Potlatch Forests, Inc., Camp 6 Records, 1927-1930

Overview of the Collection

Potlatch Forests, Inc., Camp 6 (Bovill, Idaho)
Potlatch Forests, Inc., Camp 6 Records
1927-1930 (inclusive)
4.5 l.f.
Collection Number
MG052 (collection)
Time books, time sheets, employment tickets, payroll ledgers, inventory books, and invoices of a Latah County, Idaho, logging camp.
University of Idaho Library, Special Collections and Archives
Special Collections and Archives
University of Idaho Library
875 Perimeter Drive
MS 2350
Moscow, ID
Telephone: 2088850845
Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Historical NoteReturn to Top

The Potlatch Lumber Company was organized as a corporation in 1904 and in September 1905 began erecting its mill in Potlatch, Idaho.

The Washington, Idaho and Montana Railway, although not part of the Potlatch Company, also had its headquarters in Potlatch. The railway was completed in 1907, and spanned the 47 miles from Palouse, Washington to Bovill, Idaho which was the main point of logging activity and the railroad switching point for logs which were then routed to the mill. The town of Bovill depended almost entirely on this timber, and was established by the Potlatch Company because of its proximity to a stand of the best white pine in North Idaho. Logging in the region north and west of Bovill was begun even before the railway line was completed.

Potlatch Company's Camp 6 was located on the railway line northwest of Helmer, Idaho, which was a small, unincorporated town southwest of Bovill. It was laid out in 1910 and was named after a Potlatch Forest timber cruiser, William Helmer. Camp 6, the headquarters camp and one of the company's largest, was built around 1917. Each bunk house contained beds for sixty men. Unlike most camps, this one had good laundry facilities; hot water was obtained via a system of coils directly from water heated on the wood stove.

In spite of this, body lice and bed bugs were common. As in most of the camps the meals served to the loggers by the camp cook were also a source of complaint. Two unions were active in the camps, the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW or Wobblies) and the Loyal Legion of Loggers and Lumbermen (4-L). They caused no serious problems and were successful in improving conditions.

The logging activity tended to taper off a little in the 1920's with the depletion of the prime stands of timber. When the depression began to be felt in 1930 operations slowed considerably. This was the end of the boom for the area. Logging operations eventually ceased, leaving nothing but the logging litter, broken trees, rusted machinery, etc., as a reminder of the past.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The papers relating to logging camp six of the Potlatch Company are contained in two file boxes. The types of material include time books, time sheets, employment tickets, payroll check stubs, payroll ledgers, scale cards, inventory books, invoices, and requisitions. All material is from the years 1927 to 1930 with the exception of the payroll ledgers which have entries for camps 2 and 3 which date back to 1914.

The material in this group does not in any way complement the material in the other two archival groups which concern the Potlatch Corporation (Potlatch Forests, Inc., MG 96, or the George Frederick Jewett Papers in MG 43) but is simply a miscellaneous collection of financial records for one of the many logging camps of the company.

A more detailed description of this material is contained in the following Description of Series.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


The material in this group was separated by type. The first series includes the miscellaneous material which relates to the employees, the scale cards, and inventory books. The second series contains the invoices and requisitions.


Culp, Perry. "Village of Janeville Preceded Helmer Nearly Twenty Years." Moscow, News-Review, August 24, 1934.

Lawrence, Floyd. "Oral History Interview With Floyd Lawrence and Nona Wilkins Lawrence." Moscow, Idaho, 1977.

Miller, John B. "Oral History Interview With John B. Miller." Moscow, Idaho, 1973.

Miller, John B. The Trees Grew Tall. Moscow, Idaho, News Review Publishing Company, 1972.

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Series I. Miscellaneous Financial Material Return to Top

The items in this series consist of various types of ledgers and printed forms which have been sorted by type, then arranged chronologically. Unless otherwise indicated, all material refers to camp six.

