During the August 7th Shelton City Commission meeting, Commissioners approved a proposal from the Shelton Historic Preservation Board to place the Log and Band Saw Monuments at Overlook Park on the City’s Historic Register. The Board made the recommendation after determining that the monuments met the Historic Register requirements, including significance, age, and historic integrity.
The Log Monument is a 10’ diameter, 2.5’ thick cross section of a Douglas Fir tree from the Grisdale operation of the Simpson Logging Company. The Douglas Fir used for the monument was 224 feet tall and 664 years old when it was cut down in 1953. The Upper half is carved with the “City of Shelton”, followed by “Home of the Evergreen Forest”. The lower half is carved with dates depicting important events in world history, beginning with the sprouting of the tree in 1289. The monument was erected by the Mason County Forest Festival Association in 1953 in commemoration of 100 years of commercial logging in Mason County from 1853 – 1953. A short insert in the “Story of the Monument” states, “The monument is dedicated to keeping green forests and to preserving forever the source of raw materials which provide work and happy living for all of us.”
The Band Saw Monument is an 11’ cast wheel from one of the largest head rigs ever constructed for the purpose of cutting logs into lumber. It was originally built in 1917 to saw large spruce trees for World War I aircraft at the mill in Port Angels, WA. Weighing in at over two and half tons, the wheel ran on the Shelton water front for 36 years from 1926 until 1962. The Band Saw rig was powered by steam, and enabled the cutting of old growth timber at diameters of up to 9 feet. Prior to the installation of the Band Saw, production at the mill was less than 30,000 board feet per day. After the saw was operational, production surpassed 100,000 board feet a day. The monument was dedicated to the Shelton mill workers by Simpson Timber Company during the 1970 Mason County Forest Festival.
The inclusion of the monuments on the Shelton Historic Register will provide additional regulatory protections to ensure that they preserved for years to come.