In the 1860s small logging camps sprung up along the Tolt and Snoqualmie rivers, giving birth to an industry that would prosper for another 75 years.

Oxen were used for the first logging operations. The logs would be dragged out of the woods on skids to the river.

The earliest loggers cut down only the choicest timber, convenient to the market or to water.

During the early 1870s lumber technology went from hand sawing to small water-powered sawmills. Steam donkeys were commonly used for logging operations in the 1890s. Logging companies dumped their logs in the Snoqualmie River, formed them into booms and had boats tow them to saw mills downstream in Everett.

The town’s logging boom between 1912 and 1927 was a direct result of the railroads. Trains of up to 100 cars loaded with logs were transported to mills.

The Cherry Valley Timber Company was a major local logging concern at Stillwater. The company owned vast timberlands and operated a narrow gauge train, mill and camp. A logger could expect to make $6 a day, have meals and a place to sleep in a 14’ x 60’ bunker car along with 29 other men. The cars had electric lights and hot and cold running water. Logging camps were supplied with local farm goods.

Robert Swan purchased the Stillwater operation. The other vast timberlands of the Cherry Valley Timber Company eventually were sold to Weyerhaeuser.

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