Southern Oregon Timber

The Kenneth Ford Family Legacy

This history of Kenneth Ford's life and legacy extends beyond the timber industry to include an account of the Ford family's early philanthropic work and the formation of The Ford Family Foundation. The collection of stories and photos were curated by a Roseburg resident and family friend over a twenty-year period, then woven together in written form by a local writer and historian. The book provides a valuable window into a very specific chapter in Southern Oregon history that might not otherwise have been told.

160 pages. ©2015.
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Reader Reviews for this Book


Review posted January 26, 2023


This was a very fun book to treat through. Since I live in douglas country I know a lot of past and present loggers. It was interesting to learn the history.


Review posted July 13, 2022


This book told the story of Kenneth Ford who was a Roseburg Lumber Mill owner. It was interesting and enlightening in regards to the lumber industry in Southern Oregon! Enjoyable read!


Review posted April 8, 2022


Wow. I love this book. I grew up in Coos County in the little town of Bridge. Many people I know work at Roseburg Lumber. I never put Ford Foundation with Roseburg Lumber. . This book has so much amazing history about the Ford family, the Roseburg area and Oregons timber and farm history. This should be a mandatory read in Oregon schools. Thank you to the Fords for all you do and this books educates you on all they've done for Oregon.


Review posted March 16, 2022


This book is so well written and brings back many memories for me from my childhood. My grandfather was a saw sharpener in the 1920s and 1930s in Southern Oregon near Myrtle Point and the south coast area. My grandmother was a cook at the camp. They had often told us stories of those times, and it was really wonderful to read the accurate history in this book. Douglas County has so much rich history and I’m glad that it is being preserved in books. I recommend this book to anyone who has lived here all or most of their life, like myself, and also for those newer and wanting to enter understand where our culture has come from. Great book!


Review posted November 24, 2021


I love this book- so musch that I bought 3 copies to gift to friends. Author deftly weaves several historical threads: development of technology and engineering that moved the timber/lumber industry forward staring in NW USA in 1800s; impact of immigration of both foreigners and settlers from elsewhere in US; concurrent development of transportation industry (by both land - rail and trucking as well as water ) and economic base of the Northwest. As a transplant (from Midwest) Douglas County resident, it explains much of today's culture here.


Review posted October 27, 2021


I was relieved to find this book informative and a page turner. This is a great piece to add to the library.


Review posted September 22, 2021


A great telling of the Southern Oregon Timber History. My partner works for the Department of Forestry and he felt this was an accurate telling of some of the history. We were fascinated to learn more about the connections with the Railroad and how Kenneth made such an impact on our world.


Review posted August 6, 2021


I love this book. My class loves history and this book gives so much information.


Review posted June 25, 2021


An Amazing Journey...that led to Amazing Philanthropy!


Review posted April 14, 2021


Loved it. Really enjoyed the history and all the all the timbers lands where I grew up.


Review posted March 8, 2021


This was a great book to add to my collection of local information stories. The timber/lumber production in southern Oregon is our mainstay and provides a crucial economic asset.


Review posted February 24, 2021


I read this book while I was at work. I was surprised about how many of my co-workers were very interested in this book because their families were involved in the lumber industry. I didn't know much on this topic, so I learned a lot.


Review posted October 12, 2020


Donna Watkins and R.J. Guyer have collected extensive research information regarding logging in and around Roseburg, OR with a particular focus on Kenneth Ford and the Roseburg Lumber Company. The book is an interesting read though at times the sequence of events is difficult to follow. Further, the title is misleading in that the book does not include the billions of board feet of timber harvested in Curry, Josephine, Jackson, Klamath and Lake counties. Nonetheless, Watkins and Guyer have given us a useful volume for gaining an appreciation of Kenneth Ford and his lumber empire.