[Speaker Colfax's Party of Tourists]The Illustrated London News, vol. 47, no. 1341, p. 451.
November 4, 1865
Speaker Colfax's party of tourists have been visiting Washington Territory, the upper half of old Oregon. One of them writes that its population is small--less than 20,000; but it holds sure wealth in its illimitable forests, and probably has large coal deposits. The trees are so thick and so tall that the ground in the forest could not hold them, cut and corded as wood. Nearly 100,000,000 ft. of prepared lumber, masts, and spars, are exported in a year. Trees 6 ft. or 7 ft. in diameter and 200 ft. to 250 ft. high are stated to be very common, and perhaps rarely out of sight in the forest; 8 ft. in diameter and 300 ft. high are not at all uncommon. The builder of the telegraph line has hitched his wire, in one instance, to a cedar which is 14 ft. in diameter. Colfax's party saw one fallen tree 325 ft. long; and another tree, at 90 ft. from its root, measured 7 ft. in diameter. Masts are readily procurable straight as an arrow and without a knot for 100 ft., 40 in. in diameter at 30 ft. from the base. Washington Territory is said to have more timber, ferns, blackberries, and snakes than any other Territory or State in the Union.