Hull-Oakes Mill Photo Tour

I've been down to Hull-Oakes at least five times. It is loud and usually poorly lit, and since I am showing you my own photographs and videos, you will have to suffer with my modest attempts to capture the spirit of the place.

The wigwam burner is located near the log pond and has survived in an attempt to keep the "historic" appearance of the mill. It is kept operational, and occasionally a load of chips is transferred to it for the employees to use for landscaping.

Logs are brought to the site by truck and dumped into the log pond. They are sorted and set up on the loading ramp by the "pond monkey" driving a highly-maneuverable boat. The wigwam is to the right, and the twin smoke stacks of the boilers are just visible through the steam.

The first stop for a log fresh out of the pond is the debarker, a giant cylindrical contraption that scrapes the bark off.

In the mill, the log is loaded on a carriage which moves back and forth, passing the log through the headrig saw. The man on the carriage sets the depth of the cut, while another across from his controls other settings. They communicate with hand signals because of the high background noise.

This is the 1908 Ames two cylinder steam engine. It powers about half the mills equipment. Hull-Oakes got it second hand and installed it in the 50s.

This is the east end of the mill. Larger pieces come out this way. Smaller lumber goes down to the sorting shed visible on the left.

This shows the unused track running past the loading shed. Box cars were loaded by hand from the dock in the 50s & 60s. Larger timbers went out on flatcars. Now days it is used for covered storage.

This is the east end of the loading shed. Centerbeam railcars are loaded and stored here.

Chips generated at various points in the mill are blown through pipes with low-pressure air to the chip loading station. The railcar is pulled back and forth by chains and an electric motor to load it evenly. Aparently it can be overloaded as well.

These pictures are obviously just a scratch on the surface. I encourage you to take the tour yourself. You can also take my video tour.

More photos from 2010.


  1. Cool place! I am planning an HO layout featuring Corvallis yard, the switching lead south of town, Alpine Junction and Hull-Oakes Mill. Your videos and model have been inspiring! I wish service would be restored so I can witness the rail operation. Oh-well, in HO will have to do!

  2. Thanks for great coverage of a fantastic place to visit, sure miss the rail connection. I fear for the longitivity of Hull-Oaks, long may it live.