loggers from early 1900s

Jeff LaLande presents “When Timber Was King: The Rise and Decline of Southern Oregon’s Timber Industry” on Thursday, March 8, 2018 at 4 pm at Southern Oregon University’s Hannon Library (Meese Room). This event is free and open to the public.

In the early days, men felled the big trees with just an axe and dragged timber out of the forest with mules and oxen. Steam donkeys, two-handled saws, railroad lines and trucks changed the landscape and Rogue Valley mills ran 24×7. Today, most of Southern Oregon’s mills are silent, and a truck with a three-log load is rare indeed.

In this unusual presentation, LaLande describes the legislation, corporate powers and political changes that have altered the Oregon landscape forever.

About Jeff LaLande

Forest historian and archaeologist Dr. Jeffrey LaLande, now retired, worked with the U.S. Forest Service for nearly 50 years. He has traipsed the land, seeking out the equipment and traces of the timber industry’s history from long ago to more contemporary times. He photographed his findings for the Forest Service, cataloging places that few know of and fewer even have seen. LaLande also wrote narrative and scientific histories of the region’s great timber industry that drove Southern Oregon’s economy for a hundred years.

LaLande’s wide-ranging research interests include Southern Oregon’s Good Government movement, early Oregon political history, the Oregon Trail migration and the Rogue Valley’s donation land claims among other topics.

Thanks to a 2017 Library Services and Technology Act grant to Hannon Library, LaLande’s collection of historic timber industry photos are being digitized and will made available through the Southern Oregon Digital Archives (SODA) in the Stories of Southern Oregon Collection. LaLande’s earlier SODA contribution, a set of 647 images in the Rogue River National Forest Historic Images Collection, is available now.

Southern Oregon Digital Archives

Hannon Library’s Southern Oregon Digital Archives display eighteen collections that present a rich set of images, text and video on topics that range from locally discovered Chinese material culture, butterflies, First Nations, musical instruments, wine, agriculture and more. The Southern Oregon Digital Archives can be accessed at https://soda.sou.edu.

More Info

For more information on the March 7, 2018 program or the Southern Oregon Digital Archives, call 541-552-6442. If you need disability accommodations to participate in this event, please contact Disability Resources at 541-552-6213 or dss@sou.edu.

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