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Warren Photograph Collection - Finding Aid

Biographical Information
Scope and Content of the Collection
Arrangement of the Collection

Collection Number


Contact Information

The Library, Special Collections
Cal Poly Humboldt
Arcata, California 95521

Processed By

Joan Berman

Date Collection Processed




Collection Creator

Walter J. Warren (1912-1996)

Dates Covered by Collection

1890s-1950s (date span)
1910-1940 (bulk dates)

Size of Collection

3 cubic feet; approximately 500 items


The Warren Photograph Collection provides a visual history of the lumber company town of Crannell (known as Bulwinkle prior to 1922) and the Little River Redwood Company (LRRC).  LRRC purchased the Vance Redwood Mill in 1900 and merged with Hammond Lumber Company in 1931; these companies are also represented in this collection.


The collection is open for research.


Copyright has not been assigned to Humboldt State University. To obtain permission to publish or reproduce in any format, please contact the Special Collections Librarian.

Acquisition Information

Walter Warren donated the collection to Cal Poly Humboldt Library in 1994.

Biographical Information

Walter J. Warren was born in Eureka in 1912, one of three sons of parents who emigrated from Croatia. He lived with his family in Bulwinkle/Crannell from 1914 until 1926 when the family moved to Arcata and Walter started high school. A one year business course at Humboldt State started him on his career in insurance and accounting. He retired from Warren, Starkey and Gray Insurance Agency in 1980 as a long time civic and business leader in Humboldt County. Some of his activities included board membership of Humboldt Federal Savings & Loan Association, Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District, Arcata Rotary Club and Arcata Chamber of Commerce; he was also secretary of Reclamation District No. 768 for many years. Warren's major hobby was collecting and restoring old logging steam locomotives. His photograph collection reflects that early experience and continuing life interest until his death in 1996. Two of the Warren family homes are now part of the Humboldt State University campus.

Scope and Content of the Collection

The Warren Photograph Collection provides a visual history of the lumber company town of Crannell (known as Bulwinkle prior to 1922) and the Little River Redwood Company (LRRC). LRRC purchased the Vance Redwood Mill in 1900 and merged with Hammond Lumber Company in 1931; these companies are also represented in this collection that was gifted to the HSU Library in 1994 by Walter J. Warren.

Crannell flourished during the 1920s. Two major fires, in 1908 and 1945, frame the beginning and the decline of this company town. The 1908 fire at Luffenholtz followed logging by Hammond Lumber Company and devastated the area from Little River to Trinidad, although it spared the newly built LRRC mill at Bulwinkle. The fire in 1945 destroyed the system of railroad trestles and marked the transition to hauling logs by truck. In 1947 Hammond shifted its focus of activity from Crannell to Big Lagoon. The last vestiges of Crannell were obliterated in 1969 by Georgia Pacific who acquired Hammond in 1956.

The collection consists of approximately 500 photographs, samples of promotional materials produced by and/or used by LRRC in the 1920s, three presentation albums, and four rolled panoramas. Photohistorian Peter Palmquist's review of the collection in December 1993 for the donor includes this description:

"The photographs date between c.1910 and c.1940. While most of the prints lack a photographer's stamp, there are representative numbers by S.U. Bunnell, A.W. Ericson, Freeman Art Company, Jesse Meiser, Seely Brothers and Dold & Dold. Most of the photographs are of a standard commercial quality. The physical condition of the photographs average very good. Subject content centers on the Little River Redwood Company and the adjacent town of Crannell (a company town). There are views of townsites, company housing, mill overviews, logging sites, dry kilns, saw shop, logging trains, caterpiller tractors at work, ship and harbor views, employee groups, loggers and lumbermen at work and play, etc."

Seventy five of the photographs in this collection were selected to be digitized as part of a grant project through the California State Library (2005-06).

Arrangement of the Collection

Copy prints of a representative sample of the collection (89 items) were made for the donor, at his request, during the acquisition of the collection; this action disturbed any original collection order that may have existed. During processing of the collection in 2002 and 2005, the photographs were organized and arranged in part by date, to further the understanding of this company over time and to provide a basis for correlation with related collections. Further groupings are by general subject matter and/or photographer.  There is an extensive sequence of photographs by Dold & Dold ca.1924 with identifying titles. Another group of Dold & Dold photographs ca.1930 corresponds to a series of 18 postcards located at the Trinidad Museum which are reproduced and described in the Summer 2004 issue of their Newsletter as coming from Katie Boyle.

