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Western Railroad Discussion > Red River Lumber Co - Westwood


Date: 03/18/03 19:54
Red River Lumber Co - Westwood
Author: BobL

I found an interesting website about the Red River Lumber Co's Westwood operations. There is very little evidence left that the mill ever existed.

http://www.rbadesign.net/OO_redriver_body.htm



Date: 03/18/03 20:52
Re: Red River Lumber Co - Westwood
Author: easyed

Bob,
Thanks for the info on Westwood and the Red River Lumber Co. Mill. My Grandparents moved to Westwood in the early 60's and we would visit often. We quickly became familiar with the area and its many recreational activities for a 10 year old.

The mill, while active in the early 60's, was on the downward slide. We used to go thru 'Old Town' to get to one of the many fishing holes my Grandfather knew about.

For me the most memorable part of the trip was the ride up the Feather River Canyon keeping an eye peeled for any Western Pacific trains heading up or down the canyon. I remember 'racing' freights headed up by sets of F-units thru Greenville and Crescent Mills at either end of Indian Valley. Don't forget the occasional views of the California Zephyr!

My Grandparents only lasted a few winters in Westwood, they quickly realized their hearty Minnesota blood had thinned in the 15 years since moving to California in the late 40's, and moved back to the Bay Area.



Date: 03/18/03 20:52
Re: Red River Lumber Co - Westwood
Author: easyed

Bob,
Thanks for the info on Westwood and the Red River Lumber Co. Mill. My Grandparents moved to Westwood in the early 60's and we would visit often. We quickly became familiar with the area and its many recreational activities for a 10 year old.

The mill, while active in the early 60's, was on the downward slide. We used to go thru 'Old Town' to get to one of the many fishing holes my Grandfather knew about.

For me the most memorable part of the trip was the ride up the Feather River Canyon keeping an eye peeled for any Western Pacific trains heading up or down the canyon. I remember 'racing' freights headed up by sets of F-units thru Greenville and Crescent Mills at either end of Indian Valley. Don't forget the occasional views of the California Zephyr!

My Grandparents only lasted a few winters in Westwood, they quickly realized their hearty Minnesota blood had thinned in the 15 years since moving to California in the late 40's, and moved back to the Bay Area.



Date: 03/18/03 20:53
Re: Red River Lumber Co - Westwood
Author: easyed

Bob,
Thanks for the info on Westwood and the Red River Lumber Co. Mill. My Grandparents moved to Westwood in the early 60's and we would visit often. We quickly became familiar with the area and its many recreational activities for a 10 year old.

The mill, while active in the early 60's, was on the downward slide. We used to go thru 'Old Town' to get to one of the many fishing holes my Grandfather knew about.

For me the most memorable part of the trip was the ride up the Feather River Canyon keeping an eye peeled for any Western Pacific trains heading up or down the canyon. I remember 'racing' freights headed up by sets of F-units thru Greenville and Crescent Mills at either end of Indian Valley. Don't forget the occasional views of the California Zephyr!

My Grandparents only lasted a few winters in Westwood, they quickly realized their hearty Minnesota blood had thinned in the 15 years since moving to California in the late 40's, and moved back to the Bay Area.



Date: 03/18/03 20:53
Re: Red River Lumber Co - Westwood
Author: easyed

Bob,
Thanks for the info on Westwood and the Red River Lumber Co. Mill. My Grandparents moved to Westwood in the early 60's and we would visit often. We quickly became familiar with the area and its many recreational activities for a 10 year old.

The mill, while active in the early 60's, was on the downward slide. We used to go thru 'Old Town' to get to one of the many fishing holes my Grandfather knew about.

For me the most memorable part of the trip was the ride up the Feather River Canyon keeping an eye peeled for any Western Pacific trains heading up or down the canyon. I remember 'racing' freights headed up by sets of F-units thru Greenville and Crescent Mills at either end of Indian Valley. Don't forget the occasional views of the California Zephyr!

My Grandparents only lasted a few winters in Westwood, they quickly realized their hearty Minnesota blood had thinned in the 15 years since moving to California in the late 40's, and moved back to the Bay Area.



Date: 03/18/03 21:27
Re: Red River Lumber Co - Westwood
Author: graybeard1942

This is an excellent book available solely about the Red River RR written by Bob Hanft.



Date: 03/18/03 22:42
Re: Red River Lumber Co - Westwood
Author: JDLX

Red River's tenure in Westwood only lasted until 1944 when they sold out to Fruit Growers Supply. FGS operated the mill until 1956 when they shut it down. The mill burned to the ground shortly afterwards.

Check out the following website:

http://home.att.net/~lassen.logger/

(Sorry I don't know how to make clickable links).

Lassen Logger devotes his entire site to lumber operations (and especially their associated railroads) in the Susanville/Westwood area. Lots and lots of really good stuff on Lassen Loggers page.

I would recommend Hanft's book (if you can find it). It is titled "Red River, Paul Bunyan's Own Lumber Company". Covers the history of Red River from the inception of the company in Minnesota to and through the Westwood days.

I would also recommend "Fruit Growers Supply Company" by Tim Purdy (published 2000). This book provides a good history of Fruit Growers, including why it came into existence, general histories of it's sawmills (Hilt, Susanville, Westwood, all in CA). Does deal a lot with the FGSCo. takeover of TRRLCo. Unfortunately, Mr. Purdy included some information and several pictures of FGS's logging railroads in Susanville and Hilt, but did not provide anything like a locomotive roster or other "railfan basics".

What is interesting is that by the mid-1950's Fruit Growers no longer needed the electrified logging railroad to Chester, as they were pretty well cut out of that area. Most harvesting activity was taking place far to the north of Westwood, and the 82,000 acre Burney tract was one of the last (and largest) un-tapped stands left. Fruit Growers surveyed a railroad line that, if built, would have run from Poison Lake on the WP's highline between Westwood and Nubieber to Burney, and the line would have been electrified. However, the sudden introduction of cardboard boxes into the citrus shipping business ended the need for Fruit Growers to build to Burney, and instead the harvesting rights were sold to the McCloud River Lumber Company, who in turned loaned money to the McCloud River Railroad to complete the new line to Burney in 1955.

Check out Lassen Logger's site and enjoy all that he has to offer, then go back to the site listed in the first thread on this post. Marc Entz has a huge collection of photographs in there, not only from Red River but also from just about every single other large lumber operation in the U.S.

JDLX
Elko, NV



Date: 03/20/03 05:54
Re: Red River Lumber Co - Westwood
Author: cbk

Here is a good site about Fruit Growers Supply, the company that bought out Red River's Westwood operation.

http://home.att.net/~lassen.logger/fgs06.htm



Date: 03/20/03 13:00
Re: Red River Lumber Co - Westwood
Author: CimaScrambler

About five years ago, I knew of a URL to a site at either University of California Berkley or Davis (I don't remember which) that had links to a huge number of photographs in their library photo collection of the RRLC operations. I went looking for the link but came up empty. May be gone now. If so, too bad, cause it was real easy to waste a whole afternoon looking at those photos.

Kit



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