Logging Treucks from Way Back When

We live five odd miles to the north of Fort Bragg on Route 1. Route 1 is an old road and was NOT designed for the traffic that now uses it. If, like me, you need to take Route 1 to get into town (Fort Bragg) it’s dollars to donuts that your going to have an 18 wheeler up your rear end urging you to go faster and/or being buffeted by logging trucks going past one in the opposite direction. The logging trucks rip out the studs in the middle of the road and make copious holes which get repaired in a way that they reappear within days of being fixed. The only good news is that after vigorous protests from folks like me the speed limit on the stretch of Route 1 that I travel has been limited to 45 mph. So much for my bleat.

This blog is substantially about the logging that took place along the Mendocino Coast from its beginning. Logging trucks supplanted the railroads that existed connecting the mills to the places where the trees were harvested. “Hot logging” was much cheaper and more flexible than using railroads. So, as soon as trucks were made that were capable of working in the woods they were utilised as these photos attest. Alas, these photos are not from the Mendocino Coast but are, I believe, atypical of what were used here of which photos are yet to come across my radar.

[Click on any photo to see a gallery of the pics.]

Loading a Steam Donkey onto a rail flat car

I am sure that this was done on the railroads along the Mendocino Coast. Alas, I have yet to come across a picture of the loading taking place.

Marc Reusser’s “Steam in the Woods” Facebook page had a photo which showed me how it was done:

Loading a Steam Donkey onto a railroad flat car

Loading a Steam Donkey onto a railroad flat car

Marc was kind enough to add explanatory text to the photo:

Standard Lumber Company, loading a donkey onto one of their logging flats.Note that the donkey engine is under steam and has been rigged and blocked, in such a manner, so as to be able to pull itself onto the car.  Visible beyond the donkey, is a skidway, and above to the left, a horse. Horses were often used for line outhaul, carrying water, yarding logs, and various other tasks.”

Thinks, “Can we model this?”

 

 

Moving a Loggers Camp in the Woods

One of the dioramas on our G Scale layout in Fort Bragg, The Mendocino Coast Model Railroad & Navigation Co,, is that of a loggers ‘ camp. The diorama was created using a photo of a loggers’ camp that existed at Philo. Philo is located in the Anderson Valley in western Mendocino County. Our website has an informative page on loggers’ camps. So, whilst we have a number of pictures of loggers ‘ camps and loggers’ camps on trains on the move to the next location what we do not have, heretofore, is a picture or a description of a logging camp actually being moved.

A recent post on Martin Hansens Facebook page, “Steam in the Woods” has set our “lack” to rights. Here’s the pic in his post:

Moving a Loggers Camp

Moving a Loggers Camp

Of perhaps even more help is Martin’s text which is reproduced below:

While most steam locomotives toiled on a daily basis to move passengers or freight trains for their owner, some were called on occasionally for an even more personal and important task.

In the logging industry of the Pacific Northwest many of the larger operation used extensive systems of logging railroads to bring the timber harvest to the waiting mills. As the cutting areas moved farther and farther from the mill sites the logging company had to build logging camps for their workers near the cutting ares. This required the use of portable camp cars and camp houses for the loggers and their families.

In the 1930’s the Shevlin-Hixon Company of Bend, Oregon consolidated it’s several logging camps into one that became the traveling town of Shevlin. The town had over 700 occupants and boasted a post office, church car, tavern car and full commissary.

Every couple of years the Town of Shevlin had to be relocated. That is where the company railroad came in. Here we see Shevlin-Hixon Baldwin 2-8-2 #2 waiting for one of the towns camp houses to be loaded on a log car for movement to the next site. The date is June 1947 and the Town of Shevlin is moving from it’s location on Fremont Summit to it’s new home near Chemult, Oregon. The cabins porch awning has been folded down and the porch itself folded up to facilitate the periodic move this building would make over it’s lifetime.

In just 2 days the entire came was moved by rail to it’s new home in the woods. All the furnishings and possessions of the loggers and their family were entrusted to the railroad crews to make this most important move. Those crews took pride in making each move without breaking so much as a piece of china.”

Thanks Martin.

Neato frito right?

Logging Trucks

A quick peek at any of these photos and you’ll understand that these monsters were mostly off road vehicles.

What was it like “working in the woods” in the late 1800’s?

If you check the website section on logging you won’t find even one picture  of loggers working in the woods. There were no iphones, polaroids, broownie cameras and precious 4 by 5’s using plates. So ANY photo of loggers in the woods are precious. Below is what I think is my “first” as historian of the MCMR&HS.

A rare shot of logging most probably in the late 1800's

A rare shot of logging most probably in the late 1800’s

Click on the photo to enlarge and see the detail