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Washburn Logging & Lumbering

Thursday Feb 4, 1932 Washburn Times.

Maple Grove Inn, located on the old Sprague farm, which has been closed by the Federal Prohibition Department for the past year, has re-opened.

5/31/1888 Washburn Itemizer

The paper had this to say about the materials used to build the CStPM&O grain elevator in Washburn.

"In the construction of this elevator there was used in the crib work, or dock, upon which the structure stands, two million feet of timber and 3,500 cords of rock. In the elevator proper and the 160 peers upon which it rests were required 5,000 cubic feet of cut stone, three and one-half million feet of timber and plank, of which 36,000 feet are oak, and 1,000 kegs of spikes, besides 24,000 pounds of sheet iron for spout lining. For the engine room 120,000 brick were used and in the building of the chimney 180,000 brick were required."

8/16/1882-Bayfield Press:

James Becky, a trapper and hunter, killed a 125 lb. Panther near Glidden. 7 feet from nose to tail with 6 claws.

January 19, 1898 Washburn Times:

C.A. Johnson, formerly baggage man at the Omaha depot has accepted a position on the farm of R.D. Pike near the quarry.
Jerry Kelley, the popular engineer at the elevator went to Hurley Saturday evening, on a visit to his mother.
Born--To Mr. and Mrs. Al King Saturday, a girl.
Thos. Brown is suffering with a severe attack of the quinsy.


Jay Gould was in Washburn. Gould was a multimillionaire railroad tycoon. Gould would die of TB in 1892 at the age of only 57. He left his children $77,000,000 in the days of no income taxes.


Washburn's first fire hydrants arrived on the steamer Northern Light. About 50 men had been working at the reservoir and pumping station during the past week. Once the hydrants were delivered, a force of men was put to work laying water pipe.

Advertisement in the 8/5/98 Washburn News:

Real Estate..
Farm Lands and City Lots on Long Time and Easy Payments.
Wholesale and Retail
White Cedar Shingles, Posts, Poles and Piling
Now, I checked at Menards and the price of a cedar shingle today comes out to $927 per M. Given that the average wage for a common worker was probably about $30 per month in 1898, you would have to make $27,810 per month today to have the same percent of your income used for buying shingles. The average house built in Washburn in 1887 cost $600. The most expensive house built in 1888 was $5,000 by A.C. Probert and two were $4,000, and built by lumbermen. Of course A.C. ended up in jail, so we know where his money came from. The least expensive house built in this time period was $150, the average being somewhat inflated by a few larger houses. Many people seemed to have thrown up a house and then in the coming years improved on them.

4/18/1885 Washburn BEE

Since the disappearance of the snow the true condition of our streets and by-ways can be seen at a glance, and they do not present a very inviting or attractive appearance. What we want is a general cleaning out of the streets, and have them put in good condition before warm weather. Pools of water can be seen here and there and from the experience of the past summer we know that these pools are far from being agreeable or pleasant, especially when visited by the pigs that roam the streets undisturbed in their pilgrimages here and there. The condition of the block in front of Hotel Washburn is suggestive of sickness and disease in every form. The alley which runs through the block is almost impassable and is littered with every conceivable rubbish. If the property holders in this block would clean up their individual premises it would help to mitigate this evil, and relieve them from what will prove anything but the odors from a garden. We have pointed out from time to time the necessity of having the sanitary arrangements of the town as perfect as possible-not only for individual health and comfort, but as an inducement to people who visit the town the coming season, "to pitch their tents" with us a while. People owning the pigs should be compelled to keep them shut up and not let them run loose in the streets. Although twenty or more pigs, with all the dogs in town in pursuit of them, to some make an edifying spectacle. We trust the town board will be fully alive to the importance and necessity of these much needed reforms, and will give us the benefits of a needed and decided change in the present state of affairs as soon as practicable.

Iron River Pioneer, 4/14/98

Joe Darwin returned to Superior Saturday where he is attending the Normal School.
Miss Edith Laird, same as above.
The new Catholic church bell was blessed last Sunday afternoon.

