Roots of Motive Power

Tractor, International Harvester TD-24


“Big Red” Arrives at Roots

(Adapted from Highline, August, 2011)

By Chris Baldo and Troy James

Donkey, Washington Iron Works Estep Diesel Yarder

From the Roots of Motive Power Newsletter, August 2004

The dark smudges lingering on the ceiling of the Roots Restoration Facility just above the stacks of our Washington Iron Works Estep Yarder bear evidence that Vrain Conley and crew (Percy Daniels, Keith Rongey, Mike Wade, Ed Vikart, H

Donkey, Western Machinery Three Drum Yarder

These Case-powered three drum yarders were built in the late 1940’s-early 1950’s to supply the expanding logging market with an affordable yarder and loading machine.

Donkey, Washington Iron Works Steam Yarder #3451

The 3451 Washington Iron Works, Seattle, yarder was built in September of 1922 and worked at the Craig Lumber Company in Philo, CA from 1946 to 1950.

Donkey, Washington Iron Works 12x17 Simplex Slackline Yarder, #3643

As steam yarders grew more powerful and could reach greater distances, the ability of the machine to slack the skyline was critical for maintaining productivity.

Winch, Orten & Steinbrenner Steam

This steam winch was built about 1910 and was typically used for loading and unloading cargo from ships. Not much more is known about this particular winch other than it was found in Fort Bragg in a blackberry patch.

Winch, Novo-Buda #P6736 "Novo Outfit"

The Novo Engine Company of Lansing, Michigan was primarily a manufacturer of gas and kerosene engines. The company started out as Cady and North, who were owners of a small repair shop in North Lansing back in 1890. This company became Cady and Hildreth, and later Hildreth and Son.

Truck, Ford Model TT Delivery Truck

Henry Ford started producing his famous Model T automobiles in 1908, but it wasn’t until 1917 that his company started producing one-ton trucks on a commercial basis. These trucks were based on the diminutive Model T, but had a longer and heavier frame and rear axle.

Truck, Kenworth Off-highway #28

The closure of Pacific Lumber Company's Yager Creek Camp in March 2002 brought an end to the camp where decades of logging legends were created.

Truck, Kenworth Off-highway #11

Some of the acquisitions are the result of years of negotiation and follow-up, as was the case with the Off-highway Log Truck.

Tractor, Caterpillar Thirty #863

This tractor, built in 1927, was used by gyppo loggers on the Mendocino coast to pull logs from the woods to small portable sawmills and then power the mill by means of a flat belt drive power take-off.

Tractor, Caterpillar Fifteen

Vrain Conley recently donated his restored Caterpillar Fifteen tractor to the Roots collection in Willits. Construction Number PV2353, the Cat 15 was built about 1930, and spent most of its working life in the Healdsburg area of Sonoma County.

Tractor, Caterpillar Ten

The Caterpillar Tractor Company produced seven tractor models in its first four years of operation, 1925-1929, following the merger of Best and Holt.

Tractor, Sixty Cat and Double Drum Winch

We received two intriguing donations that will soon be tied together forever. Roots member Alan Hill of Fort Bragg recently donated a Sixty Cat that originally operated for Caspar Lumber Company and had been used late in its life as a loading machine with a double drum winch on the back.

Tractor, Fordson Industrial "Lumber Jimmy"

In December of 1997, Morton Friedman of Sacramento donated a Fordson industrial tractor "Lumber Jimmy" to Roots of Motive Power. The tractor differed from the standard farm tractor in that it utilized hard rubber tires, weighted wheels and had a PTO winch on the front.

Tractor, Caterpillar D-8 2U

Willis Tucker of Boonville, California recently donated a Caterpillar D-8, S/N 2U 6169, logging tractor to the Roots collection. The machine was used for decades in logging the woods of Anderson Valley in Mendocino County and was commonly referred to among Tucker's crew as the "You Too".

Rail Tamper / Liner, Jackson Model 2400

With the decision by the Roots Board of Directors to purchase the Jackson Tamper/Liner from Larry Adams, Roots members John Bradley, Mike Wade and Jim Bruggere ventured to Barstow, California, on October 18th, 2003, to load and bring to Willits the Tamper and related track maintenance equipment.

