The New Wendling Colony


Grade School
This picture was taken in 1946.The people that lived in the company houses had to leave when the mill shut down in 1946.
In 1952 when the school closed, there were 8 kids in the school.

Look at the bright and beautiful faces these children own. They should own a tract of beautiful land in the Oregon Wilderness, but, Frank H. Buck robbed them of their father’s dream. Now he owes his soul to the Buck Company store. He will never get out of debt. After the land is raped and ravaged, and the Buck family can no longer make Big Bucks, Frank closes his capitalist adventure – down! There are no jobs. The city of Wendling – dies! This is what John Steinbeck, and Ken Kesey, wrote about. They championed these poor folks.

I just sent this e-mail to my Congressman, Peter DeFazio, wherein I suggest the founding of the New City of Wendling that was rendered a ghost town by Big Timber Barons. New Wendling will be located in Marin County. It will be home to homeless, poets, artists, writers, and performers who have made their way to Lane County in search of a New Life.

Big Bucks moved to a swank new building in San Francisco. He was a Senator and a Congressman. Did he have inside information on when and where the rails were being laid? Did his agents go north to Whore Town located across the river from Eugene and pay drunks to buy the land grants so The Good People can not follow the dream of my kindred, John Fremont, and own a homestead – from God? The Bucks raided Oregon from California, and snatched those parcels of land away from The Salt of the Earth!  He took the trees away from the children, converted it into Cold Hard Cash, and hen dealt gobs of money out to his kinfolks in California.

There needs to be a Congressional investigation into Booth & Kelly stock. How much does Robert Buck know? What is he hiding? I think Beryl overheard The Men bragging and laughing at the sight of poor folks who came from all over America, for some Oregon, only to find dunks and gamblers – got it all – then sold it to Frank H. Buck, who puffs away on a cigar. Women do not own the right to vote, yet!

On July 14, I had a vision of a West Coast Statue of Liberty. A Dirty Dealer for the Billionaire in Chief, insulted the Great Gift of France. I see OCCUPY LIBERTY. This is the real Tea Party. We need to identify other land and property in all Fifty States, that has received the Big Buck treatment. Time to take back America!

New Wendling can be bought for thirteen million dollars. I will not show that listing lest the Land Grabbers and Heartbreakers buy it from under us – out of spite! The Marin Community Foundation should purchase it for The Oregon Poor, because they do not have enough poor folks to hand 1.7 billion dollars to. Problem solved. Get ready for the New Exodus!

Jon Presco

President: Royal Rosamond Press

‘The Moses of Oregon’

He continued, about the Statue of Liberty: “I don’t want to get off into a whole thing about history , but the Statue of Liberty is a symbol of American liberty lighting the world. The poem you are referring to was added later. It is not actually part of the original Statue of Liberty.”

The Buck and Rosamond family have come together. I would like to see a Statue of Huguenot Harmony standing at the entrance to the Larkspur Landing, where I envisioned a New Atlantis in 1986. How about Sea Cadet training center for poor young men and women? The Huguenot Society  and Genealogy center can move to Marin. We live forever via our children and their children.

“This article is a condensation of a paper written for a U of 0 class. The author, Joan Kelley, is not related to Robert A. Kelly Her name is spelled with an additional E.
Oregon’s lumber industry was stimulated in the late nineteenth century by the nation’s expanding economy and the presence of the western railroad. Timber barons and land speculators descended upon the region as well as the entire Pacific Northwest to acquire forest lands and establish lumber companies to extract the great natural resource.
Western Oregon’s inland forests became accessible in the era of railroading. These woodlands were generally purchased from the railroads. The Oregon and California Railroad, later purchased by Southern Pacific, obtained title to immense tracts of land to help finance construction of the railways and to supposedly help the Jeffersonian Lane County Historian 55
farmer acquire land. These generous land grants were instead sold to timber speculators rather than the settlers as the government intended. The lands were often purchased by out-of-state corporations with Eastern or California capital. Within Lane County, th

