Pope Resources' North Kitsap Lands

What's your legacy going to be? 

The Beginning

Pope & Talbot's major founders came from families of sea captains, merchants, sawmill operators, and ship owners on the Machias River in coastal Maine.  In the seventeenth century the first Peter Talbot and Ralph Pope arrived in the mainland colonies from England.  Colonel Frederick Pope and Captain Peter Talbot, their grandsons, commanded troops at the Battle of Lexington and fought throughout the American Revolution.  On the Machias, Popes joined with Talbots, and they with the neighboring Keller, Foster, and Chaloner families, in businesses, marriage, and town affairs.  All these families would help found the Puget Mill Company and Pope & Talbot, man their vessels, and locate, build, and work their mill in Port Gamble, Washington Territory.

Significant Events in Pope & Talbot and Pope Resources History


Andrew J. Pope and Frederic Talbot arrive in San Francisco to test the lumber trade.  They enter a ship lighterage business with Captain Josiah P. Keller and Lucius Sanborn.


Frederic Talbot and Andrew J. Pope establish Pope & Talbot as a San Francisco lumberyard.  With Captain William C. Talbot they enter the lumber and cargo trade.  Frederic Talbot returns to New England.


Andrew J. Pope marries Frederic and William C. Talbot’s sister Emily.  Pope & Talbot buys a schooner and recruits workers in Maine.  With Josiah P. Keller and Charles Foster they establish the Puget Mill Company.


Puget Mill Co. builds a sawmill and company town in what becomes Port Gamble, Washington Territory.  Pope & Talbot acts as headquarters and handles the mills and its own lumber sales.


Talbot, Pope, Keller and Foster reorganize as W.C. Talbot & Company in San Francisco for the lumber trade and ship chartering.  The families invest heavily in California land and ranches and new California businesses.


Puget Mill Co. opens a second sawmill in Port Gamble and expands its shipping fleet.


W.C. Talbot & Co. temporarily operates a lumberyard in Victoria, B.C.


Agents of Puget Mill Co. acquire the company’s first Washington timberlands.


Pope & Talbot is formed in San Francisco to replace W.C. Talbot & Co.


William C. Talbot and Andrew J. Pope gain exclusive ownership of Pope & Talbot and Puget Mill Co.  Resident manager Cyrus Walker obtains a tenth interest in Puget Mill Co.


The original mill is dismantled and a larger sawmill opens in Port Gamble.


Puget Mill Co. is reincorporated as the Puget Sound Commercial Company to handle the ships and steam tugs, and Puget Mill Co. to handle the mills and timberland.  The latter buys and rebuilds a sawmill and secures timber at Utsalady, Washington Territory.


Andrew K. Pope dies, putting William C. Talbot in control of the firms and allied business.


On William C. Talbot’s death, his son William H. Talbot begins a 49-year domination of the firms and allied businesses, aided by his brother Frederick C. Talbot.


Puget Mill Co. buys and upgrades a sawmill in Port Ludlow, Washington Territory, which it permanently closes in 1890.


Puget Mill Co. and other mills on Puget Sound form a pool, the Pacific Pine Lumber Company. The Talbots acquire part-interest in rail-served California lumberyards.


Pacific Pine Lumber buys and expands the Grays Harbor Commercial Company in Cosmopolis, Washington Territory, which Puget Mill Co. executives and associates later control. Puget Mill Co. untangles cross-ownerships and turns divisions into separate affiliated companies with distinct responsibilities.


Puget Mill Co. and other mills on Puget Sound become joint owners of non-competing tugboats on the Sound.


Puget Mill Co. stops buying Washington timberland. It pioneers in the South African market.


Pope & Talbot and other firms replace the ineffective Pacific Pine Lumber Co. with another pool, the Central Lumber Company.


The Pope & Talbot partnership becomes a corporation.


Edwin G. Ames replaces the retiring Cyrus Walker as manager on the Sound.


The company opens its own logging camps to supplement its use of contracted loggers.


World War I boosts the company’s output and profits while labor conflict before, during and after the war embroils the company’s operations. In 1917 the firm opens its first coordinated real estate development, Alderwood Manor.


The Port Gamble and Port Ludlow mills start lightering lumber on rail car barges to Seattle.


Intermittent negotiations proceed to sell Puget Mill Co. and other properties. A Seattle sales office opens. The firm opens a Seattle residential development, Broadmoor.


The Charles R. McCormick Lumber Company of Delaware buys both mills and about half of the company’s timberland. William H. Talbot and George A. Pope Sr. become major stockholders in McCormick Lumber.


McCormick replaces the mill in Port Gamble, modernizes Port Ludlow’s mill, and expands its own Saint Helens, Oregon, mill. It expands and integrates McCormick’s logging and shipping operations and greatly increases cutting and output. On William H. Talbot’s death in 1929, George A. Pope Sr. assumes the presidency of the families’ remaining firms.


Pope, Talbot and Walker interests assert control over their former properties and over McCormick’s separate shipping firms.


