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Research: Sawmill Database

Alpha-Numeric Key: JA-70
Corporate Name: Kirby Lumber Company Camp #3
Local Name:
Owner Name: Kirby Lumber Company Camp #3. Sanders-Trotti Tram Company.
Location: Buna, two miles south of the large Bessmay mill
County: Jasper
Years in Operation: 26 years
Start Year: 1885
End Year: 1910
Decades: 1880-1889,1890-1899,1900-1909
Period of Operation: 1885 to 1910
Town: Buna
Company Town: 1
Peak Town Size: 800 at peak, and 90 in 1905
Mill Pond:
Type of Mill: Yellow pine lumber and logging operation.
Sawmill Pine Sawmill Hardwood Sawmill Cypress Sawmill
Planer Planer Only Shingle Paper
Plywood Cotton Grist Unknown
Power Source: Steam
Horse Mule Oxen Water
Water Overshot Water Turbine Diesel Unknown
Pit Steam Steam Circular Steam Band
Gas Electricity Other
Maximum Capacity: 
Capacity Comments: Lumber
Rough Lumber Planed Lumber Crossties Timbers
Lathe Ceiling Unknown Beading
Flooring Paper Plywood Particle Board
Treated Other
Equipment: Sawmill and major logging operation. Logged, shipped, and manufactured lumber. Sawtimber and sawlogs.
Company Tram:
Associated Railroads: Gulf Colorado & Santa Fe, and Orange & Northwestern
Historicial Development: Sanders-Trotti Tram Company appeared in a reference book of 1905 as manufacturers of yellow pine lumber at Buna. In LCA edition of 1907, only Kirby Lumber Company is listed for Buna, and also is noted as a manufacturer of yellow pine lumber, and is once again listed for Buna. The conclusion is that Sanders-Trotti sold its small mill to Kirby Lumber Company. The former Trotti mill passes out of existence, undoubtedly submerged into the Bessmay operation. Kirby Lumber kept a logging payroll office here for its 250 loggers. In 1906, the American Lumberman noted that Kirby was running fifteen miles of standard gauge logging tram road at Buna with two locomotives. Joseph Carroll of the Long Manufacturing cartel of Beaumont began logging the Buna area about 1885. Under Kirby Lumber, Buna became a major logging center, having to deliver 250,000 feet daily of stumpage to the large sawmill maw of the Bessmay milling operation. It reached its zenith in 1905 and was logged out by 1909. With the end of logging here, the community did not die. It had already diversified its economy into livestock, corn, and truck products, according to the March 11, 1905, edition of the Beaumont Enterprise. By 1910, according to a company Schedule of Sawmills, Planers, Etc., To December 31st, 1910, Buna was known as Camp #3 with $17, 528.86 worth of equipment, including a water works, an electric light plant, store buildings, miscellaneous buildings, and machinery and tools. The company kept a hotel under Mrs. Belle Pierre, and operated supposedly a good school under Professor T. S. Brady and Miss Maude Ney.
Research Date: JKG 10-19-93, MCJ 01-08-96
Prepared By: J. Gerland, M. Johnson