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Lumber meant more to Madera

For The Madera Tribune

Building the flume that built Madera.


Although the search for precious metals brought the first pioneers to Madera County, it does not account for the establishment of civilization in the area.

It took more than picks and shovels to provide stability. It was the lumber industry that gave the local economy its first permanent base. In the process, the town of Madera was born, but for a while it was just barely alive. Twice its heartbeat almost ceased, and it was only through the courage of a handful of citizens that it was resuscitated.

The need for lumber became apparent right after the gold rush. In the spring of 1857, a number of Chinese miners living near Coarsegold were in dire need of material for their sluice boxes. C.P. Converse had established a small mill in Crane Valley (present day Bass Lake), but he was unable to supply any lumber until he could obtain feed for his oxen that would drag the timber to the mill.


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