The Infamous Black Bird Southern Oregon History, Revised

Big Pines Lumber Co.

Medford Mail Tribune, May 3, 1973
Medford Mail Tribune, May 3, 1973

    H. A. Thierolf writes to us from Medford, Oregon to have the Daily Call addressed to him at that place for the next twelve months. Mr. Thierolf is now president and manager of the Big Pines Lumber Company at Medford, Oregon.
"News and Comments," Beloit Daily Call, Beloit, Kansas, January 2, 1909, page 1

    Bert Thierolf, writing from Medford, Oregon, says he is living in the most talked-of town south of Portland, and the one making the greatest progress. It is a town now of 6000 inhabitants but is expected to go to 10,000 within the next two years. Bert is engaged in the lumber business in Medford, being vice-president and manager of the Big Pines Lumber Company. The town is evidently flourishing and has both a morning and evening paper, samples of which, through the kindness of our former townsman, are lying on our desk.
"News and Comments," Western Call, Beloit, Kansas, January 22, 1909, page 2

    The Big Pines Lumber Company is making some improvements to its sheds and plant, to better protect their lumber and to give it additional frontage.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail, January 29, 1909, page 6

    H. A. Thierolf, who is here from Medford, Ore., on a visit to the home folks, took supper Monday evening with his sister, Mrs. Geo. Luckey, and family.

"Turkey Scratches," Beloit Daily Gazette, Beloit, Kansas, August 26, 1909, page 4

    M. O. Broadbent of Long Beach, Calif. arrived here Sunday to take a position with the Big Pines Lumber Co. His family will follow him at once. Mr. Broadbent and his family were here for a time last year, and during that time became so well impressed that they decided to return here.

"Local and Personal," Medford Mail, February 28, 1910, page 5

Large New Paint Store Is Located Just Opposite Present Offices of Company--
Tasteful Structure.
    A building representing the old California mission effect is being constructed by this hustling company. The end and front are both finished in the handsome scroll designs. The outside will be constructed with Acme cement plaster with suitable trimmings to best show off the beauty of this style of architecture and to incidentally show what can be accomplished with the famous and justly celebrated "Pure Prepared" brand of weatherproof paints carried exclusively by the Big Pines Lumber Company, just purchased from the W. P. Fuller & Co. of Portland. All dry colors as well as prepared paints, varnishes, stains, etc., will be stocked in all sizes and carried in large quantities.
    Brushes, roofings, etc. will also be shown here. It is their intention to show and keep always on hand the best assorted and selected stock of paints and materials to be found in any city outside of Portland or Frisco. Mention fixing the terrace effect.
    The Big Pines believes in doing everything on the most extensive scale. You will always find the largest stocks of all classes of building materials, and when it came to stock paints, varnishes, oil, etc., they decided to erect a building and put in a stock that would be a credit to a city twice the size of Medford.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 20, 1910, page 12

Big Pines Lumber Co.
    There is no class of business men wearing broader smiles than the lumbermen of Medford, and it is to them that credit is due for the many modern homes in Medford; for the price on this necessity has been placed, kept within the reach of all, and in view of this fact it has been possible for many hundreds of families to indulge in the owning of a modern dwelling.
    The Big Pines Lumber Company when interviewed stated that it was necessary to double their delivery equipment to take care of their rapidly growing business.
    This company is but little more than one year old, but the class of stock handled, linked with their many building materials carried in addition to lumber, enables them to supply a building complete, which gives this yard great prestige.
The Rogue, March 1910

    The Big Pines Lumber Company was given permission to erect a sawdust house near their planing mill, which is within the fire limits.
"City Council Disposes of Much Minor Business," Medford Mail Tribune, April 7, 1910, page 8

Medford Mail Tribune, September 11, 1910
Medford Mail Tribune, September 11, 1910

