You are currently viewing Donkey, Marschutz and Cantrell, Vertical Spool, Steam

Donkey, Marschutz and Cantrell, Vertical Spool, Steam

  • Year Built: c. 1903
  • Type of Equipment: Donkey
    Dolbeer Vertical Spool
  • Traction: Sled
  • Manufacturer: California Iron Works (Marschutz & Cantrell)
  • Manufacturer Location: San Francisco, CA
  • Non-Motive Power: Steam
  • In Service: Occidental, CA
    Willow Creek
  • Owner: Chris Baldo

John Dolbeer of Eureka, California changed logging forever in 1883 when he patented the first spool donkey. These simple, rugged machines were seen for decades in the woods, long after the arrival of more powerful and expensive steam yarders and skidders. The early spool donkey provided no system to return the rigging to the woods for the next log, necessitating a horse or manpower to do the job. The need to reach out further from the machine and solve the haulback problem led to the development of the “Improved” spool donkey about 1900. This development lengthened out the machine and installed a haulback drum, which has been standard equipment on logging equipment ever since. This donkey was built by Marschutz and Cantrell about 1903 in San Francisco, California. It was used to log the redwood timber near Willow Creek and Occidental in Sonoma county. It was purchased by Wade Sturgeon in the 1930s as part of his logging and sawmill operation near Sebastopol where it was used into the 1940s. The donkey stayed at the Sturgeon Mill until being purchased from Ralph Sturgeon in 1992. This donkey is owned by Chris Baldo of Willits Redwood Company.