Twenty Years of Timbermen: The Story of the Tongue River Tie Flume
The years prior to 1893 had shown a tremendous growth in the settlement and development of northern Wyoming. Settlers migrated from the east and began establishing many new communities throughout the area. As the railroad drew closer to Sheridan, the Burlington & Missouri was anxious to make sure they would have an excellent supply of ties available for construction of the line as it continued north of Sheridan. Little did anyone realize that this would signal the beginning of a unique 20 year period of Sheridan County's history.
Following a lawsuit, a fire, and the termination of contracts, however, the tie flume industry in the Bighorn Mountains came to an end in 1913. Everything connected with the Tie Flume era was built of wood, and, almost one hundred years later, any remaining fragments area very fragile. The flume, itself, has collapsed in many places with the wood extremely rotten. As each season passes, more and more of these remnants fade away. Today, only the wonder of the stories and people who lived in that time remain. The logging from 1893 to 1913 was truly a fascinating and important time in Sheridan County's history.
By Helen Laumann & Nathan Doerr
Copyright 2011, Sheridan County Museum
Sheridan County Historical Society Press