Peeling Redwood Logs

Before the days of mechanical debarking at the mill the logs were peeled (bark removed) in the woods. The mill had no use for the bark then and so the logs were peeled Cutting down a redwood
– 25 foot undercut
at the landing – where the logs were placed on the railroad log cars to be taken to the mill. Hank Simonson’s first job in the woods was as a peeler. Hank lasted less than a week. He couldn’t take the heat (nigh on hundred degrees) and the physical exertion.

The Bancroft Library, that provided these pictures, has thousands (literally) of old photos on their site. Alas, unless you just plough through them there is no way to locate specific items. Only the last is known to be Mendocino Coast but as Hank said “peeling is peeling”.

Cutting down a redwood – 25 foot undercut
Peeling redwood logs
Lunch break for the log peelers
Peeling redwood at the landing. Caspar Lumber Company, Camp 20. Showing loading boom; railroad in background; log deck (peeled); peelers at work; bulldozer rolling logs; and tractor arriving with more logs.

First you have to cut down the redwood ….. like maybe this one on the right?

And then you had to peel it …..