The ability of the Union Lumber Company mill here in Fort Bragg to cut very large logs was due to the introduction of a Band-saw in place of a circular saw. The circular saws were very wasteful because of their thickness. You can see a circular saw in operation at Sturgeon’s Mill at Green Hill road in Sebastopol, CA.
The sign for Sturgeon’s Mill is painted on an old sawblade used in the mill’s operations
Some of the blades were very large to handle the huge tree trunks:
Sawblades that are taller than a man
The circular sawbades’ replacement was a band saw blade. This pic shows one similar to those used in the Union Lumber Company.
Giant Bandsaw being manhandled
Now suppose you were building an Egyptian monument (pyramid?) 5,000 years ago. Is this how they cut those blocks of granite? A giant circular saw with a copper blade
Egyptian Circular Saw with a Copper blade to cut granite blocks
Ok. Hands up everyone who knows where Rider Gulch is. Hmmm Didn’t see one hand up.
Rider Gulch is not far from Westport. Go up Wages Creek and hang a right.
Topo Map showing Rider Gulch
In days of old there was a mill there. Here’s the photos that show I am telling the truth.
Rider Mill at Rider Gulch
Log pond at Rider Mill at Rider Gulch
Now before you go to the next photo look back at the map. Could the log pond be the body of water in Rider Gulch near Wages Creek?
Rider Mill at Rider Gulch
Until I got hold of the photos I too had never heard of Rider Gulch and I have struggled only a few yards up Wages Creek. So, if there is anyone who knows better than I please contact me.
What do we know about Clare Mill. Not a heck of a lot. The website tells us that Clare Mill was 30.4 miles from the Fort Bragg depot. In the early 1900’s railroad ties were made by hand here. There was also a trestle bridge here that at 600 feet long and 73 feet high was comparable to the Pudding Creek Trestle. It was replaced with an earth-filled berm in 1936. Until the Skunk line finally made it “over the hill” to Willits this was the end of the line. To get to Willits back then a passenger would board an open buckboard stage for a five hour trip (in good weather!). And, heretofore – NO pic. Well the pic I recently came across doesn’t tell us a whole lot absent acknowledging Clare mill did exist.
Clare Mill sign
First a bit about the Garcia River. The Mexican-American named Garcia River is a river on the northern coast of California in southern Mendocino County. It is named for the settler Rafael Garcia who was granted ownership of the land in 1844. The river provides recreation, agricultural and industrial water supply for Point Arena. Logging in the area began in the 19th century.
I know there was a mill on the river but, heretofore, have never seen a pic of it. So, this one is as rare as hen’s teeth. Click on the pic to enlarge and read the text at the bottom.