709 35th Avenue in Seattle, WA  
The home at 1709 35th Avenue belonged to Charles A.W. Musson, Engineer in charge of terminal work and building operations at Siemscarey, WA. Photo taken circa November 1918.
circa November 1918