Logging camp, post office emerge in Wheeler County
Wetmore, a logging camp and site of a post office, was located about 11 miles northeast of Kinzua in Wheeler County.
In 1909, Edward D. Wetmore came to Central Oregon to begin purchasing timber for commercial purposes. Wetmore was born on Jan. 4, 1881, in Warren, Pennsylvania. He became involved in the lumber business in Pennsylvania.
Wetmore began purchasing timber lands in the mountains east of Fossil, Oregon. He visited homesteads and purchased the timber lands located on them. Nearly 50,000 acres was acquired in that manner.
The timber remained standing until 1926, when Wetmore determined that it was time to start developing the Oregon properties. He and his associates incorporated the Kinzua Pine Mill Co. The company was named for the township of Kinzua in Pennsylvania.
Wetmore established the community of Kinzua as the base for the mill and logging operations. A railroad logging system was constructed and a number of outlying logging camps were established to supply the mill with timber.
Camp No. 5 was established by Wetmore in 1942, northeast of Kinzua. Later, when a post office was established at the camp, it was named for Wetmore. Edward Wetmore died on Jan. 20, 1946, and was buried in Warren County, Pennsylvania.
The semipermanent log camp at Wetmore had a post office established on May 15, 1945. Wetmore became a voting precinct in Wheeler County. The community had housing for company employees and a store for purchasing necessary goods. The community also had a very active Women's Club.
The post office was discontinued July 8, 1948. Although the post office ceased operating, the logging camp continued operation for several years.
Logging and mill operations of the Kinzua Pine Lumber Co. began to decline and by 1978, all operations ceased. Kinzua and Wetmore were torn down and burned. All that is left at the Wetmore site is the log pond used for storing cut logs before transport to the mill at Kinzua. Both the site of Kinzua and Wetmore have been reforested.
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