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Historic Boat Building Project

Tug boats built on Tokyo Slough, commissioned by US Army during WWII.

Photo courtesy of Lincoln County Historical Society.

Historic Boat Building Project

Location: Toledo, OR, Tokyo Slough Date: World War II

Toledo's C.D. Johnson Sawmill, once the world's largest spruce sawmill, played major roles during WW II by supplying mass amounts of lumber to the US military as well as building barges for the war effort. The C.D. Johnson Sawmill also took on a very unique responsibility by taking on the largest boat-building project in this part of the state. This was the first time in history that the process, from mill to launch, was completed under one roof. There was no time wasted getting started once the contract was signed between the C.D. Johnson Sawmill and the military. Production of the tugboats was being done at a rate unheard of for the times, and all done in addition to the already demanding production schedule of the mill itself.

The tugs were 46 foot long with 11 foot beams and made almost entirely of Douglas fir and the remainder of solid Oak. The decking was constructed of a single sheet of plywood, which at the time was a brand new innovation, and the tugs were powered by a Chrysler Royal Marine engine. Each tug could comfortably house four men and included all the amenities. In all there were 20 tugs produced through the C.D Johnson Sawmill and put into commission with the US military, allowing for Toledo to takes its little place in history.

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