Biles-Coleman Lumber Company of Omak, WA

North American Narrow Gauge; West of the Rockies (including Canada; Mexico).
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Curtis_F
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Biles-Coleman Lumber Company of Omak, WA

Post by Curtis_F » Tue Jul 06, 2010 7:07 pm

I was doing some odds'n'ends research when I came across this image in the National Archives from the Biles-Coleman Lumber Company:

Loaded log train on narrow gauge railroad of Biles Colemena Lumber Co. at "big landing" on the old Omak Creek unit.

I would have loved to have been there when that "Hyster" started pulling that load!


I'll also throw out this link to a page about a proposed, but never built, Biles-Coleman Lumber Company 2-6-6-2.


Cheers,


*EDIT* Fixed the link. Instead of going straight to the image, it goes to the "Details" tab and shouldn't time out. Need to click on the "Digital Copies" button to see the image. *EDIT*
Last edited by Curtis_F on Tue Jul 06, 2010 10:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Brian Norden
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Re: Biles-Coleman Lumber Company of Omak, WA

Post by Brian Norden » Tue Jul 06, 2010 10:05 pm

Curtis,

Your search time at the Archives web-site had timed-out.

But, by clicking on "You can start a new search by clicking here" I was able to get to the search menu and then I entered "Biles-Coleman" and got a return of four images.

Biles-Coleman was an interesting operation and its story has been told. Back in 1980 the book Reservation Narrow Gauge was published; the author was John Edward Lewis. 2500 copies.

I have a copy from when it was new; but, decided to look up the book at AbeBooks.com -- found two copies listed -- one at $95.00 and one at $157.50

The company operated with one Heisler and 21 long cars and normally ran with 20 car trains (one car was left under the loader). The cars were by PC&F and carried a "standard gauge" load of logs. Reportedly it carried more board-feet per day than operations like West Side.

Also covered in the book was a late 1920s operation at Priest Lake which used similar cars but used industrial-style, internal-combustion locomotives.
Brian Norden

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Andrew Brandon
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Re: Biles-Coleman Lumber Company of Omak, WA

Post by Andrew Brandon » Wed Jul 07, 2010 8:15 am

I have family in Omak and they just sent me an issue of their local paper last week which was was a reprint of a 1920s issue. This included a front page article about Biles Coleman opening for the season. I am not sure what I did with it, but I'll find it and scan it.

I've wanted to get my hands on a copy of Reservation Narrow Gauge but the price is too prohibitive at this time.

The mill of course is still standing up there and was in some sort of operation last I saw. I am hoping to head up that way later this year to visit and explore the ROW.
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Brian Norden
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Re: Biles-Coleman Lumber Company of Omak, WA

Post by Brian Norden » Wed Jul 07, 2010 7:31 pm

Still working from memory.

One interesting story about the Biles-Coleman Lumber operation came during the Second WW.

There was some concern about the amount of business that the company was doing during the War when most consumer goods and products were limited. So an inspector was sent out to Omark and he inquired about the business of the company. Well the company's primary product was casket shook!

"Shook" is most often used to mean "a set of parts for assembling a barrel or packing box."
-- American Heritage Dictionary.
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Re: Biles-Coleman Lumber Company of Omak, WA

Post by Randy Hees » Wed Jul 07, 2010 9:50 pm

The best source for Biles - Coleman is "Reservation Narrow Gauge" by John Lewis, (1980, published by the author...)

Randy
Randy Hees

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Railway Preservation News http://www.rypn.org
Chasing old trains where ever I may find them...
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