Port Blakely Tree Farms

The Port Blakely Mill Company, the second oldest private timber company in Washington State, started operation in 1864 in Seattle by Captain William Renton who built his 3rd and largest sawmill in Port Blakely Harbor on Bainbridge Island in the same year. The mill flourished, shipping lumber all over the world. In 1903, Ned Skinner and Jack Eddy, with brothers James G. Eddy and Robert B. Eddy, purchased The Port Blakely Mill Co. They pursued many ventures, including shipping and shipbuilding, before and during World War I. In 1923 they divided their assets; the Skinners kept the shipping business and the Eddy brothers kept the residual land and timber business, and the old mill. They subsequently scrapped the outdated mill and continued operations in the timberland management and investment business. The company then started to acquire prime forest lands and practice intensive forest management on a sustainable yield basis. Its name changed to Port Blakely Tree Farms in 1986. The company’s primary business remains the growing, tending and selling of forest crops, with ownership in Washington, Oregon, and in New Zealand. The company also develops land and buildings for its own portfolio.

It has been important to keep the business in the family since it allows for the implementation of long-term capital investment strategies without the need for quarter to quarter earning concerns. Jim Warjone, the grandson of James G. Eddy, brings a wealth of experience to the company. With a background in economics and finance, he began his working career in Seattle, with the Simpson Timber Company, Interface Mechanisms, IBM and Truckweld Corporation. In 1978, Warjone joined The Port Blakely Mill Co. (predecessor to Port Blakely Tree Farms) and currently holds the position of CEO, Chairman and General Partner of Port Blakely Companies. In 2004, Warjone and his directors began looking for his successor. The person selected to be the next CEO is René Ancinas, a great-grandson of James G. Eddy.

When Jim Warjone (left) retires, René Ancinas (right) will become the next CEO of Port Blakely Companies.