Big Pines Lumber Company Make Big Improvement in Their Local Yard--
Best Equipped in Southern Oregon.
    The Big Pines Lumber Co. have just completed their new planing mill, which has a floor space of 140x100 feet, or 14,000 square feet. The mill is newly equipped with the finest and largest capacity machines, making the largest and best equipped plant in Oregon south of Portland. Machines for manufacturing [all] kinds of detail work for any wood construction. Department for making all kinds of cabinet work, etc.
    Only the most skilled workmen have been employed, and everything is now ready for business.
    The Big Pines Lumber Co. are most enterprising and are doing everything to place their firm in a position that will enable them to furnish everything for any job, be it large or small, and furnish the best of finish so that you can be proud of the house or building when completed.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 11, 1910, page B13

Medford Has Dry Kiln
    The Big Pines Lumber Co. are just completing the installation of the first dry kiln that has ever been built in the city of Medford. This dry kiln will be complete in every particular and will be of great benefit to this part of the country. There is no dry kiln now in this part of the country, and most people have hesitated about building in the winter season. The new dry kiln will insure an abundance of dry lumber of all kinds at all seasons of the year, and no one need hesitate about building now in the winter or rainy seasons. They will be pleased to have the public inspect this plant and feel sure that you will appreciate the efforts of the company in making the decision to have the same installed. The Big Pines company are always looking out for the convenience of their patrons, and this dry kiln places the company at the head of the list in equipment of any lumber company in the state outside of Portland.
    If you have the slightest reason to think that you are not getting the driest lumber, just let the company know and they will be pleased to see that your needs are supplied.
Medford Mail Tribune, December 4, 1910, page C3

Medford Mail Tribune, January 1, 1911
Medford Mail Tribune, January 1, 1911

Manager Thierolf of Big Pines Lumber Company Says Increase During 1910
Was Over 100 Percent When Compared with 1909.
With Buildings in Sight for 1911, Business This Year
Is Expected to Make Corresponding Great Increase.
    Lumber and building material sales in the city of Medford, according to H. A. Thierolf, manager of the Big Pines Lumber Company, were 100 percent greater in 1910 than in the year 1909. Mr. Thierolf bases his statement on the great increase made by his own company.
    The increase in 1909 over the preceding year Mr. Thierolf estimated at about 50 percent.
    The actual value of the lumber used in building operations and for other purposes during 1910 is not procurable, but the increased consumption is based by the lumber merchants on the relative amount of material handled during the year.
    The orders for buildings to be erected during 1911 filed so far, together with the estimates for the year based on probable increase in population and business, point to an increase for this year over last almost as great as made in 1910 over 1909.
    There were more dwellings erected during the past year than ever before in the city's history. These, with the great strides made in the erection of business blocks, caused the great increase.
    Brick companies also testify to the great gains made by the city in the matter of new houses. One company's business alone increased 135 percent over 1909.
    The size of the new buildings being erected downtown is shown by the fact that two blocks alone required over 1,200,000 feet of lumber.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 5, 1911, page 1

    FOR SALE--Our paint building, corner Sixth and Fir streets. Big Pines Lumber Company.

Medford Mail Tribune, July 7, 1911, page 2

    Ira J. Dodge and his brother Burdette L. Dodge purchased the paint department of the Big Pines Lumber Company and will conduct the business in the future. Mr. Dodge states that for the present the store will remain in its present location on North Fir, but this fall a permanent location will be secured.
    Mr. Dodge is planning to increase the business and make Medford a distributing point for Southern Oregon in the matter of paint. The stock will be increased until it is the largest in this section.
Medford Mail Tribune, July 7, 1911, page 6

Medford Mail Tribune, May 3, 1973
Medford Mail Tribune, May 3, 1973

Big Pines Lumber Company Making Extensive Improvements in Local Plants--
Now Can Turn Out Material of Any Kind.
    The Big Pines Lumber Company has nearly completed a 50x62-foot addition to their already large factory on North Fir Street. This addition will be used as a finishing room for the furniture and fixtures turned out by this firm. There will also be a veneering, varnishing and painting room in addition. New machines suitable for producing the finished product in lumber is being added to other machinery so that when the entire plant is in operation there will be nothing in wood which this establishment cannot turn out.
    This company has reached the conclusion that to satisfy the tastes and supply the demands of the class of people of which Medford and the surrounding country is composed, and of which class more are being added yearly, they must be in a position to turn out a class of work equal to that put out by either Portland or San Francisco, and to meet this demand is the whyfore of the building recently put up.
    That a Medford institution is capable of turning out a finished wood product equal, if not superior, to anything manufactured in the large cities is certainly a credit to the enterprise of the gentlemen comprising the Big Pines Lumber Company.
    The entire manufacturing floor space of this company now comprises 100x162 feet, this not including the lumber sheds and dry kilns which are in reality a part of the factory. In the factory and tributary yards there are now employed nearly fifty men.
    This company was recently given the contract for all inside furnishes and furniture for the Carnegie library, including all desks, chairs, tables and book shelves. These are to be of solid oak and of the very latest designs.
Medford Mail Tribune, September 16, 1911, page B2