Issue: ENV

Message Subject: Timber Barons
Message Text:
Frank H. Buck was president of Booth & Kelly when this timber company went into bars in Oregon and gave money to men in order to purchase land grants offered by the government when railroads came to our glorious State. These drifters, then turned around and sold them to agents of Booth & Kelly who began to harvest our trees. They then began to harvest human beings. They planted roots for them. They built a church, a school, and a company store in Wendling that is now a ghost town. After a labor strike in 1946, Frank H. Buck pulled out of Oregon, taking big bucks with him. He did not give the land back to his workers. When he died, he left it to his kindred. One of them was Leonard Buck, whose widow left Belridge stock to the Buck Foundation that is worth 1.7 billion dollars thanks to Buck oil wells that are pumping oil like crazy. Back in Welding, our Oregon trees are depleted. There are no jobs for the children and grandchildren of B&K loggers. Instead of single families owning farms along the rail line, a handful of Bucks ended up with our State Treasure. I suggest the people sue the Buck Trust, and bring our monies home to Lane County. I also found a beautiful property in Marin County that would be an ideal for The New Wendling Colony, where our tired, pour, and disenfranchised, might homestead. “Special to the Union. FAIRFIELD, Solano Co.. March 4. The inventory and appraisement in the estate of the late Anna S. Buck of Vacaville has been filed by Inheritance Tax Appraiser F. C. Mclnnis showing a total appraisement of $940,046.02, of this $36,892 being the value of realty, and over $803,000 be- ‘ ing the personal property. The personal property consists mainly of stocks and bonds, including $228,511.73 in Associated Oil stock, $193,658 in Belridge oil stock and $lOO,OOO in the Booth Kelly Lumber company. Mrs. Buck also owned other oil stock and over $30,000 in Liberty bonds. The largest share of the estate as bequeathed by the will, goes to two sons, Leonard Buck and Frank Buck of Oakland.

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“I give, devise and bequeath the entire residue of my estate to the San Francisco Foundation for the exclusively nonprofit, charitable, religious or educational uses and purposes below stated: . . . Everything so left to it including all rents, issues and profits thereof shall be known and administered as the Leonard and Beryl Buck Foundation, and shall always be held and used for exclusively nonprofit, charitable, religious or educational purposes in providing care for the needy in Marin County, Calif., and for other nonprofit charitable, religious or educational purposes in that county.”

Booth-Kelly Company Ghost Town – Wendling Oregon

Name: Wendling Oregon

Class: B3

GPS:Latitude: 44.1904044, Longitude: -122.7984142

Directions: From Portland, drive south on I-5. Take Highway Exit 216 to OR-228, turn left towards Brownsville. At eleven miles, just past Crawfordsville (you’ll see the Crawfordsville Covered Bridge on right,) take a right on Brush Creek Road. After six miles the road becomes Marcola Rd and goes through the Mohawk Valley. Six miles further take a left on to Paschekle Road. Go through the Earnest Covered Bridge then stay right on Paschelke Road. The road will come to a “T” take the left on to Wendling Road. Just under two miles the road circles the old Wendling Mill Site. The Wendling Covered Bridge is on the left. To the right and then left is the old mill pond site where most of these pictures were taken.


Wendling Oregon was a company Mill Town built by the Booth-Kelly Lumber Company in the Mohawk Valley about 20 miles Northeast of Eugene Oregon. At it’s height it had a population of about 1000 people, half of which worked at Booth-Kelly’s Wendling Mill. The hills around the area were populated by hundreds more men living in logging camps that fed the Wendling Mill and Springfield Mill.

Booth-Kelly Company Ghost Town - Wendling Oregon

The first mill in the area was owned by a man named Holcomb who built it at the junction of Mill and Wolf Creeks. In 1885 Whitbeck and Sterns purchased the mill, operated it for a short time before selling to Johnson and George Wendling. They operating it for a few years before selling to George Kelly, Tom Kelly, and Robert Booth in 1898. These men had formed the Booth-Kelly Lumber Company and immediately set about “modernizing” the mill.

