Westwood in the movies

Westwood Theater. Courtesy of David Zoller
Westwood Theater. Courtesy of David Zoller

The Red River Lumber Company was unusual in that it did not routinely have commercial films made of its operations, as their competitors did. It was deemed a good business practice to show prospective retail buyers, as well as investors, of one’s operation. In the 1930s, Red River officials debated the issue, particularly as it might be beneficial if forced to sell Westwood. On the other hand Red River’s neighbor the Fruit Growers Supply Company routinely had films made. For them it was important for the citrus growers to see what was involved with their investment.

In the summer of 1928 Caterpillar tractors sent a camera man to Westwood to film Red River Lumber Company’s entire operation–from the falling of trees to finished board. Caterpillar was interested in Red River’s operations. Red River’s skilled machinists were constantly making improvements to Caterpillar tractors. Among old time Red River employees there was the folklore that Red River had more patents on Caterpillar tractors than Caterpillar.  Whatever the case may be, in November 1928 the film made its debut at the Westwood Theater.

It would be interesting to know if the film exist in Caterpillar archives. After all, Fruit Growers had a 1925 film of their Lassen Operation in their archives.

Spread the word, encourage a friend to subscribe.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *