• A Sudden Light Interior

Steam-powered Seattle Sawmill Cuts its First Lumber in 1853

From HistoryLink.org Essay 760

Henry Yesler's first sawmill, Seattle.

Henry Yesler’s first sawmill, Seattle. Courtesy Bagley, History of King County

In late March 1853, a steam-powered sawmill built by pioneer Henry L. Yesler (1810?-1892) is fired up for the first time, fed by logs taken from the heavily wooded areas surrounding the then-tiny settlement of Seattle. The mill is located on the eastern shore of Elliott Bay adjacent to what is today Yesler Avenue, part of an area known to the region’s indigenous people as “Little Crossing-Over Place.” Yesler, who will at one time or another employ nearly every one of the settlement’s few white males, relies to a large extent on Native American workers, gaining among them a reputation for fairness. The mill’s lumber is used to build the young city and is exported to California, Hawaii, and other markets. Although the sawmill is Seattle’s first industry and crucial to its early growth, it proves an unreliable source of income, and Yesler’s later great wealth will come from his extensive land holdings in the city’s commercial core.

Read the full article here.

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

*
*

12 + ten =

    • William E. Boeing home, The Highlands, Shoreline, 1914 Courtesy UW Special Collections (Image No. SEA2655)King County Landmarks: William E. Boeing House

      In 1909, Boeing purchased several lots in The Highlands, a gated residential community located on a wooded bluff overlooking Puget Sound. His expansive Mediterranean Revival residence was completed in 1914.

    • The Carson MansionThe Carson Mansion – Redwood Riches in Northern California

      William Carson came to Humboldt County to discover gold. He found his fortune in Redwood!

    • 1900's picture showing stacked logs at a Michigan sawmill.The Great 19th-Century Timber Heist Revisited

      After exhausting much of the virgin timber supply in the Great Lakes region, the Riddell timber empire was forced to move west in search of more uncut forest. This essay examines the question of whether the timber barons of the late 19th century over-exploited the resource.

    • The Highlands

      I grew up in Innis Arden, a community just north of the Seattle city limit. It is also just north of the exclusive gated community known as The Highlands, on which I based the fictionalized setting of A Sudden Light

    • Grey Towers Gifford Pinchot EstateGrey Towers Pinchot Estate

      Rising above the small town of Milford in northeastern Pennsylvania is Grey Towers, a national historic site operated by the U.S. Forest Service. It is the family home of Gifford Pinchot, the first chief of the U.S. Forest Service and a two-term governor of the Keystone State.

  • A Sudden LightSimon & Schuster presents the spellbinding and transcendent new novel by the author of THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN
    Indie Bound
    Amazon Barnes and Noble Books a Million Costco
    iBooks Target Walmart