Inventory of the Kenney P. Funderburke Papers, 1910 – 1995

Descriptive Summary

Abstract: Kenney P. Funderburke had a 42 year career in public and industrial forestry, largely with the Westvaco Corporation. From 1961-1966, he worked in Tres Barras, Brazil, as Manager of Forestry Activities for Westvaco, helping set up the Rigesa, S.A. Limitada operation (a Westvaco subsidiary).

The collection includes materials collected by and given to Kenney P. Funderburke related to forestry and lumbering in Tres Barras in the state of Santa Catarina, Brazil, primarily during the early 20th century. Funderburke worked in Tres Barras from 1961-1966 as Manager of Forestry Activities for Westvaco, helping set up the Rigesa, S.A. Limitada operation (a Westvaco subsidiary). The materials pertain largely to the timber operations of the Southern Brazil Lumber and Colonization Company, founded in about 1900 and managed beginning in 1910 by three brothers from Eureka, California James, Ernest, and Sherman Bishop. A group of copy photographs made from original glass plates dating from 1910-1915 depict SBL&C Co. employees, logging and log transportation by water and locomotive, skidding, and mill activities. Supporting documentation provided by Funderburke details some history of the Bishop family and of the Contestado, a land war in the Tres Barras region fought between rebel civilians and the Brazilian state's federal police and military forces between 1912 and 1916; the SBL&C Co. was involved in the Contestado due to the dispossession of native Brazilians' land and the company's use European immigrant labor. Also included are two circa 1915 cigarette wrappers that show SBL&C Co. scenes, and photographs from the 1974 opening of the Rigesa, S.A. Limitada mill at Tres Barras.

Title: Kenney P. Funderburke Papers, 1910 - 1995

Creator: Funderburke, Kenney P.

Repository: Forest History Society Library and Archives

Call Number: 7578

Language of Material: Material in English

Extent: 0.25 linear feet (6 folders)

 

Biographical Note

Kenney P. Funderburke, Jr. graduated from the University of Georgia in 1950 and went on to a 42 year career in public and industrial forestry, largely with the Westvaco Corporation. He spent the early years of his career working in wood procurement and in land acquisitions at various sites throughout the Southeastern U.S. before being dispatched to Tres Barras, Santa Catarina, Brazil in 1956 to buy land for a subsidiary mill site. Funderburke served as the Manager of Forest Activities there until 1961, helping set up the Rigesa, S.A. (a wholly-owned Westvaco subsidary) Tres Barras mill operation, which officially opened in 1974.

Back in the United States, Funderburke worked in timber sales for Westvaco until 1970, when he was tapped to establish and manage a new timberlands ownership and operation headquartered in West Virginia. In 1987 he became Manager of New Business Projects, exploring non-traditional uses of timberlands. Retired since 1991 and currently living in Summerville, South Carolina, Funderburke is the head of a "four-forester family" (himself, two sons, and a daughter-in-law). He is a Fellow of the Society of American Foresters, and has held a number of appointments within that organization, the Association of Southeastern Boards of Registration for Foresters, and the South Carolina State Board of Registration for Foresters (chair 1995-1996).

 

Collection Overview

The collection includes materials collected by and given to Kenney P. Funderburke related to forestry and lumbering in Tres Barras in the state of Santa Catarina, Brazil, primarily during the early 20th century. Funderburke worked in Tres Barras from 1961-1966 as Manager of Forestry Activities for Westvaco, helping set up the Rigesa, S.A. Limitada operation (a Westvaco subsidiary). The materials pertain largely to the timber operations of the Southern Brazil Lumber and Colonization Company, founded in about 1900 and managed beginning in 1910 by three brothers from Eureka, California James, Ernest, and Sherman Bishop.

A group of copy photographs made from original glass plates dating from 1910-1915 depict SBL&C Co. employees, logging and log transportation by water and locomotive, skidding, and mill activities. Supporting documentation provided by Funderburke details some history of the Bishop family and of the Contestado, a land war in the Tres Barras region fought between rebel civilians and the Brazilian state's federal police and military forces between 1912 and 1916; the SBL&C Co. was involved in the Contestado due to the dispossession of native Brazilians' land and the company's use European immigrant labor. Also included are two circa 1915 cigarette wrappers that show SBL&C Co. scenes, and photographs from the 1974 opening of the Rigesa, S.A. Limitada mill at Tres Barras.