Men Grading for Spur for Big Pines Company--Will Enable Removal of Lumber Piles from Railroad Land Preparatory to Parking.
    The Southern Pacific railroad company has a gang of men at work grading for a spur track to be put in from near where the stock yards are now located to the lumber yards of the Big Pines Lumber Company. The spur will be about 500 feet in length and will give the Big Pines company an opportunity to unload lumber direct from the cars into their yards with but very little team hauling.
    This improvement will also make it possible for the company to do away with the necessity of unloading and piling its lumber on the railroad grounds in front of the Mail Tribune buildings.
    The paint shop, which has heretofore been standing on this same railroad right-of-way, is also being moved off and taken to the corner of Grape and Fifth streets.
    This is the initial move made by the railroad company leading to the beautifying of this part of its right-of-way through the city.
Medford Mail Tribune, February 5, 1912, page 1   "Parking" here means creating a park on the depot grounds.

    G. X. Wendling, one of the largest lumbermen in the West, owner of a score of mills and thousands of acres of timber land, and C. E. Evans, manager of the Weed Lumber Co., H. Nathan of the Wendling Nathan Lumber Co., of San Francisco, and R. M. Cross, vice president of the Wendling Lumber Co. of Portland, have purchased the interests of Bert Anderson and W. C. Green in the Big Pines Lumber Co. H. A. Thierolf retains his interest with the company and will continue its manager.
    The new officers are G. X. Wendling, president, R. M. Cross, vice president and H. A. Thierolf, secretary.
    Enlarged facilities and business are planned by the new owners.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 6, 1912, page 4

Big Pines Lumber Company to Open Branch Office.
    Arrangements have been completed by the management of the Big Pines Lumber Company for the establishment of a branch office and lumber yard in Central Point, and the necessary work for the new yard will be carried out as fast as possible. The yard and buildings will be modern in every way and the capital stock of the new concern will be $25,000.
    The firm has been incorporated under the state law and will be known as the Central Point Lumber Company. M. O. Broadbent, who has been yard foreman of the local yard for some time, will be the manager of the branch yard.
    It is rumored that the company will place similar branch yards in the smaller towns throughout the valley and that this is part of the policy of the Wendling interests. Mr. Wendling is said to be a great believer in the future of Rogue River Valley.
Ashland Tidings, June 27, 1912, page 4

Big Pines Lumber Company of Medford Takes Over Concern.
    The Western Lumber and Supply Company, having yards at Phoenix, sold their holdings last week to the Big Pines Lumber Company of Medford, consideration not named. Possession will be taken as soon as an invoice of the stock can be taken. A resident manager will be placed on the ground by the Big Pines people, and improvements made. The Big Pines company has holdings in timber, mills and yards throughout southern Oregon and northern California, and the Phoenix purchase is in line with their announced policy when they purchased the Medford plant the first of the year.
Ashland Tidings, August 29, 1912, page 5

Buys Eagle Point Yards.
    The Big Pines Lumber Company has added to its recent acquirements by purchasing the lumber yard from the Sprague Lumber Company at Eagle Point and the yards of the Western Lumber & Supply Company at Talent and Phoenix. The incorporators of the company are R. M. Cross of Portland, president; H. A. Thierolf of Medford, vice-president and treasurer, and Gus Newberry, secretary.
Ashland Tidings, September 2, 1912, page 6

    Mrs. H. Sprague and mother, of Eagle Point, left Wednesday for Portland, where they will reside, Mr. Sprague having recently sold his lumber yard interests at Eagle Point to the Big Pines company of this city.
"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, October 23, 1912, page 2

