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.

 

Union Lumber Company’s (ULC) First Company Store in Fort Bragg, CA

In an earlier blog I showed a photo of the ULC’s second Company Store as it was when it was built and as it is now. Until very recently I have never chanced on a photo of the first ULC company store. The photo – see below – is interesting as is the text that accompanies it:

First ULC Company Store

First ULC Company Store

Hank  Simonson – one of our club members who has passed – was born in 1917. Like a lot of the folks who grew up in Fort Bragg Hank worked for the ULC.  One of Hank’s earliest jobs was to maintain the only telephone line in town which ran from the Company Store and Depot out to Ten Mile River.

Fort Bragg’s Union Lumber Company’s (ULC) Lunkenheimer Whistle – Fort Bragg, California that is

Wife Sarah and I moved five miles to the north of Fort Bragg in 2000. When the conditions were right we could hear the ULC whistle clearly. When I heard that the whistle was to blow no more I went in to Fort Bragg to hear its sad  farewell.

The ULC Whistle

The ULC Whistle

I have been unable to find a recording of the ULC whistle. However, these two vids sorta give you and idea.

Runway on the Union Lumber Company property in Fort Bragg

The first plane owned by the Union Lumber company landed in Fort Bragg in 1949. Company executives traveled by air from San Francisco to Fort Bragg to oversee mill operations or to go on vacation. Planes landed for 50 years until the mill shut down in 2002. Today the runway is part of the Coastal Trail.

View down the runway from the new Coastal trail

View down the runway from the new Coastal trail

Takeoff!!!!

Takeoff!!!!

View from the air

View from the air

 

The Launching of the Stubby II off of the Union Lumber Pier in Fort Bragg (CA) circa 1938

In the tribute to Hank Simonson you’ll find this para:

“With the full permission of the [Union Lumber Company – ULC] mill supervisor, Hank and his friend were refurbishing a small sailing boat acquired from the ULC on ULC property at the time the pier was due to be demolished. The ULC superintendent encouraged the two “boys” and offered materials from ULC stores, as well as advice and encouragement. The gas tank for the boat was salvaged from the dump at the bottom of Oak Street, now known as Glass Beach. There are cliffs all around the mill site and the only way to launch the Hank’s Stubby II was off the pier. Demolition was (kindly) held up until they finished and Stubby II was then duly, ceremoniously, launched. Hank believed his boat was the last one ever launched off the pier. If you stand on the cliffs where the pier joined the land you can, at very low tide, see one or two remnants of the pier’s pilings. Because of the outbreak of WWII the cruise that Hank and his friend were to make in the Stubby II never materialized.”

After Hank died his widow, Flo, gave me two photos of the launch. I am in the process of cleaning out 15 years of “stuff” and lo and behold the two photos emerged none the worse for wear after being interred for all these many years. We’ll add them to the tribute to Hank.

Stubby II's stern

Stubby II’s stern

Stubby II's bow

Stubby II’s bow

I think that Hank is standing to the right of Stubby in the bottom pic.