3. McCloud River Railroad History 1900-1920

Pine Across the Mountain: A Logging Railroad Lives

The railroad expanded into the area east of McCloud. Two kinds of expansions were made, temporary logging spurs (sometimes miles longs) and permanent railroad. Rail crews became quiet adept at pulling up rail when one area was logged, only to lay down a new spur in another area, Ties were not moved. Logging spurs were operated by the McCloud River Lumber Company, the owner of the tracts of Land, of the railroad and even the town of McCloud. The first major expansion of the railroad was actually northward into the Ash Creek area where there was a mill. And for a couple of years this provided a lot of lumber business for the railroad. but in 1903 the mill burned down and that track was abandoned. Along the way some well used logging spurs became part of the permanent railroad and operations switched from the lumber company crews, who operated all the trains over the logging spurs, to the railroad company who operated the main line. As of 1919 no railroad company trains operated over the logging spurs.
Efforts were made to reach Bartle next. The Bartle Brothers had a ranch in the area and the area was named for them. With work stoppages required by deep winter snows, Bartle was reached in 1905. In 1906 the original records of the railroad were lost in a fire following the San Francisco (where they were stored) Earthquake. 1907 saw the terminus change from the town of Upton to the town of Sisson (later named Mt Shasta City )

Having reached Bartle the railroad itself remained pretty stable with it’s main line intact and the logging spurs reaching out from it in an never ending procession, much like the wriggling snake on Medusa’s Head.

In 1917 the Lumber company decided to divest itself of the railroad and gave it’s stocks into the hands of it’s shareholder, thus removing any apparent conflict of interest that may arisen.

Route Completion

Click To Enlarge Pictures Below


* Images taken from Post Cards, Viewing Objects and Original Products

** Images Courtesy Of The McCloud Heritage Junction Museum Please see interchange page for more info on this.