Our Story

150+ Years of Stewardship & Sustainability

Port Blakely’s story is one of innovation, determination, and stewardship. It’s about cultivating a healthy world by caring for our forests, to produce the sustainable forest products we grow and the communities we support.

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1864

Captain Renton

Nova Scotia sea captain William Renton purchases land around Blakely Harbor on Bainbridge Island to build a sawmill.  Over the next four decades, the Port Blakely Mill Company flourishes, at one point operating the world's largest sawmill under one roof.  

1864 Web
1882

Building a Railroad

The mill is turning out 200,000 board feet a day, the largest sawmill on the West Coast. But getting enough logs is a challenge. To reach the forests growing far to the southeast the company builds a railroad known as the Blakely Line to haul logs from the forests of Mason County to Kamilche Point on the southern Puget Sound. The logs are then towed to Blakely Harbor by the company's tugboats.

1882 Web
1903

A Partnership Forms

John W. Eddy and his partner Ned Skinner purchase the  Port Blakely Mill Company. A variety of additional business ventures follow through the end World War I, including the Skinner & Eddy Shipbuilding Company.

1903 Web
1923

A Family Business 

Skinner and Eddy end their partnership and divide the assets. Brothers John, James, and Robert Eddy and their family acquire the Port Blakely Mill Company and its forestlands.

1946 Forestry
1924

Focusing on Forestry

The Eddy family closes the outdated mill to allow the company to concentrate on its timber investments.

1924 Focusing On Forestry
1925

Pioneers in Forest Research

As part of his work improving reforestation science, James G. Eddy, a businessman and a forest geneticist, establishes what is now known as the US Forest Service’s Institute of Forest Genetics in Northern California.

1925 Web
1946

Stewardship Forestry

By the end of World War II, infrastructure improvements and advances in technology make investing in growing timber from seedlings to harvest more feasible. The company begins acquiring more prime forestlands and practicing forest management on a sustainable-yield basis.

1923 Web
1990

Creating a Community

Port Blakely Communities launches. A real estate venture focused on creating innovative urban villages combining a sense of community with the concepts of smart growth, Issaquah Highlands is their signature development.

History 1990
1991

Inspiring Future Foresters

Port Blakely establishes our Environmental Education program to teach elementary school students in Washington and Oregon about stewardship forestry through hands-on experience in the woods.

Leaf Throwing Kids
1993

Going Global

Port Blakely launches its New Zealand Forestry division, owning and managing working forests across New Zealand.

History 1993
1996

Habitat Conservation

Port Blakely enters into its first Habitat Conservation Plan (HCP) with the US Fish & Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service covering 7,500 acres in Pacific County, Washington. The HCP has been expanded twice and now covers more than 11,000 acres.

Spotted Owl
1999

Advocating Collaborative Natural Resource Solutions

Port Blakely played a pivotal role in advancing Washington State’s groundbreaking Forests & Fish law which brought together the forestry industry and the environmental community to protect salmon habitat.

Forest And Fish
2002

Certified Sustainable

Port Blakely's US forestlands are certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative®, and have maintained our certification every year since.

Sustainable
2003

Certified Sustainable II

Company’s NZ forestlands are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council®, maintaining our certification through 2023.

2003 Nz Sustainable
2005

Expanding Markets

Port Blakely acquires export log-trading firm Pacific Lumber & Shipping. Now known as PLS International, the division enhances our international marketing efforts and support of our expanding global customer base.

History 2005
2009

Creating a Safe Harbor

We enter into a Safe Harbor Agreement with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, committing to enhance wildlife habitat on over 45,000 acres in Lewis and Skamania counties in Washington.

2009 Safe Harbor
2009

Expanding Markets in New Zealand

New Zealand Forestry enters into the third-party wood business, allowing us to market other people’s logs to international and domestic clients.

2009 Expanding Nz
2010

Carbon Forestry

As part of the New Zealand government’s response to climate change, Port Blakely begins offering carbon credits through the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme.

2010 Carbon Forestry Nz
2018

Carbon Forestry II

Port Blakely’s Winston Creek Carbon Project is certified by the American Carbon Registry. 

2018 Carbon Forestry Us
2019

Honoring a Century & a Half of Stewardship

Port Blakely is honored as Family Business of the Year by the Puget Sound Business Journal.

2019 Family Busines
2019

Investing in our Kiwi Business

Port Blakely acquires 3,000-hectare Clutha property located in the Otago region. The purchase brings our New Zealand forest portfolio to almost 35,000 hectares.

2019 Clutha
2020

Stewarding our Oregon Forests

Company signs stewardship agreement with the Oregon of Department of Forestry committing to protect wildlife habitat over 30,000 acres in Clackamas County.

2020 Stewardship Agreement