The collection is arranged in four series. The photographs series is further grouped by date in three sub series; this is followed by panoramas and promotional redwood photos, promotional publications, and presentation albums.

For the 75 photographs selected to be digitized, full metadata was assigned: these images are available through the California Digital Library/Online Archive of California and its image search interface Calisphere.

Related Collections at the Cal Poly Humboldt Library

Related Humboldt Room collections include: Balke Collection; Katie Boyle Photograph Collection; Lumber Company Map Collection; and Partain Photograph Collection. Noteworthy items in the Balke Collection are the minutes of the Crannell Woman's Club (1920-1928) and the Affidavits of Registration (1912, 1914, 1922, 1926, 1944, and 1946). These document different aspects of the town, complementing the picture presented by the Warren Collection photographs. Many of the Dold & Dold photographs are also included in the Katie Boyle Photograph Collection where they are more fully identified; some of these are also published in Redwood Lumber Industry by Lynwood Carranco.

Container List

Series: Photographs
Sub series: Early years, Beginning of the Little River Redwood Company, Bulwinkle

Box 1

1. [1999.06.0001] Conrad Bullwinkel, A.W. Ericson Co. Commercial Photographers, Arcata, California [stamp].  [Boyle Collection: 6601 BA 1.14]
2. [1999.06.0002] [group portrait, Bulwinkle]
3. [1999.06.0003] Part of woods gang August, 1909.  [accompanying list of 22 names, plus 2 unnamed children]

      1. John Spear, Chopping boss
      2. Frank Norton, Peeler
      3. Ike James, Peeler
      4. Isaac Matheson, Sawyer
      5. Sam Anderson, Peeler
      6. Joe Panachi, peeler
      7. Andy Olsen, Chopper
      8. Chas. Tuperanian, Chopper
      9. S. Stenroos, Chopper
      10. Frank Hiitola, Chopper
      11. Victor Their, Sawyer
      12. Henry Kane, Chopper
      13. Ed. McCue, Chopper
      14. Bill Severns, Chopper
      15. Bob Ollason, Chopper
      16. Henry Harris, Chopper
      17. Jim McCue, Chopper
      18. Frank Keller, Chopper
      19. Ernest Tymon, Chopper
      20. William Dooley, Chopper
      21. N. Malavasey, Sawyer
      22. Wm. Parks, Chopper

4. [1999.06.0004] Some of the employees of THE LITTLE RIVER REDWOOD COMPANY taken in Aug.1909, at Bulwinkle, Cal.

      1. E.T. Owens, Machinist
      2. John Fales, Whitewasher
      3. Wm. France, Woodbuck
      4. Ed. Johnson, Chaser
      5. Mat Sandstrom, Grade worker
      6. Jack Wymore, Blacksmith striker
      7. Richard Decker, Yarding Dk.Eng.
      8. J.G. Burkholder, Edgerman
      9. Caspar Anderson, Sawyer
      10. Chas.Helstrom, Sawyer
      11. L.M. Baldwin, Teamster
      12. Frank Sandford, Sniper
      13. Martin Nelson, Chopper
      14. H.W. Hunter, Swamper
      15. Chas. Ferrari, Woodbuck
      16. Thos. Heald, Waterbuck
      17. P.J. Snider, rigging puller
      18. Chas. Tuperanian, chopper
      19. Frank Hiitola, 1st chopper
      20. Frank Horton, Peeler
      21. John Spear, chopping boss
      22. Will Severns, chopper
      23. O.F. Veasey, swamper
      24. Ed. Wheeler, swamper
      25. Ike James, peeler
      26. P. Gusti, roustabout
      27. Pietro Bosetti do [?]
      28. Ed. Anderson, pulling shorts
      29. A. Stolpe, pond
      30. Davey Boyd, Engineer
      31. J.W. Stranahan, sorting table
      32. Andy Olsen, chopper 2nd
      33. John Cole, Swamper
      34. Tom Clarke, swamper
      35. A. Finne, sorting table
      36. Lee Anderson, Hd.Trimmerman
      37. S. Stenroos, 1st chopper
      38. Tom Jurck, 2nd planerman
      39. Wm. McLaughlin, shingle sawyer
      40. John Rosha, sorting table
      41. Steve Banducci, tail edgerman
      42. P. Adami, sorting table
      43. John Stolpe, sorting table
      44. Gus Skinner, spool tender
      45. Martin Fraser, rigging puller
      46. Harry Anderson, whistle boy
      47. Jasper James, woodbuck
      48. E.M. Shore, cyt [sic] up saw
      49. Roderick Campbell, tail edgerroll
      50. A. Juliani, roustabout
      51. J.W. Craighead, piling lumber
      52. Israel Storm, carpenter
      53. W.H. Hegeson, loco. engineer
      54. Phil Lambert, piling lumber
      55. Geo. Wilbur, dogger
      56. Clarence E. Johnson, board puller
      57. Geo. Mc Callum, setter
      58. John Raymond, shingle packer
      59. T. Hanson, jointer
      60. Fred Newman, sorting table
      61. R. Barnett, woodbuck
      62. John Codd, mill cleaner
      63. Virgil Hart, whistle boy
      64. Geo. Rogers, Sawyer

