Over a century ago, people came from all over the world to work at the lumber mills in Port Blakely and Port Madison. By the late 1800s, the Port Blakely mill was sawing 200,000 board feet per day, making it the largest lumber mill on the West Coast and possibly in the world.

It was Douglas fir lumber from the mills on Bainbridge Island that rebuilt San Fransisco after the 1906 fire. Now, except for one giant Sitka spruce tree on the west edge of Miegs Park, and a handful of old firs the loggers missed, all the island’s old-growth forest is gone. It is nice to think that in a small sense, the BARN Woodworking & Small Boatbuilding Studio is carrying on our island’s long history with wood.

On Sunday’s monthly woodworker meeting, Lindsay Ogles, Director of Exhibits and Engagement for the Bainbridge History Museum, shared the deeply rooted history of Bainbridge Island’s relationship with wood. From the logging and lumber industry and boatbuilding enterprises to creosote and wood treating, we heard about the good, the bad, and the ever-changing history of wood on Bainbridge Island.

These monthly presentations are free and open to everyone, and you don’t need to register in advance. Enjoy coffee and nibbles, learn about different aspects of woodworking, and get to know BARN woodworkers. Hope to see you next month.

Mike Gearheard

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