Abandoned Floating Logging Camp, Alaska

Abandoned Floating Logging Camp, Alaska

Sue sent us this email recently with an incredible tale involving the abandoned.

Several weekends ago, we had a girls weekend in Steamboat Springs, Co. While talking (and drinking) I was first made aware of my girl friend’s life on a floating logging camp in Alaska. She explained that the logs were tied together and the houses loaded on the log rafts. When the company was through logging the area, a tug boat would float the town to another location.

She was raised swimming with killer whales and winter camping in the Alaska Wilderness by herself. The houses were tied together, with church’s, schools, houses and walkways. As a young girl, she couldn’t leave the house without wearing a life jacket.

One Christmas, she was riding her friends new bike on the walkway, when the walkway turned and she kept going out into the ocean. She hung onto the bike, but both her and the bike weight, started pulling them down so, finally she let go. A very dangerous life for a young girl.

I was so interested in the subject matter, I have been researching on the Internet and came across this website which shows interesting photos of a abandoned floating logging camp. I only wish there was photos of the inside of the houses.

This abandoned float camp, an example of the kind of camp referenced in Sue’s email, is in Ward Cove, Alaska.

Alaska Floating Logging Camp

Photos from PureSwag.com

Alaska Floating Logging Camp

We’re reminded that sometimes the people we encounter in our every day lives had a very different childhood than the rest of us.

Photos from PureSwag.com
Original content copyright Sonic Tremor Media LLC

13 thoughts on “Abandoned Floating Logging Camp, Alaska

  1. Thank you for sharing. I grew up in Alaska on floating logging camps as well. It was the most interesting and wonderful way as a child to grow up. I have not found many pictures and appreciated your posting this. I am familiar with Ward Cove and again want to thank you.

  2. I too grew up like your friend…in fact this picture looks like the exact float camp I lived on as a child in Alaska.

  3. I remember reading in the AK magazine many years ago, about the floating logging camps. Seems one was called “Gildersleeve”? It was a group of Seventh Day Adventists as I recall. I was fascinated by the stories. Thank for the pictures.

    1. I lived on the float owned by Roger Gildersleeve in Whale Pass Alaska. My dad was a logger and as a kid we had to wear life jackets anytime we went outside. We went to school on the float and even church. It was a fun adventure.

      1. I grew up in Alaskan logging camps (some float camps and some on the ground) in the 70’s. The last camp was at Whale Pass. If I recall correctly there were two companies with one on the ground and one float. I lived in a trailer on the ground but went to school on the float camp. The pictures take me back and I can almost smell the ocean. Thank you for this.. brings back a happy time in my life.

    1. Hi Kasey. What year did you live on Gildersleeves float? I was there in 1977 ish. I’m wondering if you remember anyone I know.

  4. I also grew up on the gildersleve camp. With my sister and cuzen rob. My dad was a timberfaller. I have many good memerys. Wouldn’t have wonted any other childhood. Thank you so very much

  5. My family ran Gildersleeve Logging for around fifty years. So many good memories. Some of these buildings are in fact all that remains. So sad when they shut down. For those interested you should look up the Ketchikan Story Project, specifically the Timber Years. Curious who your girlfriend is 😉

  6. I grew up on floating logging camps during the late fifties and into the late sixties. They will alway hold a big place in my heart and memories. We were at several camps. The Gildersleeve brothers and later Murray Gildersleeve’s camp. Also Floyds, Blooms, Hagens, and some others. It was a wonderful way for a kid to grow up.

  7. Thank you for passing this. I also lived at Gildersleeve in ’96-’97. I remember the playground float, the school (our trailer was right behind the school), the commissary that was only open 15 minutes a day, the plane float, etc. I loved it all and loved the land bridge to go on land. When we lived there it was in Grace Harbor. I still remember our address even lol. I sure wish I could go back.

  8. Wow. Seeing this takes me back. If I remember right, I lived on three. Bloom, Craik, and Gildersleeve. My dad worked for Bloom Logging when I was born in 1975. We must have been there from 1975-81(ish). Then Gildersleeve for a season or two when they were on land (near Juneau?). That must have been around ’82. Then Craik Log for a few years in the late 80’s, early ’90s. Awesome memories.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

eighteen − twelve =