Crowell recounts Sisters' logging history


Last updated 4/18/2023 at 6:16pm

Photo by Jerry Baldock

Jim Crowell recounted logging history at the Three Sisters Historical Society's Fireside Story Evening on March 28.

Jim Crowell offered "An Insider's View of Local Logging, Lumber & Milling" at the March 28 Fireside Story evening hosted by the Three Sisters Historical Society at the FivePine Conference Center.

With a mission to gather, preserve, and share local history, the topic of this event was a look back at the industry that changed the trajectory of the local landscape and population, having a huge and lasting impact on the future of the Sisters area.

Crowell brought a fabulous slide show featuring shots of the earliest days of logging, shared what life was like for employees and families in those days, and spoke about the origin and growth of the railroads that came in to transport the massive amounts of wood product produced.

Crowell's extensive knowledge of this industry began early. He was from a logging family that migrated from Minnesota to Bend in 1940. During school years he worked for Leonard Lundgren's mill and then during college, Brooks Scanlon. After receiving degrees from the University of Oregon in education and journalism, he "took a detour," writing for The Bend Bulletin, The Oregonian, and teaching at COCC. In the 1970s, he returned to Brooks Scanlon, and in the '80s transitioned with them to Brooks Resources as director of marketing and communications.

Throughout, he has continued writing books, plays, and screenplays. His latest play, "Your Humble Servant," will open at the Tower Theater July 7.

On March 28, the weather, despite predictions, turned out to be rather accommodating – i.e., no blizzard conditions!

Crowell said, "I was pleasantly surprised by the large audience on a cold, midweek night. It's obvious that the Sisters Historical Society is a going operation."

The large gathering enjoyed cookies and coffee by the fireplace before and after the presentation in the well-appointed event center, which the speaker commented on as quite impressive.

Up next for the Fireside Story Evening is "If Trees Could Speak: Stories of Camp Sherman" on Tuesday, April 25, at the FivePine Conference Center. The presentation at 7 p.m. will feature Lori Hancock from the Camp Sherman Historical Society. For more information visit

If you would like to find out more about Sisters' history or would consider becoming a volunteer, stop by the Sisters Museum at 151 N. Spruce St. It is open Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call 541-549-1403 for more information, or email museum@threesisters


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