The LDR Sawmill



The L.D.R. Sawmill, photo from Finas Skeers

The L.D.R. Mill and its community known as "Irving" was located upriver from what is now known as the Fortson Mill site, about a ¼ of a mile east of the old railroad crossing, now the Whitehorse Trail,  on Swede Heaven road.  The closest post office to the L.D.R Mill and community of Pueblo, Washington which was near the railroad crossing at Swede Heaven Road on the southeast corner where the river now flows.  L.D.R. was named from the last names of 3 men in partnership of the corporation; Lamson, Dickinson and Ritchie.  Royal Lamson Sr. was also in partnership with the Fortson Shingle Mill to the west, and the BARCO logging camp to the east.  Later, Royal's son Royal Jr. will build a sawmill at BARCO.  The L.D.R. Mill was located on the southwest corner created by the crossing of the railroad over Moose Creek.  This site is now private land.  Moose Creek was damned at the time of operation to form a sizable mill pond.

The ruins of the L.D.R. Sawmill site today, photo from Martha Rasmussen

It is unclear when the L.D.R. Mill was built and changed hands a couple of times.  Down river from the L.D.R. Mill was the  McCaughey and McCaughey Sawmill at the site which is now called Fortson.  In 1913 George Fortson purchased the McCaughey and McCaughey Sawmill changing its name.  He incorporated with two of the owners of the L.D.R. Mill, Lee Dickinson and Royal Lamson. The McCaugheys leased the L.D.R. Mill and moved operations up river. In 1916 the Irving School, a two room schoolhouse, was built to meet the needs of a growing community.  This school named after foreman Joseph Irving, was located north of the mill near the tracks.  The school closed in 1923 when the new Whitehorse School opened.  McCaugheys took over the old Irving School using it for their office.  Sometime in the 1930's Mr. Larry Taylor took over the lease while he also leased the mill at Cicero. With the coming of WII the mill shut down and was later abandoned.  The school was salvaged during the war by Mr. Taylor when supplies were very hard to come by and with these materials built his home in Arlington.  Some of the structure from the old Irving School still remained and eventually burned.  The L.D.R. Mill eventually collapsed and was ultimately reclaimed by vegetation.   

Written by Martha Rasmussen
Sources:
Royal Lamson Jr.
Finas Skeers, student at the Irving & Whitehorse Schools
Larry Taylor Jr.
Washington State businesses fourteenth Biennial Report, Washington State Office of Secretary of State, October 1, 1914 - September 30, 1916