Donkey, Western Machinery Three Drum Yarder
These Case-powered three drum yarders were built in the late 1940’s-early 1950’s to supply the expanding logging market with an affordable yarder and loading machine. Western Machinery of Portland, Oregon utilized a Case Model LA tractor for power and a gearbox, simply replacing the wheels with chain sprockets. The design resembles in many ways Skagit Steel and Iron Works’ Little Tugger logging winch of the 1920’s which utilized a Fordson tractor for power.
This machine operated at the McMillan Shingle Mill in Grand Ronde, Oregon, and was used to dump the loads of cedar logs at the mill pond. The yarder is Order Number 50909, Machine Number 14 and was built in 1948. It was purchased in 2001 by Chris Baldo to expand the Roots of Motive Power collection of post-WW II logging equipment.
Many thanks to Bill Henderson of Sheridan, Oregon for making the original purchase possible, Dexter Hyde of Grand Ronde, Oregon for loading the machine with his classic Unit Shovel, and Gene and Dorothy Roediger for transporting the yarder to Willits.
from the Roots of Motive Power Newsletter, December 2001