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About The independent. (Vernonia, Or.) 1986-current | View This Issue
2010 Vernonia Friendship Jamboree
The first Jamboree birling contest was held as part of the logging demonstration in 1957. Bud Gibson, Jr., on log at right, won
the contest while a man identified only as Bishop falls off the log. Original icture courtesy of the Vernonia Pioneer Museum.
Jamboree continues tradition of bringing friends and family together
Vernonia’s Friendship Jamboree tradition
began in 1957 when the Oregon-American
Mill was closing down for the final time and
Vernonians wanted a way to stay close to
friends and family who were leaving to find
jobs elsewhere. That first Jamboree was held
July 4-6, 1957 and brought those who used
to live in Vernonia back together with those
who still lived here. Events included a golf
tournament, swimming competitions, base-
ball (Vernonia vs. Tillamook), a water fight be-
tween the fire departments of Vernonia and
Banks, concerts, a square dance, a bike
race, kids activities and competitions, a pa-
rade, a horse gaming show, a street dance
and a logging competition.
This year’s Jamboree can boast many of
the same events (see full schedule on pages
4-5). One event that will be missing is the
Logging Show. Scheduling problems by the
organizers resulted in the show being can-
celled for 2010.
The 1957 Jamboree logging competition
included only five events; birling, trailer back-
ing, power saw falling, eye splicing and pow-
er saw bucking. The first winner of the first
everJamboree logging competition was Bud
Gibson, Jr. who won the birling competition.
Others who placed first, second, or third in
1957 were Bill Ferguson, Bill Pond, Don
Tiffney, Pete White, Hugo Hill, Bill and Gene
Odam, Don Webb, Dane Brady and his son,
Larry, Sam Smith and Snow Ridling. First
place winners took home a $25 prize and the
others received ribbons.
By 1959, the events were Falling, Truck
Backing, Bucking, Chopping, Ax throwing,
Shake splitting, Birling and Pole Walking. By
1959, the logging events had moved to a slot
on Sunday where they have remained.
In 1966, the high pole climb was added to
the Logging Show and it was announced that
wall events were open to ladies as well as
men. The Vernonia Eagle, Vernonia’s paper
until 1974, called the logging show, “one of
the biggest draws.” That was the same year
that saw the beginning of the Revolving Tro-
phy, it goes to the winner who keeps it for a
year then can compete to take it home again.
The first Revolving Trophy went to Phil Hol-
sheimer of Scappoose. The Vernonia
Jaycee’s organized the show in 1969. That
year, the only events on Sunday were the
Logger Breakfast and the Logging Show. By
1974, other events had joined the Sunday
lineup. The title became Vernonia Friendship
Jamboree and Logging Show by 1988.
Logging obviously has a long tradition in
this town whose largest employer for over 50
years was a sawmill. In recent years, the His-
tory Channel renewed interest in logging,
when they featured Vernonia loggers in their
series, Ax Men.
Many families in Vernonia and the sur-
rounding area still make a living in the woods,
either on logging crews or by driving logging
Instead of a logging show this Jamboree,
on Sunday, August 8, at Hawkins Park, there
will be a concert with proceeds to benefit the
family of Josh Schultz. Schultz lost his life on
July 22 when the log truck he was driving left
the road and crashed. There will also be log-
ging pictures, a guess the board feet raffle,
and chain saw chairs will be auctioned off.
Come enjoy the many activities offered at
the 2010 Vernonia Friendship Jamboree.
There’s no better time to get together with
old, or new, friends and family and enjoy a
variety of activities in Vernonia’s small town