Working as Loggers & Millworkers for the Calapooya Lumber Company

by Stephen Williamson

These photos were taken near Crawfordsville Oregon.  Crawfordsville is about 25 miles northeast of Eugene. Crawfordsville is about 12 miles from Marcola Oregon.

Historian Louis Polley says that “quite a number of Hindus” worked near Marcola at the Coast Range Lumber Company.  Both Hindus and Japanese had their own settlements in Mabel Oregon.  They also had a colony in Astoria Oregon.

Many of the Sikhs came from areas of Pakistan and India near where the United States has troops.  Learning about them is important at this time in our history.

sikh and hindus in Oregon at lumber mill

Sunda Singh in 1909 Brownsville Times “Accident at Saw Mill”

This is a news article from the April 2, 1909 Brownsville Times newspaper.  It is about a severe injury to a “Hindu” named Sunda Singh.  The news story ends on an optimistic note “the unfortunate man is resting nicely and has a good chance of recovery.”

The full text of the story reads:

“Sunda Singh, a Hindu working in the Calapooia Lumber company’s saw mill near Crawfordsville, met with an accident Saturday afternoon that nearly cost him his life.  He was working near the edger when struck on the hip and knocked against a post, the blow fracturing his skull in bad shape.

Medical aid was summoned, but it was found necessary to remove him to the Kelley Hospital in this city, where an operation was performed, doubtless saving his life.  At the present time the unfortunate man is resting nicely and has a good chance of recovering.”

accident at saw mill

Photo of man with bicycle named HEARA SINGH

A Berkeley PhD Student in an Oregon Lumber Mill

Here is a link to the PBS Special,  “Roots in the Sand”.  Learn about Bhagat Singh Thind who immigrated here in 1913 and paid his tuition through school at Berkeley by working summer vacations in an Oregon lumber town.  He earned a PhD from Berkeley University in California.

Bhagat Singh Thrind was also a veteran of World War I.  His fight for citizenship was a landmark legal case.  He also wrote many books on metaphysics and philosophy that are regarded as classics bringing East and West philosophy closer together.  He was a brilliant man.

Go To PBS Site now>

bhagat singh Thrind pbs special roots in the sand