5. [1999.06.0005] [Bulwinkle group portrait, same location as 1999.06.004 photo]
6. [1999.06.0006] Bulwinkle, California August 1911, Freeman Art Co Foto Eureka Cal. [group portrait]
7. [1999.06.0007-1999.06.0008] Sept. 1911, Freeman Art Co Foto [man and 3 women and dog sitting in cut of 15 Ft Diameter tree, 3 American flags above]
8. [1999.06.0009] [company official in office] [Partain 93]
9. [1999.06.0010] Interior office Little River Redwood Company, Foto by Seely Bros. Arcata Cal. [portrait of four men, diagram on verso identifies Harry W. Cole, Vice Pres. & Gen Mgr. Of LRRCo.]
10. [1999.06.0011-1999.06.0014]  [Posed portraits of work scenes, ca. 1907-1910, including steam donkey]
11. [1999.06.0015-1999.06.0020]  [Posed portraits of work scenes]
12. [1999.06.0021] All one tree on this train of logs, Oct 1913
13. [1999.06.0022] Little River Redwood Co. #2, Ed Cole – Engineer sitting right side smoke box [plus three other men], picture was taken at the Mill Pond in Bullwinkle Aug. 1913
14. [1999.06.0023-1999.06.0025] Foto by Seely Bros., 1912.  [Same log, one just log, one with Alex McLaughlin, one with an unidentified man]
15. [1999.06.0026] Lower Little River at High Tide, 1912
16. [1999.06.0027] [Bulwinkle, ca. 1910-1913]
17. [1999.06.0028] Little River Mill, Bullwinkle Cal, Freeman Art Co. Foto., ca. 1912-1913
18. [1999.06.0029-1999.06.0030] Seely Foto, June 1913 [Bulwinkle]
19. [1999.06.0031-1999.06.0033] [Bulwinkle, ca. 1906-1912, per Tom Sharp]
20. [1999.06.0034] [Bulwinkle, early]
21. [1999.06.0035-1999.06.0041] [Logging, including railroads, LRRC]
22. [1999.06.0042-1999.06.0071] [Logging, workers, equipment, donkey, Camps 6, 8, 9, 10]
23. [1999.06.0072-1999.06.0090] [Logging, workers on site, miscellaneous]
24. [1999.06.0091] Mill pond at Bulwinkle, April 1920
25. [1999.06.0092-1999.06.0100] Taken by Kenneth Kilburn, October 12, 1920 [Bulwinkle]
26. [1999.06.0101] Engin No2, Bulwinkle, Freeman Art Co [LRRLumber Co. No2 at Little River Junction, Ed Cole engineer, ca. 1921/Steam in the Redwoods, p. 51]
27. [1999.06.0102] Taken by [?] Lang, November 1921 [LRRC #1]
28. [1999.06.0103-1999.06.0107] Bulwinkle, April 27, 1922

Sub series: Thriving years of Little River Redwood Company, Bulwinkle becomes Crannell

29. [1999.06.0108] Crannell, Calif, July 1922 [looking to the ocean]
30. [1999.06.0109-1999.06.0112] [Little River beach, dunes, etc, ca. 1922]
31. [1999.06.0113-1999.06.0115] The Little River Redwood Co., Crannell, Humboldt Co., Calif, Photograph by Freeman Art Co., April 1923  [Residences, including Eucalyptus Heights] 32. [1999.06.0116-1999.06.0126] The Little River Redwood Co., Crannell, Calif., May 15, 1924, Freeman Art Co. Eucalyptus Heights and the Lodge

