The following account of the manner of handling the redwood logs is condensed from the Scientific Americcm of recent date, and may be found interesting. The manner of preparing the tree, and treating the road on which the logs are snaked out, is the same in detail as is already given in the commencement of this chapter, with the exception that the trees are now felled with saws instead of hitherto; it being found that the trees jump better from their stumps, and cause less waste by breakage, than when the axe was used.
No wagons are used in the woods, the logs being simply snaked along the ground, and in this manner the loads hauled are sometimes enormous. One train of seven logs, drawn on Humboldt Bay by five yoke of oxen, scaled collectively 22,500 feet, board measure, of mercantile lumber.
' Until within the past year all the labor of handling these logs was done with cattle, but now steam is used in many places for this purpose. The machine consists of an upright boiler and engine, somewhat similar to a portable hoisting-engine, except that, instead of a reel to wind the rope on, it has two " gypsy-heads " on each end of the reel shaft. To move this machine around in the woods, they run a line ahead, make it fast to a tree or stump, take two or three turns around the gypsy, and start up the engine. In this way it hauls itself wherever wanted. By the use of this machine heavy logs are brought out of ravines and bad places, where it would be impossible to get them with oxen or horses.
A wooden tramway is used for transporting the logs from the woods to the mills or streams; but, as the more accessible timber is being cut off, this way of conveyance is supplanted by iron and steel rails or locomotives.
There are about forty mills engaged in cutting redwood, the largest of which have a capacity of 75,000 or 80,000 feet per day. Perhaps the average working capacity of all the mills would be about 40,000 feet daily. The amount of redwood sawed by these mills in 1881 was not far from 140,000,000 feet. Of this, 95,000,000 came to the port of San Francisco; the balance, 45,000,000 feet, manufactured, was distributed to the lower ports in California, Mexico, South America, Sandwich Islands, Society Islands, and Australia, vessels going direct from the mills. Very few vessels, however, run all the year round, both on account of the difficulty of keeping them supplied with logs, and because the places where many are situated are not safe harbors for shipping in winter. As very few of the mills are connected with the market by rail, nearly all the lumber is transported by sailing-vessels.