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Author Topic: Heisler  (Read 15010 times)

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« Reply #30 on: February 23, 2007, 12:49:57 AM »

I model the Weed Lumber Company and the California & Northeastern/Southern Pacific branch from Weed California to Klamath Falls Oregon between 1909 and 1911. The Weed Lumber Co. started this  branch as a logging RR about 1903 and reached a point just south of Grass Lake CA. at which time they sold their RR to the C & NE. (A short lived subsidiary of the SP until it was fully merged into the SP about 1910).

Prior to the sale, Weed owned three logging locos:

4-4-0 No.1 ( I am currently back dating the new Spectrum 4-4-0 to represent Weed No.1)
2-8-0 No.3 ( I will back date an MDC Old Timer to represent this loco)
Heisler No. 2 ( The 45 ton loco shown in the preceding photos above)
The Weed RR sale, to the C & NE included No. 1 & No. 3 and the SP as parent company, agreed to haul logs coming from Weed spurs (As far as forty miles out along the C & NE back to the Weed Sawmill at attractive rates.) 

For every hour I spend modeling I spend about five hours of historical research but, I find this research as rewarding as the modeling. However, I also model a freelance narrow gauge logging RR connecting with the C & NE between Weed and Grass Lake which allows me a little more modeling freedom.

Peter Smith, Memphis

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« Reply #31 on: February 26, 2007, 02:34:47 AM »


It sounds like you have the makings of a very interesting railroad. 

More on the Willamette Valley #6...your chronology fits what my research has turned up.  A couple of other pieces of information on it...

- While on Port Blakely it had a name, the Maggie.  If you get your hands on a copy of Pete Replinger & John Labbe's book Logging to the Salt Chuck, you will find a picture of her on the Port Blakely in that volume. 

- Port Blakely was less than satisfied with the locomotive, and they turned it back to the builder shortly after getting it.  This coincided with Stearns delivering one of the first three truck Heislers built to the McCloud River as their #2.  The McCloud River had nothing but problems with the #2 from the day it arrived, and to help things out Stearns sent the Maggie down to McCloud to help them out while they tried to get the #2 up and running.  The McCloud River had a 2-6-2 on order from Baldwin that would go a long ways towards solving their motive power problems at the time, but to tide themselves over until it arrived the company looked around for some other power, which eventually led them to purchase the Maggie.  It became #3 on the McCloud roster.  This transaction took place sometime during the summer of 1898. 

- The McCloud used the "Maggie" primarily as a switch one point they reported to Stearns that, although it was a good locomotive, they were having to do an overhaul after every 3 or 4 miles of operation as the crossheads would not stay.  Apparently the locomotive got a new set of crossheads that solved the problem.

- I have never seen a definate date of when the two McCloud Heislers left the property.  All the written records tell us is that it was before 18 April 1906- the San Francisco earthquake on that day wiped out almost all McCloud River records, as both the railroad and its corporate parents maintained headquarter in the city.  1903 would make sense and fit in with other parts of the puzzle, however.

- Lastly, Nevada County Narrow Guage did have a short standard gauge operation...something to do with rock trains.  That's where this locomotive was used while on that road- I don't think it was ever converted to narrow guage.  I have 1914 as the year it moved from NCNG to Willamette Lumber Company.  I also have 1930 as its scrap date.   

I have a couple more photos of the locomotive on my website at:

Have you run across any information about an ex-AT&SF 4-6-0 that Weed hypothetically used that came to the McCloud River around 1900?  It is the one in this link:

One last note...the McCloud River #2 was one of two 3-truck Heislers that Stearns built around 1897.  Both proved to be complete failures...and partly as a result of them Stearns did not build another 3-truck Heisler until 1912.

Please keep us updated on your layout progress...and someday you need to turn your historical research into a book.  The Weed operations were one of the largest and most fascinating, and yet least covered, logging shows in California.  Red River and McCloud both have books written about them, and I hope to have my book about the McCloud out someday soon...but the Weed operations need to be covered.

Jeff Moore
Elko, NV

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« Reply #32 on: February 26, 2007, 02:59:45 PM »

Jeff, thank you for your input. It is my belief that McCloud River 4-6-0 No. 7 was never owned by the Weed Lumber Company.

Peter Smith, Memphis
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