W. T. Carter at Camden (Gulf Coast Lumberman, ca. 1937-1941)  
  Source: "With Carter at Camden", Gulf Coast Lumberman, unknown date. Bound in a scrapbook in the collection of Lester Haines. Other articles in the scrapbook have a date range of 1937-1941.  
  W. T. Carter at Camden  

The hardwood and pine operations of W. T. Carter & Bro. are cutting away at a beautiful stand of East Texas timber.

When the GULF COAST LUMBERMAN cameraman visited the pine and hardwood mills of W. T. Carter & Bro. Lumber Company at Camden, a year or so ago, he was given a great [missing section] in his rhythm is caused either by the noon whistle or an empty dolly which he has depleted.

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The huge steel [missing section] __t, was designed by Mr. W. T. Carter himself, and it is a model sawmill from every standpoint. Inside, two bands, a gang, two edgers, amply handle the output of pine, cutting both long leaf and short leaf.

Although it has been mentioned before, it is well worth hearing about the ingenious drop sorter devised and built by the late Ernest Carter, brother of W. T. It is unique. As the lumber leaves the trimmer one man lines up the ends on the drop-sorter chains, and after that, no help is needed except to pile it on the kiln cars.

The drop-sorter chains move over the lumber instead of the usual practice of moving under the lumber. The boards slide on smooth steel skids, the dogs which push the pieces hang down instead of up.

The entire output of the pine operation is kiln-dried by a battery of modernized kilns which includes eight double chambers, and the stock is housed in sheds, to protect it from the weather.

The pine mill is located down in the valley at the low end of the mill pond. Photographs never do it justice. They always reveal a clean steel mill, which looks like a one story affair. That's because the mill is built below the dam which holds the water in the millpond. The structure itself extends some thirty feet below the level of the water impossible to show in a photo. It is really a giant mill, one of the largest in the state.

Up on the hill, which the pine mill faces, is another operation of Carter the hardwood unit. Here is an entirely separate operation, located over a mile and a half from the pine plant. Here you find a new mill which operates a single band.

Due to the great demand for kiln-dried hardwoods, W. T. Carter installed a battery of hardwood dry kilns a little over two years ago, and the operation has added even more quality to the finished Carter hardwood product. Four double dry kilns do the seasoning automatically, handling the production of the hardwood mill.

Their hardwood planing mill is equipped to plane, re-saw, and end-match their hardwood lumber. There is a large hardwood lumber yard where stock is allowed to season a while before it is placed in the kilns. In charge of the hardwood operations is M. J. Taylor, Jr., who has been in charge since the mill was built in 1922.

Mr. Sid Adams, one of the finest characters you'll ever meet in the lumber industry, is general manager of the Camden operations. He went with Carter to his mill just before the turn of the century, and he's been in charge of the Camden operations since 1922.

Back in Houston in W. T. Carter's sales offices, Clyde E. Miller is sales manager. He succeeded the beloved J. J. Carroll, veteran lumberman, whose death the early part of last year was mourned by all who knew him. Mr. Miller is an able, widely-known lumberman and has done an excellent job of carrying on the work where Mr. Carroll left off.

This sketch would be incomplete without a word about a veteran who today, after 79 years on this old planet, is just as wide-awake and full of fun as a 20-year-old boy. His name is A. B. Caton, and, before his retirement, he headed the logging operations of W. T. Carter's mills for fifty years. He can probably tell you more about the old days of Texas lumbering than any man in the state.

Sales office, pine mill, hardwood mill all are mighty proud of the fine lumber products that are produced at Camden, and it should be a great thing for lumber dealers to learn that these fine lumber products will go on being produced at Camden until that giant forest of beautiful Texas pine is no more . . . and with Carter's present plan of logging, and reforestation, that may never be.

Text and images were digitized and proofread from the original source documents by Murry Hammond. Contact Murry for all corrections, additions, and contributions of new material.