Shovel, Bucyrus-Erie 50-B Steam

Mike Mulligan's Steam Shovel Comes to Willits

As a result of an October 19, 1992 Roots of Motive Power acquisition, future generations of Mendocino County's youth will have a better understanding of the venerable steam shovel Mary Anne, which was happily retired to a new life as the heati

Rail Car: Whitefish Lake Ranch Car

While checking out the derelict passenger cars parked on the scrap lines of the old Northwestern Pacific Railroad yard, Roots of Motive Power members were thrilled to discover, nestled among the vandalized and neglected cars, Ranch Car #1245.

Rail Motor Car, Fairmont M-9

As the industrial age progressed, people utilized the new-found mechanical marvels to make their work easier.

Rail Motor Car, Gibson, PALCO #3

Harry Gibson founded the Gibson Manufacturing Company in Seattle, Washington in 1933. Besides building railroad equipment, Gibson Manufacturing also built small agricultural tractors, rebuilt locomotives and logging equipment, and did general machine work.

Rail Motor Car, Fairmont A3-C

Railroad track maintenance requires the ability to get forces out to the work, and for 80 years that has been by rail motor cars.

Mine Train Engine and Ore Cars

The State of California Department of Geothermal Resources has donated a mine train engine and several ore cars to Roots of Motive Power. Thanks to Roots member, Vrain Conley, for arranging for this donation.

Lumber Stacker, Helke

Before the arrival of the forklift at North Coast sawmills the process of drying redwood and pine lumber involved lots of hand labor, placing lumber on stickers to air dry in square stacks up to 20 feet in height.

Lumber Carrier, PALCO Electric Trolley

When The Pacific Lumber Company was started in 1863, the Civil War was still raging. More important to the mill workers—almost all of the work with lumber was done by hand. This included moving sawn boards to racks, stacking, unstacking and loading for delivery.

Lumber Carrier, Ross Straddle Carrier

In 1913, Harry B. Ross built the first straddle truck at the Stetson-Ross Machine Works in Seattle, Washington. Mr. Ross’ invention revolutionized the movement of lumber around mill yards, and would be replicated in later years by Gerlinger, Hyster, Yale, Caterpillar and a host of others.

Logging Arch, Hyster Rubber Wheeled

Dan and Tracy Vincent of Willits recently donated a Hyster rubber tired logging arch to the Roots collection. Our first Hyster arch joins several other Pacific Car and Foundry (CARCO) arches in the collection.

Logging Arch, Weed Lumber Co

Further research needs to be done on this artifact.

Logging Arch, Redding Big Wheels

Prior to the 1870's, logging was performed by the grueling process of dragging logs from the woods with bull teams.

Logging Arch, Big River Wheels

Mendocino Lumber Company, at the mouth of the Big River, had a reputation for its willingness to try new technology, such as using early track-type Holt 75 tractors for skidding logs in the late teens or using International trucks to haul redwood logs in the late 1930s.

Locomotive: Davenport Besler Corp, CA Redwood Co. 101

Wheel Arrangement: 0-4-0
Weight: 20 Tons
Length: 22 feet
Guage: Standard
Engine: LeRoi 6 cylinder gasoline
Construction Number: 2339

Locomotive: Alco Diesel-Electric, Simpson Timber Co. #600

Wheel Arrangement: B-B
Weight: 99 Tons
Horsepower: 660 HP
Fuel: #2 Diesel
Length: 44 feet, 6 inches
Model: S-3
Construction Number: 78399

Locomotive: Climax Geared Steam, Holmes Eureka Lumber Co. #4

Wheel Arrangement: 0-4-4-0
Trucks: 2
Weight: 60 Tons
Tractive Force: 26,400
Fuel: Oil;Diesel
Length: 37 Feet, 11 Inches
Boiler: 200 psi

Locomotive: Baldwin Steam, California Western #14

Wheel Arrangement: 2-6-2 T (Prarie)
Weight: 55 Tons
Tractive Force: 18,750
Fuel: Oil;Diesel
Length: 33 Feet, 10 Inches

Locomotive: Baldwin Diesel-Electric, California Western Railroad #53

Wheel Arrangement: D-D
Weight: 117.5 Tons
Prime Mover: Badwin four cycle, six cylinder turbo-charged diesel
Generator: 600 V Westinghouse
Horsepower: 1,000 HP

Locomotive: Lima Shay Geared Steam, Robert Dollar Lumber Co.

