Abridged from the 2003 Taylor Mountain Forest Stewardship Plan: Taylor Mountain Forest was likely used by the Snoqualmie, Duwamish, and Muckleshoot tribes for fishing, hunting and gathering, and as a major transportation link from Lake Sammamish to the Cedar River and across the Cascades.
Government Land Survey notes from 1891 and 1892 describe the area as “…covered with heavy fir, hemlock, cedar and spruce timber of good quality… A very dense undergrowth throughout…” Also noted were numerous brooks, creeks, and “branch springs." More than sixty settlers homesteaded in the vicinity at this time, many clustered around nearby Walsh Lake.
Logging was extensive throughout the area since the late 1880s. Logging was first accomplished with oxen, horses, and steam donkeys. Construction of a railroad allowed for more intensive harvest. Eventually fifteen miles of standard-gauge rail passed through the forests and to the top of Tiger Mountain. Several sawmills operated in the area. The Sherwood mill, was located on upper Carey Creek in the 1930s, probably milling cedar bolts cut from the large cedar stumps left standing in wet areas after the initial harvest. A 1930s stump house, created inside a hollow cedar stump with a sheet metal roof and equipped with pots, pans and dishes on the table, was discovered on the property in 1969. The artifacts were subsequently removed.
There were many forest fires in the vicinity in the early 1900s. In 1910, a big fire started in Kerriston and, spreading to Taylor, Walsh Lake, and Hobart, which consumed the railroad trestles at Taylor and Sherwood. The community at Walsh Lake was destroyed and two trains were marooned. Many of the large stumps on Taylor Mountain Forest bear evidence of the fires.
Taylor Mountain Forest continued to be harvested throughout the 1940s. An aerial photo from 1944 shows the Holder Creek drainage recently logged and much of the Carey Creek drainage logged or maintained as open grazing land. The most recent logging operations began in the 1970s, when approximately 60 percent of the site was clear-cut.