Irvin Logging Photos

loga.jpg - 4.6 K
Courtesy of Dorothy Irvin of Coos Bay
traina.jpg - 4.6 K
Courtesy of Dorothy Irvin of Coos Bay
loga.jpg - 4.6 K
Courtesy of Dorothy Irvin of Coos Bay

One of the nifty things about having an old logging museum is that you get to hear from folks who have a few fine old photos of their own which they are willing to share with the world. Watch this site for more pictures at they become available to me.

This dramatic photo of what I assume is a Redwood is unknown in origin or location. It appears from the way the rigging is set that this log was being rolled out of the woods with the help of a block purchase and a lot of rigging. Note the multi-part line running to the top of the log. It was in an old album with the next picture of the logging train but whether the pictures are associated or not is unknown.

The photo on the right has an inscription on the Locomotive of "Excelsior Redwood Co. Eureka, Ca. which presumably provides some evidence of what we are looking at. The photo is undated, but railroad logging was widely practiced from the beginning of the 20th century until World War II which provides at least a time span during which this photo originated.

The men along the length of the train are presumably brakemen. It was common for logging trains to have manually set brakes on each car implying that brakemen had to move from car to car turning hand wheels to set or release the brakes for each car. This had to be done in a coordinated fashion as the trains negotiated grades often far steeper than were customary on mainline railroads. Braking errors could result in a runaway train with disastrous results.

The photo on the left is a photo of a classic shay locomotive circa 1915. As was customary you can see the countershaft running down the side of the engine on the right side. This served as a crankshaft with the steam expansion boxes mounted amidships in front of the cab with the shaft being bevel geared to the wheels. George W. Kruse, the father of Dorothy Irvin is second from the left in the photo, which is believed to have been taken around Blue Ridge, in Coos County. Note the coupling on the front of the Shay. The 'standard' railroad connector had not been invented yet.

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