Wheel Arrangement: 0-4-4-0,
Trucks: 2
Weight: 50 Tons
Tractive Force: 22,580
Fuel: Oil;Diesel
Length: 41 Feet, 5 Inches
Boiler: 180 psi

Locomotive: GE 44 Tonner Diesel-Electrric, A&MRRR #104

Wheel Arrangement: B-B
Weight: 44 Tons
Prime Mover: 2 Caterpillar D-17000 diesel engines
Main Generator: 2 GE 1503
Horsepower: 380
Length: 33 feet, 6 inches

Locomotive: Plymouth 0-4-0, Gas

Wheel Arrangement: 0-4-0
Weight: 8-Ton
Length: 14 feet, 2 inches
Guage: Standard
Engine: Climax

Loader, McVey C/N 3

The McVey Loader C/N 3 was built in 1936 by the McVey Machine Shop in Klamath Falls, Oregon. The dream of a mobile loading machine kept many an early logger awake at night. In 1929 Myron McVey and O. V.

Loader, Washington Iron Works TL-15 TrakLoader, Diesel

In 1959 Union Lumber Company (ULCO) purchased a second-hand TL-15. This was ULCO #430, Washington Iron Works (WIW) C/N 5140, built in June 1956. It was purchased from Griffy and Laird Logging Company of Port Orford, Oregon.

Donkey, Washington Iron Works L-150 3-Drum Loader, Diesel

This Washington Iron Works L-150 diesel loader with torque converter represented the latest technological advance in logging in the post-World War II logging woods.

Grader, Caterpillar #11

This grader, serial number 6K395 SP, has the older three-cylinder diesel engine with side-mounted two-cylinder gas starting engine. It was donated to Roots by Mr. Mike Ross of Fort Bragg on 4-19-02.

Rail Flatcar, California Western Railroad #370

A picnic in the redwoods was always a popular event for employees of Union Lumber Company. The California Western Railroad converted some of their oldest wooden flatcars to open riding cars to haul the partygoers out to the woods along the Noyo River or up the logging branch to the Ten Mile River.

Rail Flatcar, Pacific Lumber Company #575

In 1992, the Pacific Lumber Company of Scotia, California ceased operations on their railroad which had been in operation for over 100 years.

Rail Fire Car, Simpson Timber Company

Fire prevention was always a concern in the heavily wooded timberlands of Simpson Timber Company's Pacific Northwest operations out of Shelton, Washington. Simpson built four “Fire Fighting Cars” in their shops which were pulled behind their diesel locomotives.

Engine, Skinner Engine Company Stationary Steam

15 X 16 inch starionary steam engine. The Skinner Engine Co. of Erie, Pennsylvania still manufactures reciprocating steam engines today for a number of industries and has a reputation for quality that is unequaled.

Engine, Golden State and Miners Iron Works Stationary Steam "Siri"

Roots Acquisition

Roots of Motive Power volunteers headed to Santa Rosa in the Fall of 1988 to dismantle and transport to Willits a huge sawmill steam engine. The engine was donated to Roots by Arthur S. Siri Jr., president of Siri General Contractors.

Engine, Fairbanks-Morse Stationary Type "Y" Semi-diesel Oil

This engine was built in 1915 by Fairbanks-Morse and Company. It is a one-cylinder, two-cycle engine rated at 25 horsepower. These engines were capable of operating on a wide variety of fuels, including kerosene, distillate, solar oil, gas oil, fuel oil and crude oil.

Engine, Skinner Uniflow Steam

The Skinner Uniflow Steam Engine represented the height of efficiency of steam engine design when it was produced in 1926.

Engine, Decker Shingle Mill Portable Steam

The Decker Shingle Mill came to Roots from Comptche, California. The engine was made by Joseph Enright Foundry and Machine Shop, San Jose, California, manufacturers of portable steam engines for threshing, sawmills, flour mills and pumping plants.

Engine, Porter "New Economizer" Portable Steam

This portable steam engine was used to operate a sawmill in Trinity County, California. The engine was manufactured by the Porter Manufacturing Company of Syracuse New York and was imported to California by their agent, the Joshua Hendy Machine Works of San Francisco.

Engine, Port Huron Portable Steam #6127

Portable steam power units adapted to a variety of work on America's farms, factories, and sawmills, replacing animal power and water power as the prime movers. The steam engine was bolted directly to the top of the boiler shell.

Donkey, California Iron Works Horizontal Spool, Steam

This very early steam donkey was built in Humboldt County by the California Iron Works before the turn of the century. Bull donkeys were used to replace bulls on long skid roads before many logging companies had access to railroad equipment.

