Washington Yarders History

Washington Ironworks, based in Seattle Washington, opened it’s doors for business on January 4th, 1882 and was a world leader in the manufacturing of logging equipment and cable systems until the mid 1980s. Poor economic conditions and changes in the logging industry, forced the company to begin selling off its assets. The doors closed for good in 1986.

While a complete archive of Washington Yarders century long journey will never be assembled, all of us at Wheeler share a fondness for the ‘good old days’ of Pacific Northwest logging. We are happy to include the following images and links.

Balloon Logging Yarder

Washington Ironworks designed and built several machines over the years for the purpose of logging with balloons. It never really ‘took off’, and the idea faded as helicopters became more efficient and available.

Night Logging

Believe it or not, there was a time when somecompanies engaged in night logging. They were trying to harvest as many logs they could, as fast as they could. Yarders would be worked around the clock in three 8 hour shifts. The logs would pile up and be moved later when trucks were available. Sometimes weeks later! Night logging didn’t last long, likely due to the risk and danger.

Washington 108 Grapple Yarder

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