The Pacific Lumber Company
by Jeff Moore
First off, let me give credit where credit is due. Most of this information is from the book Steam in the Redwoods by Lynwood Carranco and Henry Sorenson. Both are Humboldt County natives; Lynwood was born and raised in Samoa, CA, and he became Professor Emeritus of English at College of the Redwoods in Eureka; Henry was born and raised in Arcata, and he worked on the Hammond Lumber Company railroad that used to run from Samoa through McKinleyville to Crannell, and thence into the woods from there.
Henry went into the army during the second world war and quickly ended up in the railroad operations arm of the forces invading France , quickly becoming an assistant road foreman of engines. Following the war he returned to Humboldt County only to find that a forest fire had wiped out the Hammond Lumber Company logging railroad beyond Crannell and that the railroad jobs were no longer there (the balance of the Hammond System, Crannell to Samoa, stayed in operation until 1961, when it was finally abolished in favor of trucks; however, Henry did not have enough seniority to return to work on what was left of the system). Henry settled down to the dairy and chicken business of 40 acres that he owned in McKinleyville, and set out to build a narrow gauge railroad on his property. This he did, eventually ending up with two active steam locomotives (one native to Humboldt County, another a former logging railroad engine from Japan ). Both of these locomotives were on display at CSRM in Sacramento last I knew.
Here is the PALCO roster as that book portrays it. PALCO was formed in 1869, but waited until the early 1880s before developing their properties. The company originally started construction of a line from Scotia area to the southern end of Humboldt Bay where a port was to be built; however, one of the forerunners of the Northwestern Pacific saw this as a threat and purchased the TPLCo railroad. After that the company settled down to logging railroads only.
- Jeff Moore
#1- Baldwin 2-4-2T, 1886, c/n 8007. Was later re-# to #23. Wrecked and scrapped 1938.
#2- Baldwin 2-4-2T, 1887, c/n 8792. Later became #22.
#3- ? 4-4-0, circa 1886. Purchased in 1898; sold 1903. Eventually ended up on NWP; scrapped 1931.
#3 (2 nd) Baldwin 2-6-2, 1922, c/n55248. Originally built for Humboldt Northern Railroad (Dolbeer & Carson Lumber Company). To TPLCo 1950; to Stockton Terminal & Eastern 1953; I believe this engine is now part of the CSRM collection in Sacramento .
#19- Baldwin 0-6-0T, 1875, c/n 3739. Worked for D.R. Jones & Company (South Bay Railroad & Land Company), Humboldt Bay Logging Railroad, and Excelsior Redwood Company before coming to TPLCo. Year unknown. Later went on to Buhne, Jones & Company Railroad before disappearing from records.
#20- Marshutz & Cantrell 0-6-0T, 1882. Came from same ownership line as the #19. Received a tender while on TPLCo. Disposition un-recorded.
#21- Rogers 4-4-0, 1881. Initially #1 upon arrival at Scotia; later re-numbered #21.
#5, Baldwin 2-4-2T, 1904, c/n 24317. Renumbered #25; sold to Homes-Eureka Lumber Company.
#26, Lima 2-Truck Shay, 1906, c/n 1615. Scrapped 1950.
#27, Baldwin 2-6-2, 1909, c/n 33339. Scrapped 1955.
#28, Lima 2T Shay, 1910, c/n 2268. To Pelican Bay Lumber Company ( Algoma, Oregon), then to Pelican Pine Mfg. Co., Pelican City , OR .
#29, Baldwin 2-6-2, 1910, c/n 34484. Purchased new; donated to NCLIA in 1986 (see note 2).
#30, Baldwin 2-6-2, 1911, c/n 36173. Purchased new; scrapped at Scotia 1955.
#31, Lima 3-Truck Shay, 1911, c/n 2419. Built as a demonstrator for a dealer in San Francisco ; to California Western Railroad & Navigation Co. #10; to TPLCo #31; to Boise Payette Lumber Company #4 (Centerville, ID); to USA Corps of Engineers, Fort Peck Dam Railroad, Fort Peck, Montana in January 1920.
#32, Porter 0-6-0, 1920, c/n 6533. Fireless steam locomotive (ran on steam provided by sawmill). Proved unsuccessful, was sold to Santa Fe Tie & Timber Preserving Company in 1921.
#33, 3T Climax, 1921, c/n 1592. Returned to builder.
#33 (2 nd), 3T Climax, 1923, c/n 1633. Scrapped 1952.
#34, Baldwin 2-6-0, 1913, c/n 39760. Purchased 1921 from Ocean Shore Railroad; sold 1942 to Red River Lumber Company (Westwood , CA ); to Fruit Growers Supply Company 1944; Scrapped at Westwood 1953.
