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Obscure lumber railroads in the redwood empire

Hey ladies and gentlmen, I'm looking for info on obscure Railroads like the Gualala mills RR, Bear Harbor & Eel river RR, L.E. White lumber Co., Mendicino lumber RR, Little River Lumber RR, Dollber & Carson RR, Northern Redwood Lumber RR, Sonoma Magnisite RR, Lake county lumber & Box, Mattole Lumber, Western Redwood, Richardson Bros. Co., and any others if you can contribute

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Comment by Mike Davis on July 18, 2011 at 12:24pm
can anyone tell me anything about the Bear Harbor & Eel River RR, thanks
Comment by Mike Davis on July 10, 2011 at 12:01pm
I nned some more information please
Comment by Mike Davis on July 9, 2011 at 3:52pm
I know about the union lumber, however, it isn't obscure like the ones metioned about, the ones mention are RRs I have seen on a map and can find little info. on. And yes I meen Dolbeer & Carson
Comment by powerpawsnw on July 9, 2011 at 3:30pm

In no way should Union Lumber Company be considered obscure. As California's all-time 5th largest lumber company, it could hardly rank as such.

ULCo operated two large railroads (and after 1905, also The Mendocino Lumber Company's pike in and around Big River). The primary or initial line was, as you say, the California Western although it began as their quasi-independent Fort Bragg Railroad (1885-1905). The second -- known as the Ten Mile Railroad (1914-1949) -- was as large or larger (in overall mileage) than the CWR&N/CWR. The CWR and their crews operated the latter as the "Ten Mile Branch" under contract to ULCo, but did not own it. TMRR was not incorporated or run as a Common Carrier, hence less is known about it, and fewer records about it survive.

The book The Redwood Lumber Industry by the late Lynwood Carranco (Golden West Books, now defunct; the book is also now out-of-print; ISBN: 0870950843) has some value but is not entirely correct in certain references to a variety of the coastal redwood region companies. Carranco was a history professor and logging historian, but made a surprising number of gaffes throughout the book relative to corporate names, dates and operational practices. However, he probably suffered as we still all do from a shortage of best information. As businesses go, lumber companies have pretty complex histories, even the smaller ones. The same goes for the small format Western Railroader special issues from the late '40s through the early '60s covering the oddball short lines and lumber lines.  They still give a little idea of how some of the roads and lumber mills worked, but are mostly pictorials. Take the info in them with a large grain of salt every time.

Comment by Zachary M. Toler on July 9, 2011 at 2:51pm

Dollber & Carson RR-I know there's a mansion in old town Eureka that bears the name Carson. Dollber? Did you mean Dolbeer? Mike, would you consider Union Lumber in Fort Bragg as obscure? Although, I guess their RR would have been CWR.


Zachary M. Toler

Comment by Andrew F. Laverdiere on July 9, 2011 at 8:37am

If you go to the Historical Society in San Rafael, they have a large map listing all of those within Marin, Sonoma, & Mendicino counties. One of the members here, Chad is a surveyor and is looking for those too.

I have an earlier thread about my mapping projects using google maps for things like the North Coast RR and so forth.

Comment by Cory W Swank on July 8, 2011 at 8:57pm
In addition to the book "Steam in the Redwoods" by Carranco I would also recommend the movie "California's North Coast Logging Railroads" by Catenary Video
Comment by Lawrence LaBranche on July 8, 2011 at 8:28pm
For humboldt railroads, see "Steam in the Redwoods" book. Great maps in the back.
Comment by Al Merkrebs on July 8, 2011 at 7:14pm
For a little bit on the Gualala Mill RR:

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