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Research: Sawmill Database

Alpha-Numeric Key: PK-25
Corporate Name: W. T. Carter & Bro Logging Front
Local Name:
Owner Name: W. T. Carter & Bro Logging Front
Location: Camp Ruby, fourteen miles east of Livingston
County: Polk
Years in Operation: 16 years
Start Year: 1925
End Year: 1940
Decades: 1930-1939,1930-1939,1940-1949
Period of Operation: 1925 to later 1940s
Town: Camp Ruby
Company Town: 1
Peak Town Size: Unknown
Mill Pond:
Type of Mill: Sawtimber and sawlogs
Sawmill Pine Sawmill Hardwood Sawmill Cypress Sawmill
Planer Planer Only Shingle Paper
Plywood Cotton Grist Unknown
Power Source: Other
Horse Mule Oxen Water
Water Overshot Water Turbine Diesel Unknown
Pit Steam Steam Circular Steam Band
Gas Electricity Other
Maximum Capacity: 
Capacity Comments: Unknown
Rough Lumber Planed Lumber Crossties Timbers
Lathe Ceiling Unknown Beading
Flooring Paper Plywood Particle Board
Treated Other
Equipment: Mules, oxen, tram roads
Company Tram:
Associated Railroads: Moscow, Camden and San Augustine; Shreveport, Houston and Gulf; Houston East and West Texas; Texas and New Orleans
Historicial Development: The Carter logging camp at Camp Ruby, in 1937, was fourteen miles east of Livingston, in Polk County. Several log trains left daily for the mill at Camden, averaging almost 3,500 feet of lumber. Tributary camps were called “mule corrals,” because the mules were picketed there and cared by several men, while the remainder rode the train from the main camp to work and back. A Class B high school was held at Camp Ruby in 1937. N. B. Weatherford who clerked and bookkeeped many years for the Carter firm recalled that, in 1933, the Manning logging and tramming operations were combined with the W. T. Carter & Bro. operation at Camp Ruby, which had been established in 1925. Transferred, on May 1, 1933, to Camp Ruby from Manning were five locomotives, two Rapid Loaders, one American loader, seventy-five logging mules, two saddle horses, one shop car, one feed car, two living cars, and two cabooses. By 1934, logging tram mileage was in excess of fifty miles. Camp Ruby had a large commissary; a doctor's office; a barber shop; about twenty-five tenant houses for Whites, ten for Mexicans, and twenty-five “for the Colored families”; a post office; and a complete shop. Water from wells was used by all families. No mention was made about home electrification. Weatherford noted that by 1954 the trucking replaced tram cars in logging operation at Camden and had began phasing out mule teams for skidding. They were replaced with Ford diesel skidders. The Shreveport, Houston and Gulf, the Carter-Kelley Lumber Company tram road associated with its lumber plant at Manning, Angelina County, connected with Camp Ruby during the 1930s. Logging operations at Manning were similar to those based at Camp Ruby. R. L. Poland wrote that the daily work train into the woods returned each night to Manning with the loggers, or “flatheads,” as they were known. Using cabbage-head smokestacks to retard the cinders from the locomotives, at least five engines and a Shay were maintained in a round house well equipped with a machine shop. Effie Boon believed that steam skidders were not used in logging operations, but Poland reports skidders and log loaders were employed until the snaking cables had so badly damaged the trees that the equipment was abandoned for logging. Both the two-wheel high cart and the eight-wheel Martin wagon were used in Manning logging operations. Toward the end of the Manning operation, its tram roads ran south to the Carter Lumber Company mill at Camden and another fourteen miles further to Camp Ruby in order to get logs.
Research Date: MCJ 02-26-96
Prepared By: M. Johnson