Washburn News: Aug 5, 1898

Commencing next Monday evening the Ladies of St. Louis Congragation will hold a fair and bazar for one week during which time they will offer for sale many valuable, useful and fancy articles. The will also serve refreshments and lunches during the afternoon and evening, and altogether it will be a very pleasant affair. The paster of St. Louis church has appointed Jos. Arseneau as general manager, W.J. Dolan, treasurer, P.J. Bogie Sec.
The following ladies were appointed lady managers: Mesdames Emard and Frank Arseneau.
FANCY STAND--Mesdames J. Thibedeau, J.B. Charron, B.J. Hughes, John Halloran, Misses Mary Beausoliel and Ida Roadeau.
ICE CREAM STAND--Mesdames Ed Demers, N. Charboneau, Ed Simeneau, Misses Edith Rheaume, Lucy and Goldie LaLointe (as spelled ed.), Resie Compeau, Miss Frenett,
5c STAND--Mesdames Wm. Beileau and R. Burke.
25c STAND--Misses Maud Picotte, Roea Prudhomme, Mary Waegerle, May Jacobs, Mesdames Albert Doucette, John Burke.
COFFEE STAND--Mesdames B.J. Prudhomme, W.J. Dolan, James Tracy, Duthie and J. Donehue.
HELP IN KITCHEN--Mesdames Jos. Curcelle, Bushy, Legacy, Vinc Kowolski and Oberc.

Just some facts on the logging industry:

The total yearly capacity of Washburn, Bayfield and Ashland sawmills in 1898 was 370 million feet plus. This is running wide open with no downtime. Up to 1898, Duluth-Superior's largest cut was in 1895 when they cut 293,594,000 feet. In 1898 they cut 423,933,000 feet. Now that is an increase. I was reading where they were really cutting everywhere that year. The owners said the trees were worth more cut than paying the increasing taxes and losses from forest fires, so the push was on. Also demand must have been up. In 1899 the American Lumberman reported that there was a 25 percent increase in cutting over 1898 and that they figured they would be 400,000,000 feet short. Prospects were considered to be better than they have been for years. Average wages went up 15 percent. Average increase in cost of production was $1.50 per thousand. Prices went up 50 cents a thousand for most products and up to $1.50 for some lumber they thought had been underpriced. Just for an example of the new 1889/99 price list FOB St. Paul, an 8 ft. 2x4 was $11.00 per thousand board feet.

11/11/1898 Washburn News-Marshall Hubbard mill at Benoit burned last week.

Washburn Times, July 4th, 1900 Amateur safe-blowers have been at work about Washburn and two safes have been demolished within the past week. On Friday night the safe at the Washburn Brewery was blown, but nothing was secured. On Sunday night the second attempt was made at the Omaha depot, when the safe was blown by the use of dynamite. The front of the door was blown off, and an office desk was blown to atoms. Officers Kjaerwick and Lowry were standing up by the Opera House corner and heard the explosion, and rushed to find out the cause--thinking at first it was the firing of giant fire-crackers. No one was in sight when they arrived at the depot, but a lamp was left on the floor, showing that the burglars had taken a hasty departure. A small punch was found, which was the only clue to work with. No arrests have been made as yet, but the officers are working on the case and expect to be able to locate their men.

Washburn Itemizer--November 5, 1885

A site for a cemetery has been at last secured, a five acre plat to the northwest about one mile from the central portion of the village, and contracts have been let for the clearing, grading and improving of the property. The title to the land will lie in the town of Washburn and lot will be sold to individuals at reasonable rates.

Washburn News--September 7, 1894

W.G. Bohn, of the Bohn Mfg. Co., of Iron River was in the county seat Tuesday.
Geo. M. Bailey, formerly of Drummond, was in the city several days the past week.
Judge Carr, of Iron River, was in the city Tuesday attending the Democratic county convention as a delegate.
Harry Ellewan and H.P. Mulenhoff were over from Iron River Tuesday attending the Democratic county convention.
Gen. Richardson, of Iron River, spent a few days here this week.
The first train since the railroad bridges were burned out, left Washburn Thursday at 4:40 pm for Ashland. The main line started its trains this morning.

From a Sept. 1878 unknown date, Bayfield Press

The Amethyst left last Friday to take Indian Agent Mahan over to Grand Portage to make the Indians over there their annual payment. A number also went over to search for the lost boys, Nelse Boutin, Mike Fay, Wm, Christmas, and John Stahl. The last seen of them they were about twelve miles from shore, and in a heavy gale. No signs of them have since been seen, and almost all hope has been given up of seeing them again. The tug returned Sunday afternoon.

