In the late 1940's the yard was a small shale processing plant. The original kiln was located next to our current office where we now have our small parking lot. The old processing plant was called "Empire Light Rock". This was before the tunnel was put in place on Oregon highway 26 (41 miles from highway 101). So people had to drive around from Vernonia or Timber to get to the processing plant.
Later the plant was sold to a company in Utah who had a similar system in place there. They moved the kiln to a lower level of the yard and invested (from what we have been told) around $3 million in upgrades. For the most part, these massive structures still exist today. Unfortunately, in the mid 1970's interest rates were high, lines at the gas pumps were long, and new construction was low. There was no demand for their product so the operation closed down. The property went to auction in the late 1970's and a group of the Utah partners had the opportunity to purchase the land and the existing structures at the auction. However they were late to the auction due to fog at the airport and several locals purchased several pieces of equipment and offered to resell back, at an exhorbitant markup, to the Utah partners. The Utah group, upset with the locals, declined and went home, leaving the quarry/kiln unopened, and 35 locals unemployed.
Sometime in the 80's the owner of A Place in the Sun and Sun Country Logworks started renting the entire site and acted as the defacto caretaker. Later he was able to purchase the quarry from the Utah partners. During this period, many homes and commercial building where fabricated on site at "The Yard" and shipped out to be placed on their foundations all across the country. "The Yard" was also used partially as a Log Home building school, where many of today's log home builder,s from around the country, learned their craft. A Place in the Sun stopped operation in the late 90's, but a new company was on the horizon. Sunset Log Homes of Oregon!
In the 2000's, Moby started Sunset Log Homes of Oregon and continues today the ancient art of handcrafting log homes and buildings.
Many people have fond memories digging for fossils at our site. Some remember going on a field trip in grade school and driving up Highway 26, stopping just after the tunnel, and having a wonderful time digging in the quarry for sea-bed fossils. Unfortunately, because we are an active building facility we are unable to provide public access.