Taft Fir: Once Largest Douglas-fir in Washington

Near Clallam Bay, Clallam County, Washington

Taft Fir: Once Largest Douglas-fir in Washington

I'm trying to research the unknown history of the Douglas-fir tree shown in this 1909 photograph. The tree was apparently known as the “Taft” fir, and was located near Clallam Bay, Clallam County, WA. The caption on the photograph says that the tree was 14 feet in diameter at 10 feet above the ground, and was considered the largest fir tree in the state. Since the tree was photographed with people sitting in an undercut, it is supposed that the tree was cut down in 1909, and possibly for use at the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition. Some of the west's largest individual trees were given names after famous presidents and generals, such as Washington, Lincoln, Sherman, and Grant. It's not surprising that by the time this record size Douglas-fir was photographed in 1909, it apparently was known as the “Taft” fir. It was in 1909 that William Howard Taft became the 27th president of the United States. It was also in September, 1909 that President Taft arrived by train in Seattle, to attend the 1909 world's fair known as the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition. The people in the photograph, from left to right, are said to be Clarence E. Kefauver, Harry Clement Fairservice, and Harry's father Alston Fairservice. Both Alston Fairservice and Clarence Kefauver ran the mercantile at Clallam Bay. Alston Fairservice was the first postmaster at Clallam Bay and he became a prominent merchant, logging operator, and banker. He logged up the Clallam River and Hoko River, and floated logs down the lower reaches of those rivers to the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Home Andrew Craig Magnuson
Forks, Washington
March 5, 2005

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