Camp 3 - Passport in Time

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Rediscovering Camp 3

Willamette National Forest, Oregon, 1999
by Carol Winkler, FS Archaeologist

Despite wet feet, six volunteers cheerfully endured a few Oregon showers and creek crossings in search of evidence of Camp 3, a historical-period railroad logging camp, occupied from 1928 to 1936. With the help of volunteer Steve Isaacson’s metal detector, we located artifacts that confirm the postulated location of Camp 3. Tromping through dense brush, we surveyed a wide area around the camp and mapped the “wye” and associated railroad features.

Last fall’s forest fire burned lightly across the top of the inclined railroad site, exposing features that had been covered by dense brush. We mapped a new feature—the remnants of the steam-powered winch that controlled cars on the steep incline.

We also enjoyed a visit by railroad historian Ward Tonsfeldt, who gave the volunteers an overview of the history of the North Fork logging railroad system and last year’s trestle PIT project, which resulted in Historic American Engineering Record documentation.

Next in the series will be mapping and documentation of Camp 5, a 1935–1947 family camp that still brings fond memories to many folks living in the area.
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