Logging companies have been a major industry in the history Forest Grove. Here are some sources of local history on this topic:

Lumber Mills

  • Carnation Lumber Company (c. 1929, at the old Carnation Creamery plant)
  • Garrigus Lumber Company (c. 1960, formerly Carnation Lumber Company)
  • Taylor Lumber & Treating (September 1989, formerly owned by Zurcher family)
  • Stimson Lumber Company (near Hagg Lake) - see published book on their history

Stimson Lumber Company

"Something of the History of Gaston and Surrounding Area." Compiled by Mrs. T.R. Rice; Sent in by Alice Kopplin." A Centennial History of Washington County, Oregon (1959).

(An editorial fact sheet about Forest Hardboard and the hardboard industry for your convenient reference.)

COMPANY HISTORY -- Forest Fiber Products is the hardboard manufacturing and hardboard marketing subsidiary of Stimson Lumber Co. Early in 1880 T.D. Simson cut the final trees of his White Pine stand of timber in Michigan and moved West. Among the several tracts he acquired by purchase or patent in the states of Oregon and Washington was the so-called Tillamook group located in Washington and Tillamook counties in Oregon. His sons and later his grandson, C.W. Stimson, operated and cut various timber tracts in the State of Washington.


Stimson Lumber Co. (SLC) built a logging camp, railroad and sawmill seven miles south of Forest Grove, Oregon.


One-third of timber holdings were killed in the devastating Tillamook fire, one of the worst forest fires in recorded history. Stimson wa the first lumber company to begin salvage operations in the Tillamook burn. One of the first problems was to utilize as much of the remaining burned logs as possible. Burned snags were predominantly Douglas Fir and fortunately that species of wood is highly resistant to fire damage and insect infestations. A wood chemist was hired for research. The first successful attempt to solve the utilization problem was the development of a wood plastic (now marketed as "Plasto-Fil" and "Fil-Tite") which is sold to plywood plant on the Pacific slope for patching and filling.


Through the thirties and forties a great deal of research was directed towards utilizing more small parts of the log. The result was the decision in 1947 to manufacture hardboard as the best answer to utilization of burned snags.


The hardboard plant was built at the sawmill site near Forest Grove.


First hardboard produced in June. Trade name - Forest Hardboard. The hardboard operation not only utilizes all the good sound Douglas Fir left over from the mill but also much raw material is being bought from surrounding mills which increases the utilization of wood resources in the vicinity.


Production of hardboard was doubled.


Forest Fiber Products Co. introduced the first tongue and groove hardboard wall paneling in the industry.


Developed first 3/4" cupboard door stock in the industry.


Introduced first "sealed" tempered hardboard for hard wearing surfaces and exterior use.


First prefinished tempered hardboard in light color introduced: Sandalwood Forest Hardboard.

Hardboard, the amazing man-made wood is an industry still in its infancy. One billion square feet were used in 1952. 1956 - U.S. plant capacity is 1,800,000,000 square feet (on a 1/8"basis). Hardboard capacity in U.S. for 1960 is estimated at 2,700,000,000 square feet.

New users are being continually found for hardboard. It is so flexible it can bend around four corners of a TV cabinet, so firm a door made from it resists warping, so smooth in drawer bottoms, it won't snag filmy nylons and so tough and hard hammer blows won't dent the surface. yet, carpenters find it easy to saw and nail.

You'll find hardboard under upholstery on automobile door panels, under the dash board and inside the trunk. Hundreds of other uses include furniture, cabinets, home and office wall paneling, underlayment for floors and store displays.

Some dates and facts about the hardboard industry are listed below:


First hardboard produced. One plant produced six million square feet annually.


Second hardboard plant in U.S. was built.


Third U.S. hardboard plant built.


Fourth U.S. hardboard plant built (Forest Fiber Products Co.)


Hardboard Association was formed with offices in Chicago. Harold A. Miller (President of Forest Fiber Products Co. and Stimson Lumber Co.) was named the Association's first president.


Twelve hardboard plants now in U.S. There are seventy hardboard plants in twenty-three foreign countries.


Green Veneer Plant built at Stimson Lumber-Forest Fiber Products Co. is an integrated operation for maximum utilization of the entire tree regardless of size or quality. The combined lumber - hardboard - green veneer operation is the most complete utilization of wood operation in the nation.

Personnel -- Forest Fiber Products Co.

Harold A. Miller
Vice President

Ray W. Repogle

Gordon T. Hanson
General Manager

(Tom) F.M. Hughes
Plant Superintendent

G.E. Tower
Merchandising Manager

John W. Cain
Sales Manager

Henry Jacobsen