Book depicts mid-century millworkers at Crown Zellerbach

The Willamette Falls Heritage Foundation has released a limited edition book on the history of millworkers at Crown Zellerbach in West Linn.

“1.09 an Hour and Glad to Have It — Conversations with 17 mid-20th Century Crown Zellerbach millworkers,” was written by Sandra Hickson Carter, and is based on an oral history project conducted by the non-profit Heritage Foundation that tells the story of paper mill work in the 1930s-’90s through the voices of 17 Crown Zellerbach “career” workers.

It contains many stories of unionism and recollections of strikes at the mill, as well as workers’ descriptions of the hard industrial jobs and workplace conditions prior to safety equipment and safety committees.

One of those interviewed was Harold King, a former union official with the Association of Western Pulp and Paper Workers (AWPPW) and secretary-treasurer of the Northwest Oregon Labor Retirees Council. King worked for his union’s members through some of the most turbulent times in the industry’s history of labor/management issues and inter-union competition.

King died last June at age 88.

Carter, through a couple of small grants, helped with the oral interviews and produced two documentaries that are ocassionaly aired on local cable channels. She donated her time editing and publishing the anthology of mill work stories — fulfilling the foundation’s goal of putting mill history into the hands of the communities of Clackamas County.

The 424-page paperback book is available at Clackamas County libraries. It can also be purchased for $35. You can order a copy by calling the Willamette Falls Heritage Foundation at 503-650-9570 and leaving a message, then sending a check to: Book, P.O. Box 635, West Linn, OR 97068.

All proceeds go to support the project, which was grant-funded by the Clackamas County Cultural Coalition and the Kinsman Foundation.

For more information, go online to www.willamettefalls.org.

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