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Research: Sawmill Database

Alpha-Numeric Key: PK-15
Corporate Name: Bering Manufacturing Company
Local Name:
Owner Name: Bering Manufacturing Company
Location: Bering Spur: at Harding Memorial Cemetery on FM 177
County: Polk
Years in Operation: 30 years
Start Year: 1882
End Year: 1911
Decades: 1880-1889,1890-1899,1900-1909,1910-1919
Period of Operation: 1882 to about 1911
Town: Bering Spur (Valda)
Company Town: 1
Peak Town Size: Unknown
Mill Pond:
Type of Mill: Rough and finished lumber
Sawmill Pine Sawmill Hardwood Sawmill Cypress Sawmill
Planer Planer Only Shingle Paper
Plywood Cotton Grist Unknown
Power Source: Steam
Horse Mule Oxen Water
Water Overshot Water Turbine Diesel Unknown
Pit Steam Steam Circular Steam Band
Gas Electricity Other
Maximum Capacity: 27000: 189375000: 1902
Capacity Comments: 27,000 feet daily (1893); 75,000 (1902 and 1906)
Rough Lumber Planed Lumber Crossties Timbers
Lathe Ceiling Unknown Beading
Flooring Paper Plywood Particle Board
Treated Other
Equipment: Sawmill and planing mill
Company Tram:
Associated Railroads: Houston East & West Texas. Bering, Kiam & Southern Railroad, the company tram.
Historicial Development: Bering Manufacturing Company built Valda, or Bering Switch, in 1882, making it the location of its first large mill. It was the first big mill with a planer in Polk County. The mill at Valda was listed by Reference Book of the Lumbermen's Credit Association, January 1905 and again in the 1907 edition. According to Peebles, in A Pictorial History of Polk County, Texas, Bering had a logging camp at Pine Ridge, in Polk County. The company operated a tram road. Strapac's work notes that the W. T. Carter and Brother Lumber Company at Camden bought a Shay engine from the Bering Lumber Company in 1912. The Bering line was noted as the Bering, Kiam and Southern Railroad. Keeling also notes that the Bering Kiam and Southern Railroad was the tram road for the Bering Manufacturing Company. Its listing for Valda in the 1907 LCA reference rating book was referenced to Bering. It also had another mill at Pawnee, La. by July 20, 1903, which was later sold after it mill burned to the Pawnee Land and Lumber Company in 1911 for $225,000. Carter Caton, a former engineer with W. T. Carter & Bro, believed that the Bering mill closed about 1911. The mill was not listed in the J.C. Nellis and A.H. Pierson edition of Directory of American Sawmills in 1915. The Gulf Coast Lumberman reported, in 1947, that Bering established the Bering-Cortes Hardware distribution business, centered in Houston, after the closing of the Bering mills in Louisiana and Texas.
Research Date: JKG 10-19-93, MCJ 02-26-96
Prepared By: J. Gerland, M Johnson