Self powered railroad steam unloaders at log boom

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    August, 2019
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Self powered railroad steam unloaders at log boom
Posted by Log Boom kid on Friday, August 30, 2019 6:13 PM

I am the last survivor that worked at a river log boom that existed for 78 years. My family owned and operated it for 18 years. Logs to the boom, where hauled by train from 1906 to 1944 by locomotive. The two track river trestle was almost 3/4th of a mile long. The steam donkey unloader was self powered and ran on a separate track parallel with the log train's. The first steam donkey was a davit unloader, but around 1910 and 1913 they replaced it with an a-frame (made of two logs) unloader. I have a photo of the davit unloader, but none of the a-frame. I have searched and searched for any log a-frame photo, but no luck. Does anyone know where I can find a self powered steam log boom unloader photo?

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Posted by Jones1945 on Saturday, September 07, 2019 11:24 AM

I am not familiar with logging and lumber. Is this the machine you are looking for?

From Museum at Campbell River

 

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Posted by Log Boom kid on Saturday, September 07, 2019 2:05 PM

No, I am looking for a self-powered steam unloader that ran on a parallel track to the log train on a log dump trestle. I saw a photo of one on the web, but can't find it now. I attached a photo of an unloader that is close to what I am looking for, except it is a davit unloader and not an a-frame... the a-frame was made of two log poles... like telephone poles, but about half as long. I really apreciate your help. My family was in in logging for over 100 years of which, they owned the log boom where the photo of the davit unloader was taken for 18 of those years. So, if you ever need some technical advice on logging, just ask.Davit unloader

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Posted by seppburgh2 on Saturday, September 07, 2019 2:28 PM

Did some Google digging and found these two references for you:

http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=16712&whichpage=4

and

http://www.railroad-line.com/forum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=21521.

 

One thing I would ask. Please write down your stores of the logging era?  I and future generations will love to read them. For me, I grew up near the old Morris Cannal in New Jersey. Would hear tails and view a hole in the ground.  Didn't connect.  Now I'm moving to the mid-side of 60 and my wife got me a book on cannal life, WOW.  The whole store of the era come to life for me!  Sure your writings will do the same.

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Saturday, September 07, 2019 2:47 PM

Seppburgh, if you're interested in the Morris Canal there was great book on the same called "The Morris Canal, A Photographic History" by James Lee.  Originally published in 1979, and reprinted in 1994 by Delaware Press of Easton PA.  I've got a copy and it's well done.

Google the same and you'll find it's available from various sources, if you don't have it already.

On the original topic, I saw a video years back of a self-propelled steam donkey engine at a logging museum in the Pacific Northwest, and still functional, but I'll be darned if I can find a video on YouTube of it!  I KNOW it's out there somewhere!

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Posted by seppburgh2 on Saturday, September 07, 2019 2:54 PM

Thank you!  Will look that one up on the Morris Cannal.  Speaking of donkey engines.  May years ago was in a doctor's office skimming over a magaize of New Engline Life.  Way back was a winter picture of a steam locomotive with tractor "wheels" pulling a train of log cars through the snow.  There where skids for the car wheels. Anyway, thanks for the James Lee book tip!

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Saturday, September 07, 2019 3:17 PM

You're very welcome!  I know you'll enjoy it!

You know, I can find plenty of YouTube videos of stationary, or moveable  donkey engines, but no self propelled ones!  Bang Head

There's plenty of videos on steam-powered tractors as well.  When you come right down to it a steam tractor is just a small locomotive that doesn't need rails.  They're pretty amazing in their own right.

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Posted by rcdrye on Saturday, September 07, 2019 4:48 PM

If you can find a copy of John Labbe and Vernon Goe's "Railroads in the Woods", published around 1961 by Howell-North, there are several photos of A-Frame loaders - and just about everything else having to do with railroad logging.

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Posted by Miningman on Saturday, September 07, 2019 5:12 PM

 Whyte system classification -- 2Ski-4Tread-0

 

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Saturday, September 07, 2019 5:15 PM

knew  I'd find that self-propelled donkey engine, properly known as a "Gypsy," if I kept on looking!

Here's a video of TWO of them!  Bear Harbor Lumber Company #1 and Falk #1.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Npk6RFkM7fU  

They live at the Timber Heritage Association in Eureka CA.  Here's the website...

https://www.timberheritage.org  

And here's an article about the same...

https://www.northcoastjournal.com/humboldt/the-bear-harbor-railroad-1892-1905/Content?oid=12063503  

Woo-hoo!

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Saturday, September 07, 2019 5:55 PM

Miningman

 Whyte system classification -- 2Ski-4Tread-0

 

 

Wouldn't it be a gas having one of those things to drive around in the snow?

It's a sure bet you'd be towing a bunch of kids on sleds as well!

Ah yes, a box of cigars and a coffee pot on the backhead!  A perfect winter afternoon!

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Posted by BaltACD on Saturday, September 07, 2019 6:25 PM

Miningman
 Whyte system classification -- 2Ski-4Tread-0

Don't think it would like 24 inches of fresh powder!

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Posted by Flintlock76 on Saturday, September 07, 2019 7:46 PM

Maybe not Balt, but that thing looks like it could bulldoze its way through anything!

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Posted by seppburgh2 on Tuesday, September 17, 2019 7:52 PM

That is it!  The picture I sow had a "train" of log cars passing through a grove of pine trees!  Thank you for posting!

 

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