The Unionj Lumber Company’s Picnic, July 12th 1919

Eagle’s nest was located twenty miles from Fort Braggon along the Skunk Train Route. Eagle’s Nest was on the north side of the tracks across from Rest Haven just east of Camp 7. The annual Union Lumber Company picnic was held there every year. Hank Simonson (a club member who has passed) was a regular on the picnic and he fondly remembered the swimming hole there and the wonderful food. Hank’s father was an accomplished violinist and was one of the band that played at the picnic. Below is a picture of the 1919 picnic trains.

July 12th 1919 Union Lumber Picnic Train

July 12th 1919 Union Lumber Picnic Train

Ten Mile Bridge around 1949

Here is the pic that appeared in the Westport Wave of September 1, 2013:

Ten Mile Bridge in 1949

Ten Mile Bridge in 1949

Two bridges at the same time? Er, no. Let Thad Van Beuren, archaeologist and local author, explain:

Jan Haagen-Smit shared the image above of two former bridges over the lower Ten Mile River. I’m guessing this was taken around the time the railroad was converted to the haul road in 1949. The bridge on the right was built in 1916 at the time that the (Union Lumber Company’s) Ten Mile Branch railroad was constructed. There is evidence of recent demolition of the railway with bulldozer tracks and rails in the foreground. The old bridge is blocked off and a car is visible on the new low-slung bridge. The approaches to the new bridge are very newly placed fill with no plant growth. It was a time of big changes in the woods and along the state highway.”

 

Logs for Today – Trees for Tomorrow – a movie made by the Union Lumber Company of Fort Bragg circa 1950

I was over at Roger Thornburn’s house a week or so ago working on a project. After our “work” we spent some time looking at “stuff” which Roger (our computer guru) had accumulated which we had not used in the websites. One of the “things” was this movie. The text and maps were added by Roger as was the music. The movie details logging from A to Z. It’s quite long (38 mins) but worth watching if you are into the history of Mendocino County logging. If you don’t have the time for the whole “show” just take a peek at the maps that Roger has inserted at the beginning.

Thanks for your efforts Roger.

Before Bandsaws there were Circular Saws

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

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:

Sawblade that is taller than a man

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

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

Eygyptian Circular Saw with a Copper blade to cut granite blocks

Egyptian Circular Saw with a Copper blade to cut granite blocks

Union Lumber Company’s (ULC) Log Pond

In our website there is a gallery of pictures of log ponds attached to mills up and down the Mendocino Coast – see here. Alas, there are no pics of the log pond that belonged the biggest mill on the Mendocino Coast, that of  ULC here in Fort Bragg. Well, that has changed as I have just unearthed not one but two pics of the ULC log pond:

ULC Log Pond

ULC Log Pond

ULC Log Pond - logs being unloaded

ULC Log Pond – logs being unloaded

The Fort Bragg Pier – a 1960 review of its existence and the ships that used it

We have a pretty good page on the Union Lumber Company’s (ULC) Pier at Fort Bragg. However every snippet of history is important. The text and pictures below are, I think, taken from a 75th anniversary publication of the ULC in 1960. There are a few new “bits” therein including, so far as I know, the only pic of the pier being built..

Text

Textn- click on any pic to enlarge.

Captain Jack Bostrom was for many years captain of National Steamship Co. steam schooners,

Captain Jack Bostrom

Last piling of the pier in 1960 - it no longer exists

Last piling of the pier in 1960 – it no longer exists

C.R Johnson, the owner of the ULC, towed the first pilings for the pier, two at a time, down the Noyo River (Fort Bragg) and up the coast with a row-boat.

Crew building the pier inn 1884

Crew building the pier inn 1884

The pier from the air in the 1930's

The pier from the air in the 1930’s

The National City was owned by the National Steamship Co. 310 gross tons when she was built in 1888. She was ultimately sold to Peru in 1918. In 1907 she was said to be the fastest boat on the Mendocino Coast.

The National City

The National City

Towing a log raft from Fort Bragg in 1886, Several ofthese rafts were built but they proved to be unsuccessful as

they broke up at sea.

Towing a log raft

Towing a log raft

The Noyo was the first three steam schooners of the name, “Noyo” owned and operated by the ULC and the National Steamship Co. She was 316 gross tons when built in 1888. She hit a rock off of Albion on February 26th 1918 and sunk in tow off of Point Arena.

The Noyo

The Noyo

 

The barkentine S.C. Allen (690 tons when built)  tied up at the Fort Bragg pier. She is loading for a trip to Honolulu on November 2, 1909. Her cargo consisted of 591,000 board feet of redwood, 28,000 board feet of split posts and 34,000 board feet of redwood shingles.

S C Allen

S C Allen

The S.S. Brunswick (512 tons) was owned by the National Steamship Co, She was built in 1898 and sold in 1931. She carried 40 passengers in addition to her cargo of lumber. She was said to have carried the first load of Dole pineapples rom Hawaii to the U.S. mainland.

S S Brunswick

S S Brunswick

 

Remnants of Union Lumber Company’s (ULC) Branch found

The Union Lumber Company’s Ten Mile Branch ran from the Mill site in Fort Bragg north along the coast over five trestles till it came to Ten Mile River. At Ten Mile River the railroad made a huge sweeping turn to follow the river eastwards inland.

The ocean  front portion of the Ten Mile Railroad route is now a dedicated hiking and equestrian trail from Pudding Creek to Ten Mile. Between 1916 and 1949, the Ten Mile Railroad was a working logging line carrying few passengers except for woods workers and their families who lived in the camps along the Ten Mile River. After the change to truck hauling in 1949, Union Lumber and successors Boise-Cascade and Georgia-Pacific used the railroad route as a logging road until 1983 when winter storms damaged the oceanfront portion of the road. The old railroad bed east of the Ten Mile Bridge is still used by Georgia-Pacific [and its current owners] as a logging road.

The railroad was discontinued June 17, 1949 and replaced by a private trucking road, which in turn was abandoned in 1983. The road is now owned by the people of California through the State Parks system.

North of the access to MacKerricher State Park at Ward Avenue, the route of the Ten Mile Railroad enters the ocean side edge of the Ten Mile sand dunes. The transition point, where the bluffs end and the dunes begin, was the site of a major El Nino washout in February 1998 when the remains of an old railroad trestle could be seen after the pavement toppled to the beach. Subsequent storms washed away most of this trestle.

Remains of an Inlenook Fen Tresrle

Remains of an Inlenook Fen Tresrle

Last winter there was a lot of heavy surf and very high tides along the coast with a lot movement of the beach and much debris washed up. Club member Mike Aplet and his charming wife are great hikers. They recently (Spring 2017) walked along the beach along the Inglenook Fen section of the Ten Mile Branch found, and photographed – see below – pieces of the Inglenook Fen Trestle.

Bent Cap from the Inglenook Fen Trestle

Bent Cap from the Inglenook Fen Trestle

Bent Cap from the Inglenook Fen Trestle

Bent Cap from the Inglenook Fen Trestle

Rare photos of something long gone.

Thanks Mike.