Booth-Kelly Company Ghost Town - Wendling Oregon

The town grew so fast that an Post Office was established in 1899. In October of 1900, the Springfield-Wendling branch of the Southern Pacific Railroad was built to Wendling. This allowed timber and lumber to be shipped by train instead of wagon and allowed output to be increased even further. It is reported that the line was extended another 25 miles up the valley where trains brought timber to the mill from remote logging camps.

Booth-Kelly Company Ghost Town - Wendling Oregon

In 1903 the Southern Pacific Railroad announced that they would no longer sell land grants to individuals after realizing how much potential profit timber profit there was in the lands they owned. This was in conflict of the Pacific Railroad Acts enacted by Congress in 1862 and 1863. The Federal Government filed suit against the Southern Pacific Railroad, causing operations to cease. Because of this Booth-Kelly was shut down in 1904 as they could no longer transport logs or lumber. The mill was able to open again two years later after the lawsuit was resolved and by 1908 had grown yet again.

Booth-Kelly Company Ghost Town - Wendling Oregon

In August 1910 most of the town was destroyed by fire. The mill itself was saved, but most everything else had to be rebuild. Less then a year later the town featured larger houses with indoor plumbing. Before that the town consisted of a bunk-house with 46 rooms and electricity, a company store, cottages for married men and their families, an church, a school, a resident doctor, locomotive barn, machine shop, blacksmith shop, train depot, bowling alley, barber shop, and an skating rink.

Booth-Kelly Company Ghost Town - Wendling Oregon

Ghost Town of Wendling, Oregon

Booth-Kelly Company Ghost Town - Wendling Oregon

Ghost Town of Wendling, Oregon

The roads in Wendling were interesting, they were covered with left over sawdust from the mill. Later they were replaced with discarded and left over planks from the mill, along with wood-slat sidewalks.

The mill saw another fire in 1922, but was able to stay in business until 1946. The closing was prompted by a labor dispute, before a third and final fire that destroyed the building. This signed the death warrant for Wendling as any remaining timber was too far away to be financially viable. The Post Office closed in 1952, and the land sold to the Georgia Pacific Corporation in 1959.

Booth-Kelly Company Ghost Town - Wendling Oregon

One of Wendling’s most engaging residents was Opal Whiteley, who as a child had kept a diary of her adventures in a fantasyland composed of the trees, beasts, and wild flowers populated by fairies. Opal claimed to be an illegitimate child of French aristocracy who was either purchased or adopted as a replacement by her mother who had “lost” the original Opal.

The book of her life, complied by Opal herself, and launched as a serial in the Atlantic Monthly Press in 1920 ended up selling three editions and 15,000 copies in less then a year. By 1921, the Story of Opal was pulled from shelves due to the controversy surrounding Opal’s life.

Not much is left of Modern Wendling. A few older houses, the covered bridge, and the memories of residents lay among the ghosts of the mill. Concrete remains mark the final location of the mill, the general store, and the third spillway dam. There are rumors of the remains of a playground, and the children’s cemetery on the hill. But the road up is closed to traffic other then logging trucks. Other then these remains, the forest is slowly taking over the town again.

More Information:

Suggested Reading about Wendling:

A history of the Mohawk Valley and early lumbering” by Louis E Polley

Lane County (Oregon): An Illustrated History of the Emerald Empire by Dorothy Velasco

To get to Wendling, drive east along 126 from Eugene. Take 42nd Street Exit and turn left. Turn right on Marcola road. In the town of Marcola, take Wendling road on the right. You’ll come to a “Y” in the road. On the left will be the Wendling Covered Bridge. Straight ahead is the old mill site. The road circles around the entire mill site and comes back to the “Y.” Please pay attention to the “No Trespassing signs.” As far as I can tell the mill site itself is open, but some of the logging roads are marked as it private property around it.

