Coloured Postcards of Caspar circa 1900

There are a LOT of photos in the main website and my three blogs. I get them from everywhere. In the fairly recent past there has been a whole bunch of coloured postcards.

“During the 19th century colorants was often added to printed images by hand for it was the most cost efficient way to produce a color image. This tradition was naturally applied to all types of postcards, and it became common practice around 1902. The general tendency of collotypes to print lightly while still capturing great detail made them the perfect receptor of hand coloring and they formed the base for most of this work. With more paper surface left exposed and a less oily ink to fight the water based colorant it could more easily show off subtle hues or attain brilliant saturation. Some publishers would even adjust the transparencies used to create collotype plates so that their cards to be colored would print lighter than the versions to be printed solely in black & white. Most postcards were colored with a simple RGB pallet but there are many variations to this. As labor costs rose the hand coloring of postcards faded out after the 1930’s.” 

So now you know when and how. Here’s the three coloured postcards I recently acquired of Caspar.

Loading at Caspar

Loading at Caspar

Caspar Harbour

Caspar Harbour

Caspar Main Street

Caspar Main Street

Blasting a log into pieces at Hare Creek

Hare Creek is just south of Fort Bragg. Based on my exploration there is nothing “historical” there now. In 1880 Hare Creek environs were being logged by the Caspar Lumber Company. The ONLY reason I know this is this photo which turned up in the inbox:

Blasting a log into pieces

Blasting a log into pieces

Click on the photo to see it more clearly.

 

 

Inaugural Run of Loco, “Daisy” owned by the Caspar Lumber Company

Inaugural Run of Loco Daisy

Inaugural Run of Loco Daisy

It’s 1885, the No. 2 locomotive “Daisy” has just completed her trial run on the Caspar & Hare Creek Railroad. The locomotive was tasked with transporting logs to the sawmill in Caspar. The new locomotive was built by Baldwin in Philadelphia; parts were boxed and shipped around Cape Horn; they arrived from San Francisco on the schooner “Abbie.”

She’s still “alive” and you can find her in the Deli restaurent in Fort Bragg, Ca.

Hand tinted postcards of Caspar, Mendocino

Hand tinted postcards began as a conventional black and white photograph and were painted by hand prior to production. In the early days the colouring took place in the photographers studio. As demand expanded factories were established employing large numbers of women to hand tint photographic images prior to postcard printing. The paints were oil based and transparent and their chemistry was such that many of the colourists were to suffer illness as a result of licking their brushes to form a point.

Our website contains a number of hand tinted postcards but none of Caspar until I found these two:

Very early photo of Caspar

Very early photo of Caspar

The log splash at Caspar

The log splash at Caspar

Interesting what?

 

Caspar Lumber Company Inclines at Whisky Springs on Route 20 between Fort Bragg and Willits

Our website has this to say about the Caspar Lumber Company inclines:

The first two inclines (shown in yellow) on the map above belonging to the Caspar Lumber Company were just up one side of a hill and down the other side of the hill. The logs were pulled to the top of the hill and then lowered down the other side. The picture below shows the Caspar Lumber Company incline in operation.

The Caspar incline at work

What the website page does not say is when and exactly where it was built. That “mystery” was recently solved in the “blast from the past” section from the local rag::

It is reported that the Caspar Lumber Co. is to work up all of its timber in the Little North Fork of Big River into ties. It will be necessary to build a tramway (incline) from the head (end) of the railroad on the South Fork of the Noyo (River) over the divide at Whisky Springs to get the ties out.”

And the date – January 24th, 1917.

And where is Whisky Springs? Here’s a map I bagged from Google:

Another small piece of the jigsaw that is the history of logging along the Mendocino Coast.

Caspar Lumber Company’s Little Red Schoolhouse at Camp 20 on the road from Fort Bragg to Willits

I first visited Caspar Lumber Company’s Little Red Schoolhouse at Camp 20 soon after we moved to Fort Bragg in 2000. The kids were curious as to what an “olde worlde” schoolroom looked like. So we packed lunch and off we tooled.

The schoolhouse is on the south side of the road beyond the Camp 20 meadow toward Willits and is the bright red redwood building.Cross over the footbridge to the east of Camp 20 and look to your right – the old camp schoolhouse stands waiting to be preserved. In its early days it was known as “Woods School”. It first opened in 1915 at Camp 1, moved to Camp 19 and then to its present location. To move the school it was cut into three pieces and mounted on skids. Each third was loaded onto a flat car. Upon arrival it was “stitched back together.

This is the picture that I took in 2001:

2001 photo

As you can see it was not in great condition but still repairable. That, sadly, is no longer true as these photos, taken last summer attest:

What a bloody shame that NO-ONE cares.

1891, 1898 and 1909 Sanborn Maps of Caspar, Mendocino

In the period of these maps the Mill at Caspar was one of the four big mills along the Mendocino Coast (Union Lumber Company in Fort Bragg, the Mill on Big River in Mendocino and the Albion Mill being the other three). Our website page on Caspar tells of the famous log pond and Mill Operations. Heretofore what we didn’t have in the website were detailed maps of Caspar. Sanborn Maps were originally created for assessing fire insurance liability in urbanized areas in the United States. The maps include detailed information about buildings in approximately 12,000 US towns and cities. The Sanborn maps were large-scale lithographed street plans at a scale of 50 feet to one inch (1:600) on 21 by 25 inches (53 by 64 cm) sheets of paper.

My thanks to Club member Joe DuVivier who obtained these maps from the Library of Congress. The files I received were in TIFF format. I have converted them to JPG format and resized them. If you would like copies of the original TIFF files please e-mail me.

Please note that the detail to the left of the heavy black lines “fits” at the top of the right hand section. Double click to enlarge the maps.

Caspar 1891

Caspar 1891

Caspar 1898

Caspar 1898

Caspar 1909

Caspar 1909

Another slice of local history! Thanks Joe.

 

Caspar Lumber Company – Sawmill Educational Documentary (Video)

The YouTube title of this vid says, “Caspar Lumber Company – circa 1930 Sawmill Educational Documentary – WDTVLIVE42”. I think the first part of the vid was taken in 1904 when Abby Krebs, the then owner of the Caspar Mill, had the roof taken off to let in enough light for the filming. The film was shown at the St. Louis World.s Fair of 1904 to advertise the quality of redwood.

The first part of the video is part of a commercial vid by Catenary Videos, “California’s North Coast Logging Railroads” which we have running as an interpretative aid to our Mendocino Coast Logging layout in Fort Bragg.