April 17, 1935
Merced Sun-Star

$400,000 Loan From Federal Government Permits New Operations
400 To 450 Men To Get Work At Plant And In Sierra Logging Camps

      MERCED FALLS, April 17, (Special) - The big sawmill of the Yosemite Lumber company at Merced Falls, closed more than four years, will be reopened this season.

      This fact became known definitely today when the Reconstruction Finance corporation granted a $400,000 loan to the Yosemite Lumber company. Word of federal approval of the firm's application was wired from Washington D. C., by W. L. White, former manager of the Yosemite Valley railroad, who will return to Merced this summer. To Open In July

      The mill probably will open late in July, Herbert W. Matthews, superintendent, said here today. Between 400 and 450 men will be employed at the plant at Merced Falls and in the woods in the Sierra east of here, reviving business in this mill town which has been almost a "ghost city" since 1930.

      Matthews estimated it would take six weeks to two months to work out details of consummation of the loan, which was labelled an "operating loan." Several weeks ago W. H. Ribenack of Washington, W. L. Read and W. H. Thomas of San Francisco were in Merced Falls making a survey of the holdings of the company for the RFC. Closed In 1930

      The Yosemite plant was closed down in November, 1930, but continued shipping some cut lumber out over the Yosemite Valley railroad until as late as March 1933. Inasmuch as no felled timber now is on hand, the first year's operations are expected to be light until work can get underway full blast in the logging camps and timber sent down by railroad to the mill.

      The company controls 819 million timber feet of yellow pine and sugar pine forests in Mariposa and Tuolumne counties north of the Merced river and west of Yosemite National park, Matthews said.

July 19, 1935
Merced Sun-Star

Merced Falls Mill To Be Reopened August 20, Ball As Manager

      A crew of men will Start work at Merced Falls Monday Monday morning, getting the mill of the Yosemite Lumber company in shape for operation, according to a statement by Herbert W. Matthews, superintendent. The mill is to be in readiness to handle the first logging train from the upper woods above Incline on the Yosemite Valley railroad, which is scheduled to arrive at the mill about August 20.

      Matthews said J. R. Ball, a Michigan lumberman connected with the extensive White and Friant interests, will be the resident manager with his home in Merced Falls. The White and Friant interests have acquired control of the logging woods, back of Incline which extend into Hazel Green area and the Tuolumne divide. Built in 1921

      The Yosemite Lumber company built its mill at Merced Falls in 1912. The logging woods were then back of El Portal in the Chinquapin pine forests. The first incline cable was built above El Portal.

      After working over that logging area the company moved down the river to its present location and built a cable incline from the station called Incline, 73 miles above Merced and 4.7 miles below El Portal. Closed In 1930

      In 1930 as a result of the depression the company closed its Merced Falls operation. There was some talk later of the Sugar Pine interests taking the logs to their mill at Pinedale and some logs did go there. The Pinedale plant has since closed.

      Matthews said only a small force will be put on at Merced Falls Monday. He asks that the public be not misled into the idea there will be abundant work for laborers at the plant.

      Officials of the lumber company said when fully under way they would employ approximately a thousand men, about equally divided between the mill and the logging woods.

August 10, 1935
Merced Sun-Star

Crew Rushes To Get Merced Falls Mill Ready

      A crew of 35 men is at work at Merced Falls and at the incline of the Yosemite Lumber company below El Portal fitting equipment for the beginning of the first lumber operations in nearly five years.

      Although work has been progressing three weeks there is no indication how soon actual logging and milling operations will begin, said H. W. Matthews, superintendent of operations.

      A new cable for the incline - 9150 feet long - was taken to its site by the Yosemite Valley railroad this week and workmen are installing it now. Employment Figures

      When logging operations begin 350 to 375 men will be employed. Two hundred of these employes will work in the woods and from 150 - 175 will be employed at the mill.

      Work is progressing slowly at Merced Falls, said Matthews. Workers are inspecting the power plant, mill and dwelling buildings for an estimate of materials needed for the renovation of the extensive property. Until November

      When operations begin the season will be extended until the end of November if weather conditions permit. The usual season begins in the spring as soon as melting snow permits workers to resume operations and continues until fall snows halt the work.

      The site of operation is 65 miles above Merced Falls. Logs are transported 15 miles to the incline by the lumber concern's railroad and brought down from the hills via the Yosemite Valley line.

September 18, 1935
Merced Sun-Star


      The Merced Falls mill of the Yosemite Sugar Pine Lumber company will begin operations at half capacity Thursday, it was indicated today.

      The first shipment of logs from Incline, 58 miles from the plant, was received at the mill Monday night. Sawing operations will continue until weather forces the logging crews to stop work, said H. W. Matthews, mill superintendent.

      A daily shipment of logs of 25 to 30 carloads will be received until Oct. 1, when the shipment will be doubled, Matthews said.

      One hundred fifty men are employed at Merced Falls and 175 at the scene of logging operations above Incline. When the shipment of logs is increased additional workers will be employed and a night shift will be installed at the mill.

      The lumber company has begun operations after a four-year layoff. A $400,000 federal reserve bank loan was made to facilitate the reopening of the property and renewal of logging operations.