Crane, Ernest Holmes Truck Crane

The railroad truck-mounted crane was first mentioned as being inoperable, and therefore surplus, to the North Coast Railroad Authority (NCRA) in the fall of 2002 during a conversation between Chris Baldo of Roots and John Darling (the railroad operator).

Crane, Bay City Shovels, Inc.

Vrain C. Conley of Healdsburg, a Roots member for several years, has donated to Roots of Motive Power a Bay City Crane, Model Number 25. This crane was manufactured in 1938 and was first sold by Garfield & Co. of San Francisco, CA. It was equipped with a boom and a ditcher.

Crane, "Cherry Picker", W600, S/N 128

Ron McGehee recently donated to the Roots collection a crane, affectionately called the Cherry Picker, which had been an integral part of his father's business - Ukiah Machine and Welding.

Crane, Raymond F440 Steam

This Raymond F440 steam crane was built in 1940 as a pile driver and converted to a crane sometime later.

Rail Shovel, Burro Model 40

On October 31, 1972, the Federal Sign and Signal Corporation shipped Burro #40-324 (construction #127005) to the Northwestern Pacific Railroad Company.

Air Compressor, Imperial Type 10 Duplex

This Ingersoll-Rand Imperial Type 10 Duplex steam-driven air compressor was donated to Roots by Georgia Pacific in 2000. With the closing of the Georgia Pacific mill in Fort Bragg, removal of the compressor became a priority and it was moved to the Roots facility in Willits in 2003.

Automobile, Ford Model T Constables Car

This Model T Ford Coupe was at one time used right here in Willits by the local constable. The position of constable was originated in England in the mid-19th century. In California, the constable was an official appointed by (and worked for) the court system.

Rail Log Skeleton Car, Pacific Car and Foundry

The announcement by Simpson Timber Company that they were pulling up their logging railroad from the Matlock Dry Sort Yard to the Frank Breymeyer Reload west of Shelton, Washington, was sad news indeed. It marked the end of an era for one of the unique railroad operations in North America.

Rail Car, 16-Wheel Donkey-Mover

The announcement by Simpson Timber Company that they were pulling up their logging railroad from the Matlock Dry Sort Yard to the Frank Breymeyer Reload west of Shelton, Washington, was sad news indeed. It marked the end of an era for one of the unique railroad operations in North America.

Union Lumber Company Logging Camp Cabin

When Union Lumber Company pulled up their Ten Mile logging branch railroad in 1949, it also put an end to the logging camp life that was an important part of the logger's mystique.

Rail Boxcar, California Western Railroad #462

In 1912 the California Western Railroad had a total of 199 cars in freight service, the vast majority being flatcars used for hauling logs and lumber. Of that total, the Railroad owned three wooden boxcars, built in 1912, and then rebuilt in 1923.

Rail Ballast Spreader, Pacific Car and Foundry

The announcement by Simpson Timber Company that they were pulling up their logging railroad from the Matlock Dry Sort Yard to the Frank Breymeyer Reload west of Shelton, Washington, was sad news indeed. It marked the end of an era for one of the unique railroad operations in North America.

Rail Ballast Car, Simpson Timber Company #6

With the prospect looming of having to spread ballast by hand on the planned 3/4 mile loop track, Chris Baldo approached Simpson Timber Company in Shelton, Washington in an effort to acquire one of their historically accurate and very functional ballast cars.

Rail Caboose, California Western Railroad #4

The exact history of caboose #04 is in question, as is the case of all CWR wooden cabooses. While it is very likely that #04 was one of a series built at Fort Bragg in the teens and 1920s, there is at this time no confirmation that this is the case.

Baggage Cart, Southern Pacific Railroad

Baggage carts were one of the utilitarian devices used by almost all railroads to move goods and luggage around their depots. They received little more attention than the broom in the corner, but without them, the expediency of railroad freight service would have been severely compromised.

Locomotive Crane, Ohio Steam

Wheel Arrangement: Crane
Weight: 63.5 Tons
Fuel: Oil;Diesel
Length: 25 Feet, 5 Inches
Construction Number: 3786
Maximum Allowable Working Pressure (MAWP): 125 psi

Donkey, Murray Brothers Vertical Spool Steam

Murray Brothers Machine Works of San Francisco was one of the early manufacturers of Dolbeer patent spool donkeys, using one of John Dolbeer's designs of steam logging machinery from 1883. The Dolbeer Spool Donkey was the fIrst steam machinery used in the woods.

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