For the longest time life here in Bear Valley as quiet and change was slow.
Native American seasonal camps gave way to small ranching operations of the first Europeans. In good weather the stagecoach ran through the valley. And in 1895, postmaster Mrs. Minnie Southworth named the Seneca post office after her uncle, judge Seneca Smith of Portland.
In 1923 the 890 million board feet Bear Valley timber sale meant the days of quiet existence were to become a bit loader!
Woodsmen, mill and railroad workers were needed to fell trees, mill the logs, and build a railroad. The same workers and their families needed a place to call home, and it was they who were to build the town of Seneca.
Hewing trees by hand, the "Swede Steel Gang" made up for their poor English with sheer hard work. The crosscut saw made for plenty more sweat and toil out in the woods. As the pine and larch crashed to the ground, so rose the railroad line and the town of Seneca.