McCormick Lumber Co. permanently closes the Port Ludlow mill, shuts down all its logging camps and the San Francisco lumberyard, and takes other steps to survive.


Pope & Talbot Lumber Company is established to take over the bankrupt McCormick Lumber. A court awards it and the McCormick steamship companies to the unpaid Pope, Talbot and Walker interests.


Pope & Talbot, Inc., is incorporated to replace McCormick Lumber Co. Puget Mill Co. is dissolved, and McCormick Shipping continues separately under the control of the Popes, and Talbots, and the Walkers. George A. Pope Jr. becomes Pope & Talbot president, and George A. Pope Sr., until his death in 1942, board chairperson.


The now prospering firm operates 76 ships, runs busy mills and timber cutting, and at war’s end opens a tree farm around Port Gamble. Talbot, Walker and then Charles L. Wheeler lead the company during George A. Pope Jr.’s absence in the army.


Pope & Talbot booms during the postwar era. The company begins a 10-year, $26 million piecemeal expansion, modification, replacement and diversification program. It follows the trees into Oregon, acquiring the Penn Tract near Oakridge. It re-enters the coastal, inter-coastal, and Latin American shipping routes, acquires war-built ships, and resumes to sale of logged-over Washington land.


A sawmill and, successively, a particleboard plant and green veneer mill are built at Oakridge, and a big tree farm is opened on the nearby Penn Tract.


The company abandons all but one maritime route and sells many vessels. Using the ship proceeds plus a stock buyback, Pope & Talbot partially liquidates.


At Oakridge the company becomes the nation’s first manufacturer of medium density fiberboard for the furniture industry.


The company enters plywood manufacturing by buying and upgrading a plant in Kalama, Washington. It closes its last shipping line and leases and then sells all remaining vessels.


Corporate headquarters moves from San Francisco to Portland. Cyrus T. Walker becomes president, and George A. Pope Jr., chairperson of the board. The company liquidates an affiliated fertilizer company.


A subsidiary Pope & Talbot Development is established to energized property development schemes. It opens the first phase of Port Ludlow, a residential and recreational community.


In its largest acquisition in 120 years, the company buys and upgrades sawmills, with attendant cutting rights, in British Columbia at Midway and Grand Forks, and also buys and quickly closes a lumber company in Westbridge, B.C.


Peter T. Pope becomes chairperson and chief executive officer, and Guy Pope becomes president and chief operating officer when Cyrus T. Walker and George A. Pope Jr. retire. The Saint Helens sawmill and nearby forestland are sold.


The company buys a stud mill in Hudson, Ontario.


The Hudson stud mill is sold.


The company begins a 10-year capital expansion plan. It buys half-interest in a pulp mill in Halsey, Oregon. George A. Pope Jr. dies. Guy Pope leaves management and William A. Whelan replaces him as president.


Pope & Talbot reincorporates in Delaware. It closes the Kalama plywood mill.


The company buys and upgrades paper mills in Eau Claire and Ladysmith, Wisconsin, to make private-label absorbent products. It buys and rebuilds a sawmill in Spearfish, South Dakota.


The company buys the remaining half of the Halsey pulp mill.


R. Stevens Mason replaces William A. Whelan as president and chief operating officer.


Pope & Talbot spins off the tree farms, the Port Gamble mill site and town, Port Ludlow, and the company’s undeveloped acreage to the new Pope Resources. It leases the Port Gamble mill and undertakes management of the historic town.


Pope Resources heavily cuts its timber and sells non-core lands to reduce debt.


Pope Resources moves headquarters from Seattle to Poulsbo.


The Partnership repurchases 21 percent of its outstanding units from Chieftain Capital Management.


Pope Resources completes the 50 percent-owned, $5.75 million Inn at Ludlow Bay.


Gary F. Tucker replaces George H. Folquet as president and chief executive officer. Pope Resources assumes management of Port Gamble following the expiration of the Pope & Talbot lease.


The Olympic Resource Management (ORM) subsidiary is launched to provide timberland management, portfolio management and forestry-consulting services to third-party owners of timberlands. A long-term contract is signed with Hancock Timber Resource Group to manage 535,000 acres of timberland in California, Oregon, and Washington. The Partnership completes a five-for-one unit split, resulting in 4.5 million units outstanding.


Pope Resources acquires the Canadian forestry-consulting firm Simons Reid Collins. The acquisition expands ORM’s timberland management and forestry-consulting operations into Argentina, Jamaica and western Canada.


ORM assumes management responsibility for Pioneer Resource’s 365,000 acres of timberland in California, Oregon, and Washington. Gary F. Tucker retires as president and chief executive officer and is replaced by chairperson and chief executive officer Allen E. Symington and president and chief operating officer David L. Nunes.


The Partnership acquires 44,500 acres of timberland from Plum Creek Timber in southwestern Washington, increasing its fee timber ownership by more than 60 percent. The Port Ludlow resort and real estate development assets are sold.


David L. Nunes assumes the role of chief executive officer. The Partnership completes restructuring following the sale of Port Ludlow.