    The Big Pines Lumber Company have moved their lumber yard down near the depot and are now occupying their new building recently erected.
"Phoenix," Medford Mail Tribune, December 18, 1912, page 6

Gold Hill Lumber Firm Absorbed.
    GOLD HILL, Or., Jan. 6.--(Special.)--A deal has been closed whereby the Gold Hill Lumber Company, of this city, becomes part and parcel of the Big Pines company. The concern here was one of the last in Jackson County to escape consolidation with the Big Pines concern, which now controls a major portion of the retail lumber business in this district. The company's mill on Sardine Creek was sold, together with 700 acres of choice timber, to W. J. Smith, of this city, who will continue its operation. The Gold Hill Lumber Company was composed solely of local capital, and has operated its business since the installation of the mill in 1906.
Morning Oregonian, Portland, January 7, 1913, page 7

    C. E. Evans, manager of the Weed Lumber Company of Weed and one of the owners of the Big Pines Lumber Company, spent Monday in Medford.

"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, March 17, 1913, page 2

Visiting at Medford.
    Ex-Congressman I. D. Young of Beloit, Kas., and one of the leading attorneys of the Sunflower State, who has been over in Eastern Oregon, spent Sunday and Monday in Medford. Mr. Young found Bert Thierolf, J. F. Soper and G. O. Roberts, former Beloit people, here and had a nice visit with them, as well as an auto trip around the valley, and was charmed with its beauty, the splendid orchards and.other growing crops S. S. Smith of this city was also acquainted with Mr. Young when he was in the Kansas senate, where he served four terms prior to being elected to Congress by the Republicans of the Sixth Kansas District.--Medford, Ore. Sun.
Beloit Daily Call, Beloit, Kansas, September 1, 1913, page 3

Former Beloit Boy Now at Medford, Ore., Takes unto Himself a Bride.
    The Medford (Ore.) Sun of this week contains mention of a marriage which will be of much interest in this section of the country, owing to the fact that the groom, "Bert" Thierolf, is a former resident of Beloit, where he was employed in the Keys clothing store, his parents living at Solomon Rapids. Since going west Mr. Thierolf has been engaged in the lumber business, and he has made good with a vengeance, and we have it on good authority that he is one of the leading business men of Oregon and has a future outlook that is exceedingly bright for a young man. The Daily Call, with other friends, is pleased to extend best wishes. The article from the Medford paper follows:
    A very pretty home wedding was solemnized Thursday evening, when Miss Phoebe A. Hance became the bride of Henry A. Thierolf. The ceremony occurred at the home of the bride's mother, Mrs. Hance, on West Tenth street.
    The house was decorated with sweet briar, red geraniums, ferns and palms.
    The bride was gowned in dainty cream satin and wore a veil held in place with orange blossoms. The bridal bouquet was of white roses, lilies of the valley and ferns, tied with a lace bow and small ribbon streamers with tiny clusters of lilies of the valley of ferns hung from the bouquet. The bride was attended by her cousin, Mrs. Albert Brown, as matron of honor, a bride of the year, who wore her wedding gown. Mr. H. R. Hance, brother of the bride, gave her in marriage.
    Miss Flora Gray at the piano played Mendelssohn's wedding march and during the ceremony played Sain-Saen's "Le Cygnet." Only the immediate relatives and most intimate friends were present.
    A wedding supper was served after the ceremony, after which the bridal couple left for the South. The bride's going away gown was a becoming tailored gown of blue with hat to match.
    Mrs. Thierolf is a very charming and popular young lady and is well known in musical circles, having a very sweet contralto voice. Mr. Thierolf is the manager of the Big Pines Lumber Co. and a very well-known business man.

Beloit Daily Call, Beloit, Kansas, October 16, 1913, page 5

    Mrs. H. A. Thierolf will leave Sunday for San Francisco, where she will take music lessons from Herman Genss. Mrs. W. F. Isaacs and Herbert L. Alford are also taking lessons from this famous teacher. Mr. Genss is one of the best and most famed teachers of music in this country.
"Society," Medford Mail Tribune, April 3, 1915, page 3

    The Big Pines Lumber Company was fined $5 this morning for carelessness in the keeping of a horse barn.

