Greenleaf Basin History (page under construction)

Pioneer timbermen had looked up towards the Greenleaf Basin for years, knowing of the wealth of vast amounts of old-growth fir, cedar and hemlock hidden away in a high basin, surrounded by precipitous cliffs and extremely steep walled canyons. Hunters and explorers had been there and told tale of this vast forest, so near yet so far out of reach, 2,000 feet above sea level and tucked between the lofty summits of Table Mt. and Greenleaf Peak. Finding a way to cut and bring the timber out was another story altogether.

The basin lies in a triangle formed by Table Mt. on the left, Greenleaf Peak on the right and Birkenfeld Mt. in the center distance.

The view from Cascade Locks:

Lidar image of the basin:

By the turn of the twentieth century, steam powered logging equipment had evolved to the point that it became possible to build railroads deep into country like this, but the basin was particularly difficult to reach. Nevertheless, a company was formed in 1911 to build a RR up adjacent Hamilton Creek, put in an incline RR up to the pass north of Table Mt. and bring the timber out.

 

The Hamilton Creek timber Company was formed but ended up unable to pay their bills – and their taxes. This resulted in a foreclosure sale in April of 1917. All assets were purchased and new company went to work.