Mallets on the Mendocino Coast: Casper Lumber Company Railroads and Steamships

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9780965021340: Mallets on the Mendocino Coast: Casper Lumber Company Railroads and Steamships

On the rough and rocky Redwood Coast of California lies the tiny settlement of Caspar, 125 nautical miles north of San Francisco and about five miles south of Fort Bragg. Operating from 1861 until 1955, the Caspar Lumber Company's mill at Caspar was supplied with timber for 75 of those years by the company's own private railroad. Originally known as the Jughandle Railroad, the standard-gauge line twice changed its name during its existence-first to Caspar & Hare Creek Railroad, later Caspar, South Fork & Eastern Railroad-and operated a fascinating array of motive power over the lightest of rail, crossing streams on tall timber trestles, to bring in virgin redwood logs from the forest. The Caspar Lumber Company also operated a fleet of coastal schooners, both sail and steam, to carry lumber from the "doghole" landing at Caspar to San Francisco and elsewhere. This facet of the operation makes for a fascinating story in itself. The railroad and the mill are now memories, but author Ted Wurm brings them back to life in this volume. Along with a detailed and lively history of the operation, the reader will find maps, bibliography and index, and the model builder will delight in scale drawings of a variety of the locomotives, cars and structures.

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