SINCE 1981, THE Pioneer Logger Award has been bestowed, during Hickory Shirt/Heritage Days, on an individual who has had an impact on the timber industry in the West End.
The Pioneer Logger Award, in the beginning, in 1981, was awarded to real “Pioneer Loggers” many of whom worked and remembered the days of springboards and the move from the misery whip to the first chain saws.
The Award now goes to individuals who represent the spirit of those who came before them.
This year Dean Hurn is the recipient of the award.
Information for this story comes from the book Keep on Truckin’ written by Lonnie Archibald.
It was 1965 when Dean moved from Concrete, WA to the Beaver area. Dean owned a cedar mill in concrete and he had been contacted to see if he would be interested in building a mill on the Olympic Peninsula. That mill was Peninsula Plywood located on Lake Pleasant where the West Coast Plywood mill later stood.
Peninsula Plywood was just getting into the cedar plywood business. Dean signed a contract with Peninsula Plywood that he would cut up to 30 million board feet of cedar per year for 10 years.
In 1975 Dean started his Hoh River Timber Company which included logging equipment as well as logging trucks. His first logging job was above Allen’s Mill, along the Hoh-Clearwater mainline, where he logged a stand of timber belonging to Milwaukee land company.
Hoh River Timber built a shop and sorting yard along Highway 101 between Sappho and Bear Creek on property Dean purchased from Pa Goodie. Dean also built a shake and shingle mill, Sol Duc Shake, along the La Push road near the junction.
By the end of Dean’s logging career he had about 30 trucks. With the six mills he was operating around western Washington he had about 220 employees, but when the spotted owl hit it went down to 4 employees.
Over the years Dean has been an active member of the Lions Club and was on the school board.