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Mendocino Lumber Disconnect Trucks

Rail Disconnect Trucks, Mendocino Lumber

© Bruce Evans
Year Built:
c. 1935
Type of Equipment:
Logging Equipment
Rail Car
Disconnect Trucks
In Service:
Mendocino Lumber Company
Louisiana Pacific
Mendocino County Museum
Mendocino Lumber Company operated less than ten miles of railroad in the Little North Fork region of Big River before dumping the logs in the river at the boom, about 3 miles upriver from the sawmill. To transport logs, the Company relied instead on water transportation, utilizing a system of splash dams to collect water and then floating the summer’s logging production to the mill at Mendocino. During the logging season, logs were decked in the river channel of Big River awaiting the winter rains. Mendocino Lumber Company built several short railroad spurs in the side gulches to transport logs down to the main river channel. These railroad spurs were operated using steam donkeys, similar to the operation of a railroad incline.

This set of disconnect trucks operated on such a railroad at North Fork Camp in Big River in the mid 1930s. Mendocino Lumber Company used an old Washington Iron Works road engine to lower the cars down to the river. For yarding, the Company used the Willamette 11 x 13 Humboldt Yarder, now on display in the Mendocino County Museum’s collection. Louisiana Pacific Corporation donated the disconnect trucks to the Mendocino County Museum in 1984. The cars were rebuilt by Rogan Coombs of Fortuna, California.