#35, Baldwin 2-8-2, 1924, c/n 67538. Sold to a couple private individuals, but never left Scotia; 1971 re-sold to Heber Creeper Railroad in Heber City , UT. Now in the collection of the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Boulder City, NV and is available for sale.
#36- Lima 2T Shay, 1907, c/n 1836. Purchased 1935 from Metropolitan Redwood Lumber Company; Scrapped 1953.
#37- Alco 2-8-2T, 1924, c/n 660333. Purchased 1935 from Sugar Pine Lumber Company; sold to a private individual, who re-sold it to another private individual in Pennsylvania . Locomotive left Scotia December 1966. To Wilmington & Western Railroad, Marshallton , Delaware about 1975, where it still is today. (see note 2)
#38- 2T Climax, 1922, c/n 1621. Purchased 1938 from Holmes-Eureka Lumber Company; to private individual in Willits , CA 1956; may still be in existence in the Willits area (part of Roots of Motive Power collection?).
#1 (2 nd or 3 rd ) 2T Shay, 1907, c/n 1952. Purchased 1942 from Hammond & Little River Railroad for use as a parts source. Scrapped 1950.
#9- 2T Heisler, 1921, c/n 1446. Built as Mt. Tamalpais & Muir Woods #9, to Siskiyou Lumber Co. #1, to Dolbeer & Carson Lumber Company #5, to TPLCo 1950; placed on display in front of TPLCo headquarters in Scotia 1953; re-numbered #9 1956. Still on display in Scotia.
#101- GE 80-ton, 1956, c/n 32395. Purchased new? Retired 1992, sold 1996 to Dick Samuels (Oregon Pacific Railroad)
Milwaukee , OR .
#102- GE 80-ton, 1956, c/n 32413. Purchased new? Retired 1992, sold 1996 to Dick Samuels (Oregon Pacific Railroad)
Milwaukee , OR .
#103- GE 80-ton, 1957, c/n 32414. Purchased new? Sold 1980 to Cerveceria Moctexuma Brewery, Vera Cruz,
#104- Baldwin VO-1000, 1945, c/n 71740. Built for US Army Transportation Corps.; to TPLCo 1962; to Keota-Washington Transportation,Iowa Falls , Iowa 1981. (see note 1)
#105- Baldwin VO-1000, 1945, c/n 71985. Built for US Navy; to TPLCo 1964; to Keota-Washington Transportation, Iowa Falls , Iowa , 1981. (see note 1)
Note 1: According to Jim Boyds Baldwin Diesels in Color books, published by Morning Sun through the course of last year, the Keota-Washington Transportation attempted to operate a 15-mile long ex-Rock Island branchline without success. The two units were then purchased by a grain elevator on the route, but were scrapped when the owner of the elevator was unable to purchase the railroad as well.
Note 2: NCLIA stands for Northern Counties Logging Interpretive Association, which is a non-profit auxiliary organization of the California Department of Parks and Recreation. NCLIA was formed in the early 1970s to work with the display of logging equipment located at Fort Humboldt State Park in Eureka and to encourage the establishment of a timber technology museum in the Eureka area. NCLIA operates two small Marshutz & Cantrell 0-4-0T locomotives and a couple of steam donkeys that are owned by the State of California and located on the grounds of Fort Humboldt State Park . In addition, the NCLIA received via donation TPLCo #29, about a dozen or so ex-TPLCo log cars, and a TPLCo caboose in 1986. The organization is currently trying to raise money to purchase and move to California ex-TPLCo #37, which has become available. NCLIA in cooperation with several other local museums and organizations is now trying to get the timber technology museum idea off the ground, in addition to a tourist train to be run around Humboldt Bay on NWP tracks. They still have a long way to go, but progress is being made.
NSRM purchased a large portion of the equipment formerly used by the Heber Creeper several years ago, and it is now in storage down in Boulder City. Incidentally, the line is now back in operation as the Heber Valley Railroad and they are doing quite well for themselves.
Other NCLIA equipment:
Bear Harbor Lumber #2, a 2-4-2T
Hammond Lumber Company #15, a Baldwin 2-8-2
Hammond Lumber Company #33, a 3-truck Shay (also used on Pickering as their #33)
Arcata & Mad River #7, a 2-truck Shay
US Plywood diesel switcher, home-built on the frame and running gear of a scrapped 2-truck Heisler.
NCLIA also owns a nearly complete sawmill and a bunch of other logging junk. This equipment is currently stored at a private location in Glendale , CA . The site is adjacent to the abandoned roadbed of the old Arcata & Mad River Railroad.