In the words of photographer Jim Morley, "#3 tackles a grade on her way to Camino, with lumber from the Georgetown Divide. Notice the grade. The rear part of the train is still descending a sharp curve" while the locomotive climbs another hill and leaves the downward-sloping valley. The engineer fixes his gaze on Morley, who was standing in the brush to take the picture. Privately owned lumber railroads existed by the hundreds across the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This narrow-gauge line twisted from considerably north of Pino Grande south to Camino, California. It first served the American River Land & Lumber Co. in the 1890s, and, after many ins and out, came to be owned by the Michigan-California Lumber Co., which operated the line until 1949 and then replaced it with truck logging. The photographer wrote extensively about the Michigan-California in Trains magazine, March 1943, p. 32-42. Between 1918 and 1949 the Michigan-California Lumber Co. operated nine gear-driven locomotives (seven Shays, one Heisler, and one Climax), and one traditional rod engine, on about 50 miles of track. No. 3 was one of its Shays.
| next →