McCloud River Lumber Company:
Traction Engines

Steam traction engines saw use in almost every major industry in some form or another until replaced by internal combustion tractors in the first decades of the 1900s. McCloud's predecessor Friday George used traction engines to both bring logs from the woods to his mill and then the cut lumber from the mill to the top of the divide between the future site of McCloud and the Central Pacific railroad mainline. The McCloud River Lumber Company later used traction engines in both railroad construction and logging activities through at least the first couple decades of operation. No firm end date on their use has been fixed, but the company did retire five traction engines in 1917.

Traction engines could be used in many ways in logging. In this photo one such machine is hauling a set of high wheels. Heritage Junction Museum.

This photo probably isn't from the McCloud operations, but it's from the same region and is a good illustration of its use with wagons. Eastman photo, Kuhlman collection, courtesy Martin Morisette.

A dramatic action photo of a traction engine at work hauling logs, again not McCloud but from the same region. Eastman photo, Kuhlman collection, courtesy Martin Morisette.

Several retired traction engines gathered around the railroad's machine shop sometime after 1907. heritage Junction Museum.