4. McCloud River Railroad History 1920-1940

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The Shevlin Pine Special in 1931 #14 and #19 lead a 57 load car train to celebrate the opening of the line to Lookout JCT and interchange with GN (on the expanded view you can see a goat is tethered to the front of the train, an obvious tip of the cap to the Great Northern RR whose mascot was Rocky the Goat.

Mother McCloud: A Legend Is Born

1920-1940 Expansion stopped at Bartle for some time due to competing lumber companies, who owned stands of pines in the area. This stalemate was ended by Pacific Gas and Electric who wanted to build several dams across the Pit river through the area for hydro electric generation. The McCloud River Railroad was the closest transportation source so it was called upon, While PG&E owned the extension from Bartle to the Pit River. Construction Spanned 1921 to 1929 when the line was abandoned. In the mean time McCloud had made deals with some of the other owners of the tracts of land and rails were laid a few miles north east of Bartle to a place called Car A. This expansion allowed the Lumber company to spider out in all directions with their lines. As expansion continued, the decision to stop using portable camps was made in favor of a permanent camp. Thus in 1927 the town of Pondosa came into existence. Other important developments included the completion of the “inside gateway” of California. A Joint effort by the Great Northern and Western Pacific Railroad to compete with the SP in it’s California to Oregon traffic. This inside gateway passed close to McCloud rails so negotiations brought about the GN owned line from Lookout Jct. near Nubeiber. During the depression the railroad and it’s workers were hard hit, but the Lumber Company gained great favor with their employees by continuing to offer credit at their company stores, and later, forgiving the debt. The lumber company became known as Mother McCloud and was much beloved by it’s employees.


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* 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