Logging Operation Photos....

Discussion in 'Logging, Mining and Industrial Railroads' started by Iron Goat, May 29, 2004.

  1. Iron Goat

    Iron Goat Member

    I'm a newbie to Loggin', and was really interested by the logging wheels. They said that they were mostly used in the summer months for moving the logs to where they could be put on rail cars.
  2. m_reusser

    m_reusser Member

  3. Summit

    Summit Member


    First off, I second Marc's recommendation that you join the 4L list. Great group of people.

    Second, I recommend that you try to get to a Northwest Logging Modeler's Convention. This year's convention is happening in Tacoma either this weekend or next...but look into it next year.

    Third, thanks for posting this great series of photos. The top ones on the second page (2-8-2 tank #17 and 3-truck Heisler #10) were taken on the Klamath & Hoppow Valley Railroad, which ran out of Klamath, CA. Klamath is located on the northern California coast, between Eureka and Crescent City at the mouth of the Klamath River. The line may have served some commercial purpose at some point, but I have never seen any confirmation of this. At any rate, it ran from the town of Klamath eastward over a ridge of the coast range to a small sawmill site. The line was only a couple miles long, but it utilized a pair of switchbacks and 8% grades to get over the hill. In the late 1960's/early 1970's the line was either created as or made a tourist railroad, using the two steamers pictured. The Heisler (#10) is ex-Pickering Lumber Company #10 (Standard, CA). The #17 is ex-Hammond Lumber Company #17, and it has a very interesting story behind it.

    Hammond Lumber Company's sawmill was located in Samoa, CA, which is on the Samoa Penninsula, which is between Humboldt Bay and the Pacific Ocean west of Eureka, CA. Like most of the other timber operations in the area, it was a redwood logger. There aren't many trees right around Samoa, so to support the sawmill Hammond built an extensive logging railroad that ran up the coastline through the town of McKinleyville, CA, to the mouth of the Little River, where it crossed the coast highway (Hwy 101) and turned east. The line reached the small logging community of Crannell, CA. From Crannell north the lumber company laid down a spiderweb of logging railroad lines. They had a fleet of steam locomotives (including a few of these Mikado type tank engines) that worked the railroad. In 1945 a forest fire struck, destroying close to 20 trestles on the line north of Crannell. Hammond decided that the days of the true logging railroad were over, and the line beyond Crannell was abandoned. (The Samoa-Crannell line stayed active until it's closure around 1960, using an Alco S-1 and an EMD SW-900 in the later years). The #17 was the only locomotive caught on the wrong side of the fire, and it was used to consolidate all remaining equipment at a place simply known as The Gap. The rest of the logging railroad was scrapped, except for the rails that the equipment sat on.

    The #17 was destined to sit in The Gap for another 15 or more years until it was purchased by the Klamath & Hoppow Valley and moved out. It did operate at the K&HV until that operation failed in the early 1970's. Both steam locomotives were sold to the Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad, where the #17 now operates. I believe the #10 is on display at the depot area in Elbe, WA. I understand that there are still a few remains of the operation in Klamath and still a few cars at The Gap, but nature does reclaim abandoned stuff quickly in that part of the country.

    Finally, about those wheels...they were most commonly used in the Ponderosa Pine regions of northeastern California and Oregon east of the Cascades, where relatively flat terrain allowed for their extensive use. High Wheels did not enjoy much success is the rest of the country, except for maybe in the south. As you noted, they were used to skid logs from the harvest site to the landing, where transfer to railcars took place. The following is an excerpt from Pine Across the Mountain, California's McCloud River Railroad by Robert M. Hanft:

    "...The McCloud River Lumber Company used some nine traction engines and an unknown number of bull teams in the woods, but became primarily a horse and wheel logger. A pair of the great wheels would be placed straddling the downed log, which would be lashed to the back end of a bar centered upon the axle of the wheels and free to pivot around the axle but perpendicular to it. When the wheels moved forward the log rose to become parallel to the bar, which then could be secured at the other end as well, and log, wheels, motive power and driver proceeded to trackside. The number of horses used per axle depended somewhat on the size of the log and the nature of the terrain. The great diameter of the wheels enabled them to cover rough ground without a road, and they could well proceed a mile or more. A practical limitation to their use was the need for substantially more power if the logs had to be moved uphill. The result was that rail log spurs were located in the valleys and the wheels brought the logs down the slopes to them."

    Horses and high wheels were almost completely replaced by donkeys (the steam powered kind) by the late 1910's/early 1920's. Tractors killed off whatever horse logging that the donkeys didn't, except for a few isolated cases where horses could work where machines could not.

    To see many more pictures of horse and wheel logging, I would recommend Hanft's book above, which was published by Golden West Books in the 1970's and 1980's and later by Trans Anglo books as late as 1990. Good used copies are still readily available through such sources as www.abebooks.com Another source you might want to try to get is Logging Railroad of Klamath Country by Jack Bowden, which covers the logging railroad of Klamath County, OR, which was prime horse logging country. There are several pictures of high wheels in use in that book.

