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A quick look at an important part of Kenworth’s history

The Snoqualmie Falls Lumber Company

The Snoqualmie Falls Lumber Company, circa 1917. It was later acquired by Weyerhaeuser.

It’s hard to resist a good history lesson, especially when it’s told from the site of what was once the world’s largest lumber mill where some of Kenworth’s first trucks went to work in the 1920s.

Kenworth recently took reporters to the sprawling and tree-lined location where Weyerhaeuser lumber mill once stood and produced seemingly endless board feet of lumber for the U.S. and abroad in the small town of Snoqualmie, Wash.

Before reporters hit the road and went off-roading in Kenworth’s latest T880 vocational stalwarts, Kenworth Marketing Director Kurt Swihart gave a brief talk on the history of the lumber business in the northwest region of the Evergreen State.

“It was really in this context that Kenworth was founded in the early 1920s,” Swihart explains in the roughly 3-minute long video below. “You look back to those early pictures of the 1920s Kenworths and you see these logging trucks that are driving out back in these hills. Those logging trucks is where Kenworth earned its mettle.”

Here’s the site today. Notice the smokestack in the background and the absence of the log pond.

About 40 seconds into the video you’ll see that the mill’s old smokestack still stands. You’ll get a sense for its size by noticing how it dwarfs the cars parked below it. We’ve posted an old picture of the smokestack alongside one taken this past week. You’ll notice the absence of the log pond in the most recent shot.

The mill opened in 1914 and closed its doors in 2003. It is now home to DirtFish Rally School.

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Tom Quimby is the associate editor for Hard Working Trucks. Reach him at tomquimby@randallreilly.com. Follow him on Twitter @tom_quimby.