Student Drawings of Historic Seneca

Several years ago, Seneca School held a school-wide contest for illustrations of historic Seneca.  All students were encouraged to submit a drawing. The winning drawing would grace the cover of the oral history book.  Here are some samples of the student's submissions. For no particular reason, the drawings appear in alphabetical order of their name.

Aerial view of Seneca Shops.

Aerial view of Seneca.

"Cat", an early abbreviation—but still in use today—for a piece of equipment also known as a "bulldozer ". At one time the Caterpillar company was the only manufacturer of this type of equipment. Now, however, many heavy equipment manufacturers sell "cats" and "bulldosers". To view a modern "track" earth mover, click here. To view a more historic model of a "cat", click here.

Cat logging.

Cat logging.

Representation of the "Seneca Shops" of the Hines' company maintenance shops in Seneca.

Three examples of Horse logging.

Log train.

Log truck.

An outstanding representation of the long-gone Seneca swimming pool.

Hand saws.

Three renditions of Seneca School.

Seneca shops. This gives a good presentation of what happend at Seneca. Trucks (but originally horses!) brought loads of logs to the "railhead" where they were transferred to rail cars for movement to the sawmill at Hines.

Bear Valley Store, bar, and theater (a "dance hall") was on the secon floor but over time the beams of the store became so weakened that dancing was no longer permitted. The curtains (rich, red, velvet) from the Olive Theater are now in use in the Seneca School gym.

"Tipi" burner (more accurately, a wigwam burner).
"Tipi" burner and log train. The burner was not part of the Hines complex but was associated with the "Seneca Lumber Company" of Speck (Lloyd) Hudspeth. The Seneca Lumber Company (not the actual name, but what locals called the place) was later bought by the Ellingson Lumber Company who had a sawmill at Izee and eventually by Edward Hines Lumber Co.

This is about how Seneca looked back in "those days": tracks everywhere!

Apparently the town's swimming pool captured the imagination of several students. The pool was built close to the power house so the pool could be heated by steam generated in the power house. By the way, Seneca was not a "company town", meaning Hines did not own the property or the buildings. This was a company policy. The city of Hines, like-wise, was not a company town (it was built by a construction company from Louisiana). Edward W. Barnes, an unlikely choice of front-men, formed the Seneca Township Committee, and bought the land from a rancher. Barnes was an "unlikely choice" because he had no money of his own. Although no documents can be located which shows that Barnes was an agent of Hines, it only stands to reason. When the Harney County Hospital in Burns was failing badly, it was Barnes who "purchased" the facility to keep it going for Hines employees.

Train crossing trestle. While some of the railroad's "bed" can still be seen in several spots between Seneca and Burns, the most complete piece of evidence is a trestle just a few miles south of Seneca. It stands below the level of the road on a bend of the highway and is easily missed. Below is a photo of that trestle taken by Martin Morisette on one of his many trips to the Seneca when he was doing research for his book, GREEN GOLD.

The only PENCIL drawing submitted was the winning drawing, by Jake.

The book is currently out of print although a few copies can be obtained from the Post General Store (541-477-3285). This 416-page book is filled with never-before-seen photographs of logging and sawmill operations in central and eastern Oregon. Because of space limitations there isn't much coverage of the Hines operations. A second edition was to have been expanded to include all operations of Harney County but the author became old and tired before the project could be completed. (He now lives the easy life in Bend.)