    I hope this helps.

    Elko, NV
  4. Iron Goat

    Iron Goat Member

    Logging photo's

    Thanks, MARC and SUMMIT....

    I have signed up with the Yahoo group., and I appreciate the information on the photo subjects.

    Bob / Iron Goat

    Attached Files:

  5. m_reusser

    m_reusser Member

  6. Iron Goat

    Iron Goat Member

    I did not see the "reversed" name line, Marc... when I stumbled onto the first of the logging photos, while researching prototype info for the little empire (and the key word here is LITTLE) I saved every photo that I was really impressed with, and I think I copied that one to that same file and did not catch it when I posted the last batch.

    It is a very powerful image... no wonder it grabbed me!

    Thanks again,

    :thumb: :thumb: :thumb:
  7. rockislandnut

    rockislandnut Member

    WOW I'll bet in that photo of the passenger coach and engine setting on that collapsed tressel there were a few pants that needed to be changed. :eek: ;)
  8. lassenlogger

    lassenlogger Member

    Big Wheels, High Wheels or Logging Carts.

    That photo of the "Wheels" got my attention. Those are what were called “Slip-Tongue Wheels" as opposed to a "Perry" type or “Michigan Wheels.” The slip-tongue wheels where developed in the south as early as the late 1880s and where improved upon into the 1900s and very much used in the hill country of Texas. The development of logging wheels probably dates back to Virginia and the late 1700s, early 1800s. They were widely used in the southern pineries.

    The following from Bryant’s 1914 book “Logging: The Principles and General Methods of Operation in the United States:”

    “Another type known as the “slip tongue” cart (Wheels) has a tongue 28 to 30 feet long, which slides between the hounds of the cart. When the cart is in motion the tongue is held in a fixed position by a catch which the driver may release by a trigger when ready to load. There is a roller directly over the axle, to which the grapples are attached by chains. Fastened to this roller is a short lever arm which is connected to the sliding tongue by means of a chain. The cart is driven over a log, the catch holding the slip tongue is loosened, the team backed up and the tongue slipped to the rear. The roller is so weighted that it revolves in a quarter circle, carrying the lever arm to a nearly vertical position. The grapples are then fastened to the logs and the team is started. The tongue slips forward, pulling the lever arm to a horizontal position, and raises the front end of the log from the ground. When the short lever arm reaches the catch on the tongue it is automatically locked. The team then starts for the skidway with the load.”

    “High wheels of this character are especially adapted for a flat and rolling country with a firm, smooth bottom and an absence of heavy underbrush. They are usually employed on hauls not exceeding one-haf mile but occasionally are used for distances of from 2 to 2 ½ miles.”

    “From two to six animals (sometimes more) are employed to haul log carts, depending on the character of the roadbed and the size and amount of timber hauled. Mules are preferred in the South, and horses in the North and West.”

    There use in the west was generally in all of the western regions; the Pacific Pine Region, Rocky Mountain Forest Region and the Southwest Forest Region. The following states included in these regions were; eastern Washington – east of the Cascades, eastern Oregon – east of the Cascades, Idaho, Montana, Colorado, Wyoming, New Mexico, Arizona and parts of California.

    Although, the Donkey engine was another tool in the western pine logger’s tool box, it did not displace wheel logging from the tool box. Most large and medium sized outfits maintained both donkey camps and wheel camps into the 1920s where there was mixed terrain with good “bottom.” Whether steam donkeys or horse drawn wheels were used on these operations depended on the terrain and ground surface of the area being logged. It was generally about 1922 – 1924 when tractors hooked to the wheels began to make inroads into the horse drawn type of wheel logging. By 1925 – 1927 horses had been mostly eliminated from the medium to large outfits in the west.

    Also, of some interest, by the late twenties the tracklayers (tractors) were making serious inroads into donkey logging through-out the western pine belt. Higher output, lower costs and less stand damage being the primary reasons for edging out donkey logging generally.

    If you’d like to view video clips on this subject follow these directions:

    Although this is a fee site, for right now non-members can view the clips. TO's link is: http://www.trainorders.com/

    After the main page loads scoll down the page, looking for "Audio/Video Sharing Area" link, click on it. After that page loads select the steam logging links. They are titled; "Rail Landing - McGiffert," "FGS Log Train" or "Clyde Tracklayer."

    Books on this subject:

    Young, James A. and Budy, Jerry, “Endless Tracks in the Woods.” Crestline, Sarasota, Florida 1989.

    Pripps, Robert N, “The Big Book of Caterpillar.” Voyageur Press, Stillwater, MN 2000.

    Brown, Nelson Courtlandt, “Logging – Principles and Practices in the United States and Canada.” John Wiley & Sons, New York, NY 1932.

    Bryant, Ralph Clement, “Logging: The Principles and General Methods of Operation in the United States.” John Wiley & Sons, New York, NY 1914.

    Bryant, Ralph Clement, “Logging: The Principles and General Methods of Operation in the United States.” John Wiley & Sons, New York, NY 1923.

    Jimmy "B"
    Reno, NV

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