Files are arranged in alphabetical order.
Description Dates
Camp Ledger and Time Sheets
Each sheet gives the worker's name, the time worked, the deductions for board and wanagan, and the balance due. Time sheets exist for the following months: 1927. - July - September, December 1928. - March - September, November, December 1929. - January, May, June, September, December 1930. - January, March - June
Commissary Book (Continues Wanagan Day Book)
June 1, 1929 - April 30, 1930
Daily Loading Scale Book
This book is unused.
Employment Tickets
These 51/2" x 4" printed slips were used in making applications for work. Some in November 1929 are from the Featherstone Labor Agency in Spokane, the rest were used when the applicant appeared in persons Forms exist for the following months: 1927. September, November 1928. February, April - December 1929. January, March - September, November, December
Payroll Check Stub Books
22 books, 1 book is unused and has checks attached
The information on the stubs includes the employee's name, hours worked, hourly rate, deductions, and amount due. Payroll records for the following dates are included in this series: 1927. July - December 1928. January - December 1929. January - March, June, September - November 1930. February - June 7
Payroll Ledgers (3)
For each name on the page there is a column for occupation, days worked, rate of pay, amount earned, amount of deductions, and balance due. The contents of each book are as follows: Book 1. Camp 3. July - September 1914 Camp 2. November, December 1914; January - May, September - October 1915 Book 2. Camp 2. May - December 1922; May - September 1923 Book 3. Camp 6. July - December 1929; January - March 1930
Receipt Book
The book is unused with the exception of receipt number 5 dated July 22, 1941.
Requisition for supplies
(4 books)
These were requests sent by the camp to the main office; the requisitions sent by the main office to the suppliers are in series two. The following books are contained in this box: Book 1. - July - October 1927 Book 2. - July - September 1928 Book 3. - September - October 1928 Book 4. - October - December 1928
Scale Cards
There are 43 printed cards measuring 41/2" x 8" for the months of March and April 1929.
Scale Totals for Each Day
Daily Totals for January 1930 Totals for each of 18 saws, January 1-4, 1930 Totals for each of 17 teams, January 1-4, 1930 Logging Costs per Month, January - March 1930 Saw Scale & Gyppo Scale Monthly Totals, January - May 1930
Store Camp Inventory Books (5)
These include both the Cookhouse and Wanagan (Commissary) Book 1. - July December 1927 Book 2. - May October 1928 Book 3. - November 1928 - March 1929 Book 4. - March - August 1929 Book 5. - August 1929 - June 1930
Time, Board and Wanagan
(2 books)
Monthly report forms include employee's name, time worked (by day), total hours worked, and board and wanagan costs. These forms were sent from camp six to the other logging camps and several other employers such as a construction company and the Washington, Idaho & Montana Railway. Book 1. October 1928 - June 1929 Book 2. July - December 1929
Time, Board and Wanagan (in folder)
These forms were sent to camp six by the following camps: Camp 1. 1930. April Camp 2. 1930. May Camp 4. 1929. August - December; 1930. January, April, May Camp 5. 1929. December; 1930. January Camp 7. 1929. August - December; 1930. January Camp 12. 1929. January, December. 1930. January, March
Time Books (2)
Book 1. January - June 1926 (Camp 11) October 1928 (Camp 7) November - December 1928 (Camp 6) January - June 1929 (Camp 6) Book 2. April 1927 - January 1930 (Camp 3) February - April 1930 Wanagan charges (Camps 8 & 9)
Voided Checks
Some of these payroll checks are marked "void" or "canceled," others have the authorizing signature torn off. There are four checks for 1927, twenty-three in 1928, and nineteen in 1929.
Wanagan Day Book
This lists the purchases of each man in the camp and whether the purchase was a cash transaction or charged to payroll. It includes the dates July 17, 1927 to May 30, 1929. (See Commissary Day Book for subsequent entries)
Weekly Scale Report
Under each type of wood there are columns for the number of logs and the number of board feet. The months for which there are reports include: 1929. January - September, November, December 1930. January - June

Series II. Invoices and Requisitions Return to Top

In addition to the invoices from suppliers, this series also includes bills of lading from several railroads and invoices for supplies sent from the main office of the Potlatch Lumber Company.

The carbon copies of the requisitions for supplies which were sent from the Logging Department of the Potlatch Company to the various suppliers are the final items in this series. They begin with number 3714 (September 23, 1929) and end with number 6969 (July 22, 1930). Many numbers are missing, but it is quite possible that these were not requisitions for camp six and that most of the camp six requisitions for these dates are included in the folders.

Material has been arranged first by year, then alphabetically by company. Where more than one invoice exists from the same company within a particular year, these invoices are arranged chronologically. An alphabetical list of suppliers, including the years for which invoices are present, follows.
Description Dates
Adams Leather Company
1929, 1930
American Railway Express Company
1928, 1929
Black Manufacturing Company
1929, 1930
Brownie Baking Company
1929, 1930
Carstens Packing Company
1929, 1930
Centennial Mill Company
1928, 1929, 1930
Chicago, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad Company
1928, 1929, 1930
Commercial Creamery Company
1928, 1929, 1930
Continental Oil Company
1928, 1929, 1930
Dwight Edwards (Coffee) Company
1928, 1929, 1930
Fairbanks Morse & Company
Fairmont Creamery Company
1928, 1929, 1930
Fleischmann Company
1928, 1929, 1930
Frisbie Maple Sugar and Maple Syrup Company, Inc
1929, 1930
Hagan & Cushing Company
Heater Glove Company
Hofius Steel & Equipment Company
Holley-Mason Hardware Company
Idaho Laundry Company
1929, 1930
Inland Products Company
1928, 1929, 1930
Kromer Cap Company
Lewiston Mercantile Company
1928, 1929, 1930
Marshall Wells Company
1929, 1930
McClintock Trunkey Company
McKesson-Spokane Drug Company
Neustadter Brothers
Northern Pacific Railway Company
1929, 1930
Nott-Atwater Company
Pacific Coast Biscuit Company
Pacific Rubber Shoe Company
Potlatch Lumber Company
1928, 1929, 1930
Potlatch Lumber Company, Logging Department
1928, 1929, 1930
Potlatch Mercantile Company
1928, 1929, 1930
Powell-Sanders Company
1928, 1929, 1930
Railway Express Agency
1929, 1930
1928, 1929, 1930
Roundup Grocery Company
Seattle Frog & Switch Company
Sebastian-Stuart Fish Company
1928, 1929, 1930
Shell Company of California
Smith's Creamery
1928, 1929, 1930
Spokane Drug Company
1928, 1929, 1930
Spokane Dry Goods Company
1928, 1929, 1930
Standard Oil Company of California
Swift and Company
1928, 1929, 1930
Tru-Blu Biscuit Company
1928, 1929, 1930
Victor-Johnson Company
1928, 1930
Washington, Idaho & Montana Railway Company
1928, 1929, 1930

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Lumber camps--Idaho--Bovill--History--Sources

Corporate Names

  • Potlatch Forests, inc. Camp 6 (Bovill, Idaho)