"Local and Personal," Medford Mail Tribune, June 1, 1915, page 2

    Mr. and Mrs. Bert Thierolf have returned from a month's visit with Mr. Thierolf's parents in Beloit, Kan., and in several other cities of the Middle West.
"Society," Medford Mail Tribune, October 23, 1915, page 3

    Judd Thierolf of Solomon Rapids, who has been a visit to the Pacific Coast for some weeks, writes to us from Medford, Oregon, where his brother, Bert Thierolf, is vice president and treasurer of the Big Butte Lumber Co., a corporation of that place, as follows: "You may discontinue sending the Daily Call to me at this address, as I leave here tomorrow for Portland, on my way home. Have received the paper regularly while here the last two weeks and to say that I have appreciated the daily visit of the home paper would be putting it mildly. I have certainly been enjoying the cool breezes and the many beautiful views of this coast country and can find no fault with it, as the people seem to enjoy prosperity and are extremely progressive, optimistic and consequently happy."
"News and Comments," Beloit Daily Call, Beloit, Kansas, July 11, 1916, page 1

    Since the Big Pines Lumber Company has closed its yards in this city it has stimulated the operation of the local mills on Sardine Creek. The two mills on the creek are supplying the mine and the adjacent district. The J. W. Merritt planing mills and box factory, so long idle, are now being operated in conjunction with one of the Sardine Creek mills.
"Gold Hill Items," Ashland Tidings, April 9, 1917, page 3

Food Products Company--
    Alex Nibley, secretary of the Utah-Idaho Sugar Company and Bert Thierolf, manager of the Big Pines Lumber Company, a $25,000 corporation devoted to the growing of sugar beets, food products and livestock in the Rogue River Valley. Associated with Messrs. Nibley and Thierolf will be J. B. Pettingell, field expert of the Grants Pass sugar factory.--Medford Tribune.
Rogue River Courier,
Grants Pass, April 25, 1917, page 6

    Eight Mexican laborers, employed by the Big Pines Lumber Co., were brought to the courthouse by the foreman of the company and registered under the military census law Friday.
"Local News," Jacksonville Post, June 9, 1917, page 3

    The Gold Hill cement factory is running in full blast now, with about 75 men employed. The first carload of cement was sent to the Big Pines Lumber Company of Medford last month.
"Local and Personal," Ashland Tidings, December 10, 1917, page 6

    H. A. Thierolf arrived home from Portland last week where he was purchasing machinery and equipment for use at the logging camp that will be established by the Big Pine Lumber company in the Butte Falls district to furnish logs for the Applegate Lumber Company.--Medford Tribune.
"Here and There," Ashland Tidings, May 6, 1918, page 3

Industries Are to Resume Operations and Payroll of $1000 a Day Is Expected.
    MEDFORD, Or., April 23.--(Special.)--Medford celebrated tonight the successful conclusion of the drive to secure $50,000 to clinch the retention and operation of the Pacific & Eastern Railroad from this city to Butte Falls, The required amount was reached at noon after a campaign of one week.
    This $30,000, with a like amount donated by timber interests at Butte Falls, will total $50,000 for initial payment on the purchase of the road and $10,000 for preliminary .operation. The sale price of the property is $270,000.
    With the announcement of the successful result of the drive, John Tomlin announced he would start construction of a $20,000 box factory near the railroad. The Applegate Lumber Company, which has been idle several months, will resume, and the Big Pines Lumber Company will start logging operations immediately in the Butte Falls district. The Butte Falls Lumber Company, with a new $100,000 plant completed ten months ago, will also start operations. This will mean the establishment of a payroll of $1000 day.
    A telegram was sent tonight to the owners of the Butte Falls Lumber Company in the East announcing the result of the drive, and it is expected the deal will be definitely closed in short time and the property turned over.
    The details of operation have not been made public, but it is believed the timber interests will operate the railroad for the first few months as a logging road exclusively.

