WARRENTON - For many, the historic photos that graced the front page of The Daily Astorian Monday likely seemed just that - historic images from an almost different world nearly 100 years ago.
But for Warrenton resident Bill Coffey, 68, they were, in fact, family photos of his grandfather and grandmother, and the family's Svensen-based logging company.
A Warrenton native, Coffey never knew his family ran a logging enterprise until last summer when a cousin from Grants Pass surprised him with dozens of historic photos gleaned from glass-plate negatives. Many are the same photos from 160 glass plate negatives recently donated to the city of Astoria.
"They were big time loggers up here in Svensen and Lewis and Clark and across the river," he said.
In the photo with loggers standing in front of huge, freshly cut log, Coffey said the lone woman is his grandmother, Stella Mooers, and the man to her right is his grandfather Frederick Nelson Mooers. He said the photo was taken in 1907 and he believes the couple were in the late 30s at the time.
Astoria resident Lloyd "Bud" Howell recently gave the city 160 glass plate negatives that he had bought in an estate sale in the 1950s. Those have been scanned onto a computer disk by Astoria Public Works Director Mitch Mitchum and the negatives will likely go to area museums.
After turning the photos over to the city, Howell said it was a shame he never learned who was pictured in them.
Now at least, he knows that several were of Coffey's family's logging operation. In the photo featured in the newspaper of a train carrying sections of a huge tree, Coffey said that one tree yielded nearly 30,000 board feet of timber. In the photo the train's locomotive carries the name of Sorensen Logging Co., and Coffey doesn't know if that's the name of his family's company or if it was a locomotive they just used for that particular job.
Coffey said he also doesn't know what happened to the business aside from the fact in the early 1900s his grandfather moved south into the Grants Pass area where he later died.
Anyone else who may have information regarding the historic photos is asked to contact reporter Andrew Adams at The Daily Astorian, 325-3211.