Left: "Some Big Timbers Ready
for the Saw Mills, Oregon"
Old Postcard
Photo by A. W. Erikson

Left: "Virgin Redwoods," Garfield, Humboldt Co., California. Photo by A. W. Ericson. Collection of Humboldt State University. California archives are full of redwood corpse photos, such as those taken by A. W. Erikson in Humboldt County. The logging industry used giant redwood stumps to promote their products.

At first glance Ericson's image, entitled "Virgin Redwoods" seems to be the base of a gigantic living redwood. Note also the man standing at the base of the tree. But closer inspection reveals deep springboard wounds in the trunk, evidence of how the once magnificent tree was lopped off. Had Erikson's photo included a vertical view of the stump, its mutilated state would have been clear.

Photographs by Swedish Settler A. W. Ericson
Arcata, Humboldt County, California, c. 1890 – 1910

Right: "Among the Redwoods" by A. E. Ericson.

Augustus William Ericson (1848 – 1927) was born in Orebro, Sweden and immigrated to the US in 1864. In 1869 be began working for a lumber company in Humboldt County, California and later settled in Arcata where he established himself as a photographer. Ericson was often commissioned by lumber companies such as the John Vance Mill & Lumber Company. Some 200 of the images he produced in the early 1890s were displayed at the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

Ericson's pictures of the redwood industry were widely published in the US and abroad. Following the World's Fair, the Humboldt County Chamber of Commerce published a promotional book entitled "In the Redwood's Realm" in which 126 of the images were Ericson photos of redwood logging scenes. Although the almost 500 glass plate negatives by Ericson held by the Humboldt State University Library lack dates and documentation, they provide a revealing indictment of the logging industry's killing of ancient trees and the conversion of their corpses to shingle boldts (below).

Promotional Postcards by Little River Redwood Company
Bullwinkle/Crannell, Humboldt County, c. 1900 – 1930

The lumber industry's relentless destruction of the native redwood forests is dramatically documented in promotional photos c. 1920 commissioned by the Little River Redwood Company which operated out of Bullwinkle/ Crannell in Humboldt County.

Left: Company bigshot poses with his wife and an employee, 1930 (far left). Right: Company fellers.

15 foot diameter crosscut

Sawyer starting backcut

Choppers finishing cut

Butt of redwood tree

Peelers removing bark from logs

Redwood sections on corduroy road

Log train, cutover lands

Mill plant looking downstream

Logging camp, Bullwinkle

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