Morning Oregonian, Portland, April 24, 1919, page 5

    A. L. Hill and Bert Thierolf of the Big Pines Lumber Company arrived home this morning from Portland where they had been in connection with the suit brought in united States court by the Macomber, Savidge Lumber Company of San Francisco seeking to break a contract with the local concern for a large order of pine lumber. The temporary injunction issued by the court, which closed the Big Pines company retail yards from doing any business for several days, has been lifted and the company is conducting its business as usual, having put up a bond to cover the $30,000, the amount involved in the suit, which is still pending in the federal court.
    The whole trouble was caused, according to officers of the local company, by the fact that the San Francisco company after purchasing on the high market, on contract the big order of lumber made an advance payment of $30,000 on the contract in June, 1920. Then there was a big drop in the price of lumber and the buying company tried to have the contract canceled and their money returned. This the Big Pines company refused to do. Then the California concern brought the suit in federal court at Portland, in an effort to break the contract.
Medford Mail Tribune, March 19, 1921, page 6

    The Macomber, Savidge Lumber Co., of San Francisco, recently began a suit in the United States district court at Portland against the Big Pines Lumber Co., of Medford, involving a contract for a large order of pine lumber. A temporary injunction issued by the court, prohibiting the Medford company's retail yards from doing any business for several days, has been lifted, this company having put up a bond of $30,000, the amount involved in the suit, and the matter is still pending in the court.
The Timberman, Portland, April 1921, page 94

    The Big Pines Lumber Company have just completed remodeling and decorating their entire offices, giving particular attention to display windows, and the establishment has now one of the most attractive lumber offices in Southern Oregon.
    Bert Thierolf, owner and manager of the Big Pines, stated that he believed that Sixth Street would continue to be selected as a location for business firms and therefore spared no effort in improving his headquarters.
    C. Howard Landis, one of the prominent merchandising men of the Pacific Coast, has been secured to adjust the merchandising plans of the Big Pines Lumber Company. Mr. Landis will remain in Medford to offer his services free of charge to homeowners, builders and merchants who plan to remodel and modernize their property.
    The Big Pines Company is offering this service to residents of the Rogue River Valley as a means of improving the appearance of the city of Medford and the surrounding territory, Mr. Thierolf said today.
Medford Mail Tribune, April 24, 1930, page 5

Big Pines Lumber Co.
    The Big Pines Lumber Company is the oldest lumber establishment in the city. It was started by H. A. Thierolf and associates in 1908 when $1500 would build a very nice house and $2,500 would erect a mansion. Mr. Thierolf later acquired all the business and has increased the buildings and stocks and added new lines to cope with their increasing business. They now have all their yard under cover, which is 100 by 300 feet.
    They recently rebuilt the offices and arranged unique and attractive display rooms for their products.
    They gladly furnish plans and expert advice to prospective builders. The business has become more complicated of late years because it requires a thorough knowledge of materials and values of properties.
    Deliveries in early days were made with three two-horse and one single-horse wagon and often took half a day or longer when the horses got bogged in the mud, where now they require several trucks.
    It is interesting to note that the telephone number of the Big Pines Lumber Company has been Number One since 1908.
"Brief History of Old-Time Medford Firms Given," Medford Mail Tribune, September 29, 1930, page 8

Big Pines Lumber Plans New Store
    The Big Pines Lumber Company started construction today on a project at their building at 32 West Sixth St., which will replace the present structure with a modern building, according to Bert Thierolf, president of the firm.
    The current building, built in 1908 when the company was established, will be razed to clear an area 96 feet from the Sixth St. frontage, where the new $55,000 one-story building will be built. The plans will include a customer parking area.
    Thierolf said that the building of cement block construction will have approximately four times the sales area of the current building.
    Temporary sales offices for the company will be set up in the garage building at Sixth and Fir sts. due west of the present building, it was reported. The moving of present supplies to the temporary site is expected to be completed by Sunday, Thierolf said.
    Contractor for the job is Don L. Jacobs, while architect is Jack Edson. The store layout was planned by Harper Mitchell, Boise, Idaho, specialist in building material merchandising, Thierolf said.
    Completion date for the building is March 15.
Medford Mail Tribune, January 8, 1959, page 1

