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Research: Sawmill Database

Alpha-Numeric Key: SH-269
Corporate Name: W. R. Pickering Lumber Company
Local Name:
Owner Name: W. R. Pickering Lumber Company
Location: Haslam, northwest corner of 2787 and 84
County: Shelby
Years in Operation: 22 years
Start Year: 1909
End Year: 1930
Decades: 1900-1909,1910-1919,1920-1929,1930-1939
Period of Operation: Began operations 1909; closed down in 1930
Town: Haslam
Company Town: 1
Peak Town Size: 600 in 1928
Mill Pond:
Type of Mill: Pine only, complete; 60% board stock, 40% ties and timbers (1915) 1928: Shortleaf yellow pine
Sawmill Pine Sawmill Hardwood Sawmill Cypress Sawmill
Planer Planer Only Shingle Paper
Plywood Cotton Grist Unknown
Power Source: Steam
Horse Mule Oxen Water
Water Overshot Water Turbine Diesel Unknown
Pit Steam Steam Circular Steam Band
Gas Electricity Other
Maximum Capacity: 50000: 1909200000: 1915
Capacity Comments: 50,000 feet in 1909; 200,000 feet daily (1915)
Rough Lumber Planed Lumber Crossties Timbers
Lathe Ceiling Unknown Beading
Flooring Paper Plywood Particle Board
Treated Other
Equipment: 1928: Two band sawmills, planing mill, edgers, trimmers, dry kilns, logging road
Company Tram:
Associated Railroads: Houston East & West Texas (Southern Pacific)
Historicial Development: The Haslam sawmill was built by the Pickering Lumber Company about 1909. “Texas Mills of Pickering Company.” Southern Industrial and Lumber Review, incorrectly places the mill four miles north of Center. Beginning in 1901, Pickering began very large timber purchases in Texas. He had to pay a redemption tax to Shelby County in 1905 to maintain title to his property. By 1906, it had almost 100,000 acres located in Shelby, Sabine, and San Augustine counties. In 1905, a ring of lumber rustlers, which had been stripping Pickering lands along the Sabine River, was arrested due to the work of L. S. Moore, a company operative. In 1906, the Pickering Lumber Company had three large sawmill operations in Louisiana, and, after failing to buy the Emporia Lumber Company mill at Doucette, had planned to build a Shelby County mill at Center to cut their Texas timber holdings. A tax disagreement with Center's townfathers, however, prompted the large lumber company to relocate their proposed sawmill site near the Sabine River, on the Southern Pacific railroad. The town was named Haslam after Pickering's superintendent of mills, L. F. Haslam. The new mill appeared in a 1915 directory of sawmills as having a daily cutting capacity of 200,000 feet. The mill could furnish rough and dressed boards and timbers up to 40-ft lengths. Twenty feet, however, was the maximum length the dry kilns could accommodate. By 1929, the available timber was nearly gone, and the company announced that it would move the mill to Alturas, California, when it cut out. The Gulf Coast Lumberman announced on January 1, 1931, that the mill had cut its last log on December 15, 1930. Haslam was a company town, with trams, mill-owned light and water plants, boarding houses, two shifts, more than 200 tenant houses, front camps, hotel, and a commissary. A logging front was located near Milam in Sabine County during the 1920s, according to Mrs. Dixie Sparks.
Research Date: JKG 10-15-93, MCJ 03-02-96
Prepared By: J. Gerland, M Johnson