Box 2

1. [1999.06.0127-1999.06.0168] Little River Redwood Co Crannell Calif., Dold & Dold [ca. 1924, each photograph has title assigned by photographer]
2. [1999.06.0169-1999.06.0173] [Crannell, August 1924, all but one have typed title on verso]
3. [1999.06.0174-1999.06.0179] The Little River Redwood Co. Cuttler dry Kiln, Photo Freeman Art Co. Eureka
4. [1999.06.0180] [4 men, 3 women posed on rail car in woods]
5. [1999.06.0181-1999.06.0187] This folder is located in Box 6. Scene in timberland of The Little River Redwood Co Crannell, California, September 1924 [Photograph taken by Major David T. Mason on trail leading from Little River to Lagoon through company timber, and others from same trip, also in 1930 album] Party, reading from left to right:

    • Mr. Tanner – Federal forester
    • Mr. Andrews
    • Wm. M. Wheeler [?]
    • H. W. Cole
    • Capt. A. W. Elam – Company’s forest engineer

    6. [1999.06.0188] Crannell, October 1928 [stacked lumber]
    7. [1999.06.0189-1999.06.0201] The Little River Redwood Co Crannell Calif., January 1930 [promotional photographs, probably by Dold & Dold, per Trinidad Museum Newsletter Summer 2004]
    8. [1999.06.0202-1999.06.0204] [company officials posed, probably by Dold & Dold, per Trinidad Museum Newsletter Summer 2004]
    9. [1999.06.0205-1999.06.0222] [Logging scenes, with workers, ca. 1930]
    10. [1999.06.0223-1999.06.0243] [Logging scenes, with caterpillar, ca. 1930, typed titles on verso of some]

    Sub series: Miscellaneous

    11. [1999.06.0244-1999.06.0245] [Stump House, Eureka]
    12. [1999.06.0246] Voyage May 1919 Steamer Washington, Freeman Art Co [car being unloaded]
    13. [1999.06.0247-1999.06.0250] Steamer Munsomo at Fairhaven Loading for Cuba, August 1926
    14. [1999.06.0251-1999.06.0266] [Humboldt Bay, Samoa, ca. 1920s]
    15. [1999.06.0267-1999.06.0272] [ships, miscellaneous, unknown]
    16. [1999.06.0273-1999.06.0281] [elsewhere on north coast, men posing on redwood cuts]
    17. [1999.06.0282-1999.06.0289] [elsewhere on north coast, scenic views, artistic landscapes]
    18. [1999.06.0290-1999.06.0299] [elsewhere on north coast, scenic views, horse and buggy]
    19. [1999.06.0300-1999.06.0303] [elsewhere on north coast, scenic views, horseless carriage]
    20. [1999.06.0304-1999.06.0327] [elsewhere on north coast, scenic views, forest]
    21. [1999.06.0328-1999.06.0332] [elsewhere on north coast, scenic views, with people in forest]
    22. [1999.06.0333-1999.06.0340] [scenic views, Carlotta/Weott area, Pythian Park] photo by H.S. Lawton, San Francisco
    23. [1999.06.0341-1999.06.0352] [very miscellaneous] [no photo for .0353]
    24. [1999.06.0354] [teepee burner] Bickel/I.W. Johnson Engineering Company, Tacoma Washington
    25. [1999.06.0355-1999.06.0365] Arcata Redwood, David Swanlund, 1961?

    Series: Panoramas and promotional redwood photos

    Box 3

    1. [1999.06.0366-1999.06.0373] Rolph Shipbuilding Co, Rolph Cal, June 20, 1918, Freeman Art Co Foto [panorama]
    2. [1999.06.0374-1999.06.0381] Panoramic view of Fairhaven tidewater storage yards and wharves [2 copies of Rolph panorama, folder 58]
    3. [1999.06.0382-1999.06.0384] [panoramic view of Crannell looking south, Freeman Art, connect with presentation book]
    4. [1999.06.0385-1999.06.0394] Presentation Book, Harry W. Cole, property of Hill-Davis Co, August 1947 – related photos, titles typed on verso
    5. [1999.06.0395-1999.06.0403] [Little River Redwood Company promotional redwood photos]
    6. [1999.06.0404-1999.06.426] [Redwood promotional photos and postcards, including one postcard of Trinidad Museum Newsletter Summer 2004 issue and 8 postcards from A. W. Ericson photographs]
    7. [1999.06.427-1999.06.431] [Portraits, various, LRRC employees]
    8. [1921 tourist brochure: On the Redwood Forest Highway; California Redwood card; newspaper clipping: Local company Sends Big Tree, gift from LRRC to San Francisco]

