Merrill & Ring Lumber Company

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Thomas Merrill, son of a Maine lumbering family, began a series of logging companies in Michigan in the 1860s. In 1886 he joined Clark Ring to form the Merrill & Ring Lumber Company, headquartered in Saginaw. As the white pine forests of the Great Lakes states thinned in the 1890s, Merrill & Ring bought timberland near Grays Harbor, on Vancouver Island, and especially on the northern Olympic Peninsula in Washington. In 1902 the company moved its headquarters from Saginaw to Hoquiam, Washington. The center of Merrill & Ring logging operations was in the rugged territory near the Pysht River, west of Port Angeles, Washington.

Merrill & Ring was often at odds with other lumber companies in the region. Since Merrill & Ring owned timberland in British Columbia, the company resisted the efforts of most lumber firms to raise tariffs on Canadian forest products. In the late 1920s and 1930s Merrill & Ring allied with the other large timber owner on the Olympic Peninsula, the Bloedel-Donovan interests, and successfully pressured the Forest Service and the Bureau of Indian Affairs to keep nearby public timber off the market. This drove many small sawmill and logging companies, who had already cut their own lands, out of business. It also slowed the extremely rapid cutting of timber in this region. Merrill & Ring was later active in the campaign to reduce the size of the Olympic National Park in the late 1930s.

Merrill & Ring managed its lands near Grays Harbor in cooperation with loggers Alex and Robert Polson. Although Merrill & Ring owned half of the Polson Logging Company, formed in 1903, Alex Polson still ran this company. Polson cooperated with Merrill & Ring in a number of ventures. Along with Merrill & Ring, Polson was a co-owner of the Ozette Timber Company, a firm which bought substantial amounts of timberland from the Quinalt Indians after the application of the Dawes Act to their reservation. In 1927 Polson joined Merrill & Ring and William Boeing in purchasing the Crescent Logging Company, another firm that owned land on the northern Olympic Peninsula. Merrill & Ring and Polson continued to diversify, adding a pulp mill in Port Angeles to their holdings in 1930. In the early 1940s the Merrill & Ring Lumber Company and its subsidiaries dissolved and transferred their assets to Merrill & Ring, Ltd. Merrill & Ring, Ltd. continues to run a sustained-yield logging operation along the Pysht River to this day.

From the guide to the Merrill & Ring Lumber Company records, 1865-1976, 1890-1944, (University of Washington Libraries Special Collections)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Griffiths, Austin E. (Austin Edwards), 1863-1952. Austin E. Griffiths papers, 1891-1952 (bulk 1904-1920). University of Washington Libraries
referencedIn Griffiths, Austin E. (Austin Edwards), 1863-1952. Papers, 1891-1952; (bulk 1904-1920). ND Univ of Washington Libraries (OCLC Worldshare ILL Beta)
creatorOf Merrill & Ring Lumber Company records, 1865-1976, 1890-1944 University of Washington Libraries Special Collections
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
correspondedWith Aldwell, Thomas T.,  1868-1954 person
correspondedWith Boeing, William Edward,  1881-1956 person
correspondedWith Bone, Homer Truett,  1883-1970 person
associatedWith Crescent Logging Company corporateBody
correspondedWith Dill, Clarence C.  (Clarence Cleveland),  1884-1978 person
associatedWith Griffiths, Austin E. (Austin Edwards), 1863-1952. person
correspondedWith Hadley, Lindley H.   (Lindley Hoag),   1861-1948 person
correspondedWith Horr, Ralph A.  (Ralph Ashley),  1884-1960 person
correspondedWith Jerome, Timothy,  b. 1871- person
correspondedWith Merrill, Richard Dwight,  b. 1869- person
correspondedWith Merrill, Thomas D.,  1855-1932 person
correspondedWith Merrill, Thomas D.,  b. 1815- person
correspondedWith Myers, Guy C.  (Guy Charles),  1890-1960 person
associatedWith Ozette Timber Company corporateBody
associatedWith Poindexter, Miles,  1868-1946 person
associatedWith Polson Logging Company corporateBody
associatedWith Pysht River Boom Company corporateBody
associatedWith Pysht River Lumber Company corporateBody
correspondedWith Ring, Clark Lombard,  1862-1933 person
correspondedWith Schwellenbach, Lewis B.  (Lewis Baxter),  1894-1948 person
associatedWith Sol Duc Investment Company corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Forest Service corporateBody
associatedWith United States. War Dept. Spruce Production Division corporateBody
associatedWith Vancouver Bay Lumber Company corporateBody
correspondedWith Wagner, George Corydon,  1895- person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Washington (State)
Olympic Peninsula (Wash.)
Washington (State)
British Columbia
Lumber trade--Washington (State)
Industrial relations--Washington (State)
Lumber trade--British Columbia
Lumber trade--Canada
Corporations--Washington (State)--Political activity
Booms (Log transportation)--Northwest, Pacific
Lumber trade--Washington (State)--Olympic Peninsula
Logging--Northwest, Pacific

Corporate Body



Ark ID: w6pc831j

SNAC ID: 25243877