Reynolds Bros. Logging Operations

19/05/2012

The Reynolds Bros. Logging Operations  

Reynolds Bros Mill Logs on the banks of the Deer River, Reynoldston, NY 1922 - P020401 photo courtesy of the Adirondack Museum

A major division of the Reynolds Bros. Mill operation was the logging camps they ran to house and feed the men who worked in the logging woods.  At its peak during the Brooklyn Cooperate Contract beginning in 1910, the Reynolds Bros operated  four logging camps  and employed more than one hundred men cutting hardwood in the forests of Reynoldston.  At its peak the company owned about 10,000 acres of land in the southern portion of the Town of Brandon. 

Operating and maintaining this size of operation in such an isolated area was no small feat and required good organizational skills, a vast amount of supplies and teams to transport food and material into the camps as well as using many of the same teams to draw out the logs. 

Much of the hardwood the Reynolds’s cut was from the southern and western part of the township of Brandon. The seemingly endless process of buying, denuding and selling of land by the mill moved the logging camps further and further from Reynoldston. By 1918 the Reynolds mill had exhausted the biggest and best hardwood trees in the area. After 1918 and until the Reynolds operation ceased in Reynoldston about 1924 softwood or pulp was the major income of the mill.

 

 

Beatrice  Beaman Remembers –
 
 “My Father worked in the mill and my Uncle Newton worked in the mill.And of course there was buying and selling …my dad did that a good deal.  He went out and traveled through the west  and  into Canada. 

Pretty near every family up there worked in the mill.   There might have been 50.  Then in winter
when they were running the camps people on farms outside who had teams would come in with their teams and sleds and work through the winter and they would work …some of them lived down at the mill and some of them lived at the camps…and the ones who lived at the mill would get up early and start up to load up and the ones at the camp had already loaded up the night before and they
would come down and would keep going both way and each team would make about two
trips a day.  The ones from the camp would come down and unload and go back and load and come back and unload and go back and then they would load up ready to start in the morning.
 

Oh there were a lot of houses for them where the people lived who worked their all the time and the ones who came in to work some of them lived at grandma’s and I know we had two men who lived with us.  And of course my uncle came up with his team and a friend from over the line in Canada.  People who were farmers who had good sturdy teams see they did not work them in the winter so they would send them up there to work and of course the skidding horses they were local mostly  …they were old horses not very spirited and they were the ones who when the trees were cut put
them into piles on the skid way…and then they were brought  down to the mill or
then it came to pulp sometimes it was piled , a quite lot of pulp was piled and then brought down later.  I don’t know so much about that since that was after I left  they did more of the
pulp.
 

Well they came down out of the woods which was higher in the woods.   The mill and settlement was in a valley there.  They had roads built all through the woods to you see I think they came from the pond and come down across the pond ..came onto the pond up farther and come on the ice down. Tthere wasn’t any way to come in I don’t think without coming down the road and coming back
across he bridges.  There were no roads in above the river …not in to the mill”

Beatrice Reynolds Beamanoral history interviews Tape 1 page 3 1970 

 

Eugene Bordeaux

“No. no, no…rode on the logs.” “They had a a dry ass they called them (bag of hay) so you
wouldn’t get wet..  If you sit on the logs the heat of your body, you would get wet…so they used that dry ass…that is the only name I ever heard…something like a cushion see…called a dry ass.”
             “Well yes they just rolled them off the sleds…most of them they put right on the pond…dumped them on the pond…rolled them right off the sleds onto the pond.  And when that got all filled up they would put them on the side the bank and then they would roll them in the spring as they wanted them..”

Eugene Bordeaux oral history interviews 1969/70 tape 8 p.10


Tom Campbell

Oliver Trushaw over here, he used to have a team of horses and he used to work, he used to draw lumber from the Reynolds’ out to Malone.  I used to do that a lot. Why they used to work out with their teams.  In the winter time they used to draw logs here with the Reynolds in the woods.   Of course the Reynolds’ had four teams of their own.  But, they sold a lot of lumber out to Malone.(Reynolds’ lumber camps)  Some of them would stay there for a week.   In the winter time or fall, some of them would stay there for a week.  In the winter time they would have a camp up there for the loaders, you know for the men to work on the road, but all the teams would come from here and go up in the woods and get a load and come down.

Tom Campbell oral history interviews March 1970 tape 1 p. 1


Newpaper article about Reynolds Bros Logging: 

Adirondack News 
SATUBDAY* SEPTEMBER 10, 1919 St. Regis Falls 

“Reynolds Bros, have cut and peeled about 7,000 cords of pulp wood on their tract this season and are skidding It ready to haul to Malone the coming, season. As they have a large amount of hardwood cut for delivery to their mill In Reynoldston they will probably use their Holt caterpillar tractors for hauling this through the woods to their mill, as the tractors will go on short hauls where teams cannot go. The pulpwood deliveries here will probably be made by horse-drawn sleds, many farmers’ teams being practically Idle during the winter. The company has found it Is easy to get laborers this season: When the present pulp wood cut Is delivered the total tor last year and this will reach about 11,000 cords.”

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