Loading crew with donkey engine and skeleton car, camp 4, Simpson Logging Company, Mason County, ca. 1935
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Sol G. Simpson and his family moved to Mason County in 1887, where Simpson worked laying ties and rails for the Port Blakely Mill Company's logging railroad. He formed S. G. Simpson Company in Matlock in 1890. Three of Simpson's brothers joined him in Mason County, and two of them worked for him. Simpson Logging Company opened its first sawmill, the Reed Mill, at Shelton in 1925. Numerous other mills and logging operations along the West Coast have been acquired by Simpson over the years. [Source: James, David. Grisdale: Last of the Logging Camp. Fairfield, Washington: Ye Galleon Press, 1986.] Camp no. 4 was located on Schaletske Prairie near the middle branch of the Satsop River. An earlier Camp Four operated on the Wynooche River not far from Grisdale in 1924. Houses were snuggled against the tracks and parents fenced their yards to keep little tots from interfering with log trains. The water tower supplied thirsty locomotives. Camp water came from a nearby creek. ...