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Life In A Company Town The Need For Labor Unions? Company Towns For: Argent Lumber Company Westside Lumber Company Mann’s Creek Railway Sewell Lumber Company The Babcock Coal and Coke Company

Company Towns 

Many logging and mining companies were located in remote areas.

They often built their own narrow gauge logging and mining railroads to the remote area.

Some even went to the expense of a standard gauge railroad.

Company Towns 

In order to attract workers, these companies built “company towns.”

They provided the workers with housing.

Some companies also provided: 

Medical care, community centers, churches, schools for the children, and most important of all, a company store.

Company Towns  

None of these services were free. The companies charged the workers to live in the housing and to use all of the company facilities. They paid their workers in “company money” so they could only shop in the company store. This allowed the company to make money on their own employees by operating a retail business and serving as landlords.

The Argent Lumber Company 

Founded in 1926 it was a successful hardwood logging and timber industry located in Hardeeville, South Carolina. It logged the swamps of South Carolina and Georgia in that area. It ceased operations in 1956 when the Federal Government raised the minimum wage to $1 an hour.

Logging Railroad In The Swamps of Georgia – Track On Stilts

A true example of turn of the century technology, 60+ years after the era in which it was built, Argent Lumber Company No. 3, built by Porter Locomotive Company.

No air brakes, link ‘n’ pin couplers, no automatic couplers, and no water glass.

Note the wood for fuel, in an era in which railroads had converted to coal or oil decades ago. Note the lack of safety devices.

Westside Lumber Company 

Successful, but dangerous, logging/timber company located in Tuolumne, California. Operated into the 1960’s with both a logging railroad and sawmill. Operated with steam powered logging locomotives until the end of operations.

At Least the WSL Warned You

Superintendent’s Mansion For Sewell Lumber Company

Sewell Lumber Company’s “Company Town” At Cliff Top, W. Va.

The Sewell Lumber Company Store In Cliff Top, West Virginia

The Presbyterian Church Next To The Company Store In Cliff Top, West Virginia

Landisburg, West Virginia Company Store for the Sewell Lumber Company

And Their Sewell Lumber Company Logging Camp For Workers Families

Babcock Lumber Company’s Company Town At Landisburg, West Virginia

Wives wearing apparel sold at the Landisburg Company Store ď‚Ą



Wives had to live at the company houses with their husbands. They purchased everything from the company store. Note the little girl with no shoes.

Company Money 

Company money could take the form of scrip – paper vouchers for a certain amount. Companies also made their own coins, often out of brass, aluminum, or even wood.

Company Money

A Company Bill