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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Port Blakely launches its New Zealand Forestry division, owning and managing working forests across New Zealand.
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.
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.
Port Blakely's US forestlands are certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative®, and have maintained our certification every year since.
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.
Port Blakely Companies completed a multi-year and multi-divisional succession plan with the transition of leadership from third-generation Chairman and CEO Jim Warjone to fourth-generation CEO René Ancinas.
Port Blakely redefined its vision for the future and unified as one company. To outwardly express this commitment, the company created a new look and feel for its brand. Port Blakely’s three divisions were unified with new names: Port Blakely Tree Farms became US Forestry, Blakely Pacific became NZ Forestry, and Pacific Lumber & Shipping became PLS International.