Washburn News-October 11, 1901

Jas. Gee, who was sent to the reformatory from here a couple of years ago for forgery, is again under arrest. Last Wednesday he went into Anderson's grocery on West Third Street and presented the following note to Mr. Anderson.

Oct. 2, 1901


Please send me $10 by messenger as soon as you can. I have had two finger hurt and cannot write very good. Your loving son, Louis W. Anderson

Gee represented that Louis who had been in the Dakota harvest fields had returned and was in a hospital at Ashland with his hand hurt. He presented a check for $62 signed by O. P. Swanby and made out to Louis Anderson. He asked for $10 on the check saying that he was working at the hospital and would take $10 over and Mr. Anderson could come over the next day and see Louis and bring the balance of the $62 with him. Mr. A. gave him the $10 and the next morning found he had been swindled.

A warrant was at once issued for Gee's arrest and Deputy Sheriff Welton located his man in Duluth and induced him to come to West Superior. While Welton and the sheriff of Douglas county were discussing the matter in one room the sheriff's brother and Gee were in the next room. Gee suggested that they go out and get a drink which they did and Gee skipped again. He was soon caught however and when captured he had a fine display of jewelry on him which it is believed he had stolen after he had slipped away from Sommers, when they went out to have their drink. It looks as if Gee was a bad man.

Washburn Times August 29, 1901

"John Henerickson, 15, had a foot nearly cut off at the Akeley and Sprague mill. He placed his foot in a slab slasher."

Note: Emil K. Olson (Scrit) once told me he worked at the mills when he was 14 years old.

Washburn News--September 7 1894

At Shell Lake 53 dwelling houses and the Catholic church were burned. The business portion of the town was saved.

Advertisement in the June 20, 1907 Washburn Times

Bug Exterminators
Fresh, pure Paris Green for Potato Bugs
White Hellibore for Currant Worms
Kreso for Spraying your Fruit Trees and Rose Bushes.
Our "Bug Spasm" for Bed Bugs.
Rexall Ant, Bug and Roach Powder
Fresh and Large Stock.
City Drug Store.

Ashland Daily Press--July 2, 1906
Gasoline Launch for Sale.
For sale.--$650 gasoline launch 33 feet long, 7 feet beam, twelve horse power, two cylinder engine.--J. R. Peterson, LaPointe, Wis.

Washburn Times--June 1, 1905

Commencement Program

Invocation. Chorus, High School--"Tripping O'er the Hills".
Salutatory,--Oscar B. Runkle. Quartette, High School--Florence Anderson, Alice Fenton, Jessie Sheridan, Stella Morey. Address, "Why we are what we are"--H. W. Rood. Solo, Mary M. Evans. Valedictory, James J. Murphy.
Response, Underclassmen, Jessie Sheridan. Music, Male Quartette. Presentation of Diplomas, President Board of Education, L. N. Clausen. Chorus, High School, "Away to the Fields." Benediction.

Washburn Times-November 12, 1906
Picture Show

P. J. Bestler who was formerly a resident of this city but who has been in the grocery business near Cumberland during the past few years has been in the city this week and has arranged to open a Moving Picture Show in this city which will run three nights each week, viz. Thursday Friday and Saturday and perhaps Sunday night of each week, he will also operate the same kind of a show at Bayfield during the first three nights of each week. Mr. Bestler has rented the Pederson & Hanson building and will have it fitted up as a show place. He expects to move his family here as soon as he can dispose of his property near Cumberland.

Washburn Times-July 5, 1899

The following have taken out licenses: (saloon)
John Wollum, Albertson & Nelson, Dan Keating, John Sundell, Ed Ross, Napoleon Patient, E.A. Holt, Gust Anderson, Matt Brunner, Octave Uppey, Nels Sundquist, August Geisert, Geisert Bros., J. W. Twiggs, Hogan & Heyes, Theo. Durocher, John H. Ritan, John Overby, Holte & Arneson, Carey, Kinsell & Burnes, Ed Williams, John Donahue, Christ Peterson,and Frank Banks.

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