Collection Arrangement

Material organized into six "groups" by Funderburke, which were left intact in individual folders.

  1. Photographs, Photocopies, and Cigarette Wrappers, 1910-1995

 

Subject Headings

  • Brazil -- History -- Contestado Insurrection, 1912-1916
  • Funderburke, Kenney P.
  • Lumber trade -- Brazil -- Photographs
  • Timber -- Brazil -- Photographs
  • Logging -- Brazil -- Photographs
  • Logging -- Equipment and supplies
  • Logging -- Machinery -- History
  • Logging railroads -- History
  • Locomotives -- Pictorial works
  • Santa Catarina (Brazil : State) -- History
  • Southern Brazil Lumber and Colonization Company
  • Westvaco Corporation

 

Detailed Description of the Collection

1. Photographs, Photocopies, and Cigarette Wrappers, 1910-1995.
  • Folder 1
    Photographs: Tres Barras, circa 1910-1915

    • Includes seventeen 8.5 x 11 inch black-and-white prints made from glass plate negatives by a local studio (Foto Egon) in Brazil when Funderburke was in Tres Barras in about 1980. The original negatives date from 1910-1915 and were stored in some government files in Curitiba, Paraná, Brazil. Captions provided by Funderburke.
    • These photographs are available through the online image gallery for the Kenney P. Funderburke Collection.

Locomotive and three water tank cars for skidders. Moving day. Note the locomotive is a 2-6-0, no crossties are treated, most are S45 but some are S25, and 3 'canteen' cars are coupled, which indicate at least 3 skidders/loaders are in the bush, or going to it. Note the American on top of the locomotive tender.

  • Folder 2
    Bishop Family History

    • Includes a photocopied 1960 portrait of Ernest Bishop, one of the three Bishop brothers from San Francisco who were employed as managers of the Tres Barras sawmill operations of the South Brazil Lumber and Colonization Company beginning in about 1910. Taken in Funderburke's living room at Christmastime. Accompanied by handwritten notes from Funderburke about the history of the Bishop family and the mill.
  • Folder 3
    SBL&C Co. cigarette wrappers, circa 1915

    • Includes two cigarette wrappers manufactured in Tres Barras before 1916 which depict the Southern Brazil Lumber and Colonization Company logging operations, sawmill, and other buildings in the complex. The wrappers are labelled "Luiz Sczcerbowski." Funderburke notes, "Probably a well-to-do Polish immigrant - could be a Ukranian immigrant or 1st generation Brazil-born."

Tres Barras cigarette wrapper, depicting Southern Brazil Lumber and Colonization Company sawmill.

  • Folder 4
    Contestado History

    • Includes photocopies from a book entitled Contestado, mainly photographs, accompanied by explanatory notes by Funderburke. Provides history on the Contestado War, a land war between rebel civilians and the Brazilian state's federal police and military forces, fought from October 1912 to August 1916, and the Southern Brazil Lumber and Colonization Company's operations in the area during that period.
  • Folder 5
    Wood Industry in the Contesdato

    • Includes photocopied excerpts from Ciclo da Madeira by Nilson Thomé (Caçador, Brazil: Impressora Universal Ltda., 1995). Subtitle translated by Funderburke to: "History of the devastation of the forest of Araucária and the development of the wood industry in Caçador and in the region of the Contestado in the twentieth century." Text in Portuguese.
  • Folder 6
    Photographs: Rigesa SA Limitada, 1974

    • Includes two original photos of the formal opening-day ceremonies of the Rigesa S.A. (a Westvaco subsidiary) pulp and paper mill in Tres Barras, Brazil on November 20, 1974. Funderburke is pictured in one of the photos.

 

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

No restrictions.

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Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Kenney P. Funderburke Papers, Library and Archives, Forest History Society, Durham, NC, USA.

Acquisitions Information

Received from Kenney P. Funderburke, Jr., on March 2007.

Processing Information

Processed by Staff

Encoded by Amanda Ross, May 2009 and Eben Lehman, February 2010

Funding from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission supported the encoding of this finding aid. Support for digitization and outreach provided by the Alvin J. Huss Endowment.