    Box 4

    • Four very fragile rolled panoramas include one ca. 1912 by S.U. Bunnell who is represented both in digital collections at the Library of Congress as well as locally with a framed panorama of Crannell, looking south, hanging in the Humboldt Room of the Humboldt County Library. These are not available for use at this time.
    Series: Promotional publications

    Box 5

    • California Redwood: its uses, appearance characteristics and physical and mechanical properties in comparison with other woods, California Redwood Association, 1926
    • Redwood for better farm structures, California Redwood Association, 1927
    • Beautiful Homes [floor plans]n.d.
    • Pipe Engineering, Little River Redwood Company, [ca 1929]
    • Tank Engineering, Little River Redwood Company, [ca 1929]
    • Redwood Sales Manual, California Redwood Association, 1926 (2 copies)
    Series: Presentation albums

    Box 6

    • LRRC album, Freeman Art Company, 1924.  This includes two four-part panorama views of Crannell, one looking north, the other south, and a four-part panorama of Fairhaven, site of a LRRC operation.  Two other nearly identical copies of this album are located at the Clarke Historical Museum and the Humboldt County Historical Society; the latter one is described in Humboldt Historian, Winter 2003. 
    • A second album can be dated to approximately 1930.  Although the 20 photographs are not listed or labeled, many can be identified as corresponding to a series of 18 postcards located at the Trinidad Museum which are reproduced and described in the Summer 2004 issue of their Newsletter as coming from Katie Boyle.  Others are duplicates of photographs from the Library’s Partain Photograph Collection of lumbering photographs from the Hammond Lumber Company files. 

    Box 7

    • The third album is quite late, dated August 1947.  It was apparently prepared by (or for?) Harry W. Cole, who came to Bulwinkle from Canada in 1909 and remained with the company as general manager and vice-president until his retirement in 1936.  He then became general manager of Hill-Davis and later was secretary-treasurer of Arcata Redwood until his final retirement in 1957.  This album portrays timber and timber lands of Hill-Davis Company and its subsidiary, Arcata Redwood Company, located north of Crannell, in the Orick area.  Many of the unidentified lumbering scenes in the third album are duplicates of the Partain Photograph Collection of lumbering photographs from the Hammond Lumber Company files ca. 1890-1920; at least one is an aerial photograph by Merle Shuster.


    Abbott, Arthur G. Luffenholtz: Memories of Big Fire. Humboldt Historian 33:1, January-February 1985, pp.17-19.

    Allen, James B. The Company Town in the American West. University of Oklahoma Press,

    Carranco, Lynwood. Redwood Lumber IndustrySan Marino, CA: Golden West Books, 1982.

    Carranco, Lynwood, and Henry L. Sorensen. Steam in the Redwoods. Caldwell, Idaho: Caxton Printers, Ltd, 1988, especially pp. 52-69.

    Coyne, Bonnie. Town No More. Pacifica, July 1971, pp. 11-15.

    Mengel, Lowell S. Canadians in the Redwoods: the Little River Redwood Company. Humboldt Historian, May-June 1976, pp.13-14.

    Newsletter of the TrinidadMuseum Society. The Winter (April, May, June) 2004 and Summer (June, July, August) 2004 issues have several relevant articles, including the one about the 1930 postcard set of Little River Redwood Co. in the Summer 2004 issue.

    The WhistlePunk, Newsletter of the Timber Heritage Association, April 2006. This issue contains at least two articles of interest, one on page 3 describing a donation of the Miscellaneous Document files from the Little River Redwood Company which were used in part as source for the lengthy, very informative article on pages 4-6, The Little River Redwood Co.

    Subject Headings

    Humboldt County
    Little River Redwood Company
    Company towns
    Forests and forestry