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The Wisconsin lumberman, devoted to the lumbering interests of the northwest
Volume III. Number 6 (March, 1875)

About Placerville, Cal. The Sacramento and El Dorado County wood and timber chute--new diches in El Dorado County--how all will naturally combine into our comprehensive system--gigantic timber resources of the country to be developed,   pp. 495-406 [496] PDF (791.7 KB)

Page 495

2le Wisconsun Lumberman.
[Correspendence of The Record-Union.]
PLACERVILLE, FEB. 16, 1875.-Eds.
Record-Union; The interest manifested
by the Record-Union in the permanent
prosperity of Sacramento leads me to give
some additional items to those already giv-
en Io its readers, in regard to the amount
* of timber and cord wood, and the facilities,
present, and prospective, for transporting
them from  this country to  Sacramento
* city. In El Dorado county there is a tim-
ber belt, the west line of which lies in
about the longitude of Placerville, and ex-
tending north and south from thirty to
forty miles across the county. Its breadth
-west to east varies from thirty to fifty
miles, comprising about 1,200 square miles,
or more than 700,000 acres, most of which
is well wooded; the larger portion being
4oovered with a heavy growth of sugar pine,
yellow pine, spruce, ceder, or oak, with
some California maple, and in some places
a large growth of California laurel, the
two latter being suitable for manufactur-
ing furniture, or ornamental work. In
this timber belt are contained probably 200,-
'000 "ares of the finest sugar pine forests in
-the state.
Much of this fine timber is being de-
stroyed by persons known as "Shake mak-
-ers." Sugar pines of gigantic size, often
from eight to twelve feet in diametar at
the base, tapering slightly to a hight of
- eighty or a hundred feet without a limb,
.are felled, a "cut" four feet in length saw-
*ed off, and if not found to "rive" well, the
tree is abandoned and left to decay; while
if the tree is acceutible to the shake mak-
-ers, not more than a third or a half of it
is worked up. I am informed by a United
States surveyor that he recently saw 32,-
000 shakes made from sixty feet of a tree,
the remainder left to destruction by the
-elements. The writer has seen hundreds
of sugar pine trees partly worked, and
then left to rot or be burned by autumnal
fiires, which so frequently pass over por-
tions of this timber tract. A tree of the
A  kind above mentioned, if sawel intoplank
would produce more than 40,000 feet fiish-
ing lumber, worth in Sacramento five
.eents per foot-$2,000-while if manufac-
tured into shakes, would not brig one-
fourth of that sum in the same market.
The objection to parties manufacturing
shakes is not so great as the wanton de-
struction of this fine timber. Shake mak-
ers ply their vocation on government lands,
surveyed or unsurveyed, and on railroad
lands alike.
An old hunter who frequents those lo-
calities informed the -writer this week
that the destruction of timber by shake
makers is alarming, and ought to be dis-
continued. I have called attention to the
destruction of this fine timber that persons
most interested may take notice of the
Intelligent and successful lumber min,
who have been engaged in the business
for twenty years or more in this country,
and who have examined neaty evry square
mile of this timber belt, inform me that
there are many thousands of acres that
will produce 300,000 feet to the acre of
merchantable pine and spruce lumber, and
that the average of the whole will range
between 5,000 and 300,000 feet to the
If the average per acre is placed at 20,-
000 feet, this belt will yield fourteen bill-
ion feet of boards, or more than ten mill-
ion cords of four foot wood.
There is a large amount of the finest
quality of black oak wood-in addition to
the pine and spruce-which is worth in
market $2 per cord more than the white
oak, whieh grows to the west of this belt,
and along the foot-hills, and is now the
principal wood sent to the Sacramento
The north and middle portions of this
timber is situiated along the tributaries of
the middle and south forks of the Ameri-
can river; the south portion along the
trivutaries of the Cosumnes river. That
portion lying on the northwest slope of
the Diamond Spring ridge, in the vicinity
of Newtown, Pleasant valley, Sly Park,
and east of there; all of that along the
Placerville ridge, and the middle and
southern slope of the Georgetown ridge,
in the vicinity of Gaddos and Silver creeks,
ean be reached and transported to Placer-
ville by the El Dorado Water and Deep
Gravel and Mining Company's canal and
its branches, now in course of construction,
and which will be completed the coming
smimmer. The main trunk of this canal is
about forty miles in length, twelve feet
wide on top, six feet wide on the bottom
and five feet deep; the minimum grade be-
ing six feet to the mile, with curved flumes

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