Medford Mail Tribune, May 3, 1973
Medford Mail Tribune, May 3, 1973

Medford Mail Tribune, May 3, 1973
Medford Mail Tribune, May 3, 1973

Sales Promotion in Early Days
    Sales promotions were also used by business during the early years of Big Pines Lumber Co.
    H. A. Thierolf had carpenter aprons made, bearing the printing "Phone 1, Big Pines Lbr. Co." He gave one to each woman employed as a pear packer at Myron Root one fall.
    He returned the next day expecting to enjoy the sight of all this advertising for Big Pines. The women had taken them home and washed them--washing out the printing.
    He never gave another one away, according to his son, Bert Thierolf.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 3, 1973, page C2

Big Pines History Reviewed As Firm Closes Lumber Trade
    By 1975, 57 percent of all construction will be manufacturer-produced modular structures.
    That is why Big Pines Lumber Co., in business at the corner of Sixth and Fir streets since 1908, is closing out its lumber company facilities and moving into the modular home field.
Bert Thierolf, owner of the firm, made the prediction while talking about the company, which his father, H. A. Thierolf, and two others bought in 1908.
    "Every indicator in business shows that by 1980, 92 percent of all construction will be manufacturer-produced. Big Pines, Inc., doing business as Big Pines Homes, will be the sales outlet in Jackson County and northern California for Bohemia homes. The firm is the primary manufacturer of modular homes in Oregon. Headquarters for Big Pines Homes will continue at Sixth and Fir streets.
Locate Lumber Mill
    It was more than 100 years ago that Iowa Lumber Co. located its mill between Jacksonville and Ruch in the vicinity of Logtown Cemetery. Its retail outlet in Medford was Crater Lake Lumber Co.
    Meanwhile, a Brooks Brothers suit salesman in Kansas City fulfilled his dream of going west, and in 1902 H. A. Thierolf arrived in Portland. He remained there only a short time--since he knew Edgar Hafer, an employee of Iowa Box Co., and moved south.
    Later, when he bought Crater Lake Lumber, he changed its name to Big Pines Lumber Co. With him in the venture were Bert Anderson, president, and W. C. Green, secretary. Thierolf was vice president and manager. The articles of incorporation were filed with the Secretary of State on Dec. 3, 1908.
    "They purchased the lumber building, supplies, horses, wagon equipment, buildings, office supplies and equipment . . . for $18,684.89 with interest on deferred payments at 8 percent" the minutes of the first directors' meeting state.
Leases Land
    The company leased its land from the Southern Pacific Co. It was not until 1943 that Big Pines was able to purchase the property--300 by 175 feet. The railroad spur was important to Big Pines since its lumber came from Booth-Kelly Lumber in Eugene. There were no valley mills until Medford Corporation started. Iowa folded when it ran out of timber.
    In its early years, Big Pines had lumber yards in Gold Hill, Central Point, Eagle Point, Phoenix and Talent. Sixth Street, still dirt, did not extend [across] the railroad tracks.
    In 1912, according to an old sales slip, a man with team to deliver a load to Central Point (round trip) took five hours and cost $2.50.
    It wasn't until 1921, with the purchase of a Moreland truck for delivery purposes, that the lumber yards in the outlying areas were closed.
    Firms specialized in those days. Big Pines sold only cement (it came from Holland in cloth sacks which had to be returned) and oak flooring in addition to lumber. In 1920 it expanded into selling nails and added plaster and lime.
Recounts Growth
    Leafing through early-day sales slips, Bert Thierolf recounts the growth of Medford--lumber orders went to the Weeks Building (Weeks and Orr), Medford Hotel (all mill work was done in Big Pines' planing mill on Sixth Street) and the Deuel Building (now Burelson's).
    The first remodeling of the Big Pines building came in the early 1930s. A major rebuilding came in 1959, when the present structure was built. The new building was featured nationally as being the most modern building materials retail outlet in the nation.
    "We wanted the downtown to modernize, so we did," Thierolf explained. Now the firm is selling its entire stock and again is changing with the times."
    In the early days of Big Pines it took nearly as long to deliver the lumber from the Big Pines yard to the construction site as it does now to deliver a modular home to its prepared site, connect the sewer, water and electricity, and have it ready for occupancy.
Medford Mail Tribune, May 3, 1973, page C2

Last revised July 10, 2021