The Booth-Kelly company eventually bought the operation.

“They realized they needed to build a place for all their workers to live, so they built a town around the sawmill,” Kreskey said.

“They blew a whistle for you to get up, blew a whistle for you to go to work and blew a whistle for you to go home,” said Kreskey, the exhibit’s curator.

Wendling is an unincorporated community in Lane County, Oregon, United States, located northeast of Marcola.[1] Wendling’s post office operated from 1899 to 1952.[2] It was named for George X. Wendling, a local lumberman.[3][4]

A rail line from Coburg, passing through Springfield and Natron, was later extended over Willamette Pass. A branch from Springfield to Wendling was constructed in 1902.[5]

Wendling Bridge, a covered bridge, carries Wendling Road over Mill Creek at Wendling.[6] Built in 1938, the bridge was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.[7]


The company that would make Springfield a major industrial center was the Booth-Kelly Lumber Company, which was incorporated in 1896 by Robert and Henry Booth and George and Tom Kelly.

[edit] 1900s

In August 1901, the Booth-Kelly Corporation purchased the Springfield sawmill and several thousand acres of timberland in the region. The sawmill was dismantled in 1902 and a larger, more efficient mill with a capacity for greater production was constructed on the same site (Clarke 1983:46).

The sawmill was not directly powered by the millrace. A steam plant was built adjacent to the millrace to power the mill with the sawdust and refuse lumber. Since this fuel was in excess of the demands for operating the plant, and destroying it would be an expense to the company, a proposition was made to the Eugene Electric Light Company to erect a light plant in Springfield with the fuel furnished by Booth-Kelly (Clarke 1983:46-48).

In 1902 a 99-year franchise was granted to the Booth Kelly Lumber Co. to produce electricity for the city using the company’s steam generator.

[edit] 1910s

In 1911, a brick steam plant replaced the original wooden building. In July of that year, the Booth-Kelly sawmill was destroyed by fire. The company replaced the burned remains of the old mill with a modern electric-powered mill with several buildings in 1912 (Clarke 1982:48-55).

The importance of the Booth-Kelly Lumber Company to Springfield’s economy is illustrated by the number of residents employed there. City directories of 1907 and 1911 clearly show that a majority of the population worked in some capacity for Booth-Kelly. In 1904, the company sold some of the controlling shares of stock to out-of-state businessmen, which brought new money into the community. Springfield became known as “Mill City,” and as it grew and prospered, many new people arrived looking for work. In 1907, railroad rates sky-rocketed for lumber shipments, and Booth-Kelly faced a serious legal battle concerning land grant purchases. Despite its problems and the fact that no profit was made in 1911 by the Springfield mill, the company kept the operation going. The decision to replace the burned mill in 1912 was the result of improved regulation of railroad rates and a favorable decision by the U.S. Government in the case against Booth-Kelly (Clarke 1983:50-55).

Robert A. Booth was more than a successful businessman. He was a state Senator for two terms in the Oregon Legislature. He was the leader in formulating the Oregon highway system and served as chairman of its Highway Commission. He served as trustee of Willamette University, was President of the Oregon Land and Livestock Company, served on the Oregon Tuberculosis Association and the State Park Commission and was active in Rotary, Boy Scouts, Portland and Eugene Chambers of Commerce and other public service organizations. It is an expression of Mr. Booth’s devotion to the religious work of his father that the Circuit Rider Statue adorns the Capitol grounds at Salem, his gift to the State. Mr. Booth was lifetime Methodist. He was the Sunday School Superintendent for over 20 years and also served his church as trustee and in other capacities.

He died in Eugene, Oregon, April 28, 1944, at the age of 86.

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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1 Response to The New Wendling Colony

  1. Reblogged this on Rosamond Press and commented:

    The holders of limited imaginations have ruled over us long enough. Take your magic back!

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