From the logging camps (4)

This complete discussion on Page 1 of Pop’s scrapbook entitled “Forest Regeneration” that was featured in larger print in the last post: “From the Logging Camps (3)”.1

Pop wrote that our Camp 2 residence in the early 1940s at Port Renfrew, BC, was 10 miles up the logging railway that began at the mouth of the San Juan River. He reported that the tracks extended a further 10 miles into the woods. That should give some perspective, for the Hemmingsen-Cameron railway was not akin to the Canadian Pacific Railway. No, our railway seems to have spanned 20 miles. Or so.

Memoires linger of trunk routes and switches, with the speeder being shunted off the main track. A ride on the speeder to that generation’s kid was more fun than a present ride at Playland (Rye NY), except there was no need for a ticket. So claims the older generation.

JDH: Marilee Wein Scrapbook © 2018

Here is the referenced picture of Mum, “MMH” and her first child, big brother, John Dickson Hemmingsen.1  

MMH was, of course, wearing a dress in the woods. Yep, she made it. It was probably silk, per the drape of the cloth.  

She likely was sporting heels, too – sturdy ones, naturally. She was always practical.  That is, as one can plainly see from the picture of our house in the prior post, she had a garden to attend. Should the picture have been of modern precision, well, guaranteed it would expose not a weed.

DIGRESSION: Dickson, as in John Dickson Hemmingsen, honored grandfather, James Dickson, the miner.  It has long been presumed that “John” was for Pop, John Oliver Hemmingsen.  However, “Double Genealogy: the Adoption Witness” discovered that the miner’s adoptive grandfather was John Dickson (1816-1876). Who knew? Mum did not, so John was for Pop.  Let’s honor our forefather, anyway.


The post under “Writing Genealogy”, “Census & BMD: Rooms, With One, Or More, Windows”, found a tight living circumstance for John Dickson and his large family, in the 19th Century at Lanarkshire, Scotland.2 We worried as his home window-count was reduced over time with decreased wages.  Yet, we sensed and respected his grit, for we knew his grandson, who was the most genial and positive of men. 

“From the Logging Camps” hopes to show that life can be a fantastic experience in a humble abode, deep in the woods, or anywhere else.  

Our vantage spans 1816 to 2018, to realize our family was never happier, than when we lived in the BC timberland, in the home of these pages.  And, by extension, in that loving home in Scotland, where only one room was windowed. It is with the hardship of our John Dickson, and his wonderful family, on whose account, we are us.

Back to the scrapbook! As shown before, brother John had a wagon.. And, apparently chickens – obviously free range, at that!  We also had the finest swimming pool in town.  As Pop pointed out, John’s main toys were pots and pans. Yet he lacks as a musician. I do not recall him sharing these concussion, er, percussion instruments. Now, as the older brother, John was constantly conspiring, but I never ever tattled. I did not.  I never shared, willingly that is, my menagerie, and definitely never, the murdered Lambsy Divey, or Blue Teddy.

Photo trio “Kids” from Marilee Wein Scrapbook © 2018

What we did share in great harmony for hours on end: the Sears, Roebuck & Co Catalogue. It was every toy imaginable.  And, a kid had to imagine.   Cut it out. Make it work! Paper dolls with endless wardrobe. Farms, towns, houses, and implements. One could constuct anything. And when all was in shreds, a new edition would arrive.

By the time of the far left kid picture, the family had moved to Beach Camp, at the mouth of the San Juan River.  We were out of the wilderness, yet, still in the woods, so to speak. We will leave the kids behind, now, to wrap up this page.

As Pop noted, a bald logging operation is seen in the background of some of our pictures. Notice that the title of his scrapbook is Forest Regeneration. Hemmingsen-Cameron restocked as they went. The scrapbook came after a trip with Pop, not so long ago. He was keen to show us the new forest, with tracts date-labeled back to the time of our infancy, in Port Renfrew.  They hardly needed their plaques, for their girth and tallness told their stories.  You shall see as we shall post.

Please scroll, to reply below.


Notes and Sources:

  1. John Oliver Hemmingsen (1913-2008) authored the Scrapbook “Forest Regeneration” All postings and pictures are from his family collection. Posthumously published at this blog and protected under its copyright
  2. All Scotland Census and BMD data were accessed at ScotlandsPeople and are © Crown copyright, National Records Scotland

3 thoughts on “From the logging camps (4)

  1. This post brings back wonderful memories of browsing through the Sears Roebuck catalog when I was a child. We bought so much from it back then. In additional to making paper dolls from the pictures in the catalog, I can remember pressing flowers between its pages to dry them


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