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Date: 02/27/21 10:01
Help with a Decker
Author: MacBeau

When Russell Lee recorded this loader at work near Effie, Minnesota back in September 1937 for the FSA, he did not name the company that owned it. Does anyone recognize the logo perchance?

Be of good cheer,
—Mac

www.lowellamrine.com 






Date: 02/27/21 11:22
Re: Help with a Decker
Author: DWDebs/2472

This is a McGiffert log loader, built by the Clyde Iron Works in Duluth, Minnesota.

Two McGifferts are preserved at the Southern Forest Heritage Museum in Long Leaf, Louisiana: https://forestheritagemuseum.org/historic-sawmill/logging-equipment

Two more are preserved at the Collier Logging Museum north of Chiloquin, Oregon. (I don't know if they were damaged last year in the "242" fire.). Here are a few details from http://www.trainweb.org/mccloudrails/LumberCompany/McGiffertloaders.html"Once railroads became an integral part of logging, a means of loading logs onto railcars had to be developed. A number of different machines to accomplish this task were invented. One of the more successful types of loaders in the pine woods of the Intermountain West was the McGiffert Loader. The McGiffert loader was invented by John R. McGiffert, and the machines were manufactured by the Clyde Iron Works of Duluth, Minnesota."The McGiffert was a large, somewhat awkward looking machine. The boiler and spools were mounted on a platform that was elevated over the tracks. The entire machine sat on legs that rested on the ground on either side of the tracks. The McGiffert was self-propelled, as it had a chain-driven drive axles that moved the machine along the rails. The wheels were retracted up against the botton of the platform when the machine was set up to load cars. When set up to load cars, the McGiffert straddled the tracks, and empty log cars were shoved underneath the loader. The log cars would then be rolled through the loader, with logs loaded onto the cars by a boom off of one side of the loader."The first McGifferts appeared in the woods around 1902. Nearly a thousand of these machines would be built between then and around 1930, when production ceased. According to a roster compiled by John Taubeneck, the McCloud River Lumber Company owned four of these McGiffert loaders. They were as follows:• McGiffert #678, built for McCloud River Lumber Company in 1906. Sold to Kesterson Lumber Company, Dorris, CA, in 1925 or 1926; to Weyerhaeuser Timber Company, Klamath Falls, OR, 1929; to Collier Memorial State Park, Chiloquin, OR, circa 1961. Currently on display at the logging museum at Collier, one of only four known surviving McGiffert loaders.• McGiffert #1205, built 1917 for A. Guthrie & Company, Casway, Washington. To Cascade Lumber Company, Cle Elum, WA, 1918; to Forest Lumber Company, Pine Ridge, Oregon; to McCloud River Lumber Company, Bartle, CA, circa 1942. Seen in use on the McCloud as late as the mid-1950's.• McGiffert #1223, built 1918 for Brooks-Scanlon Lumber Company, Bend, Oregon. To McCloud River Lumber Company, Esperanza, California.• McGiffert #1282. Reported in use on the McCloud River Lumber Company at Burney, California, in 1927? (Cannot be completely correct...Pondosa is far more likely)."The use of McGifferts in the McCloud woods appeared to have ceased by the mid-1950's. As noted, only four of the machines are known to exist today. Two of them are on display at the logging museum in Collier Memorial State Park at Chiloquin, Oregon, one more is on display at a museum in Duluth, Minnesota, and the fourth rests upside down and buried in a lakebed in British Columbia."
[Comment: This appears to omit the two McGiffer log loaders at the Southern Heritage Forest Museum.]- Doug Debs



Date: 02/27/21 12:05
Re: Help with a Decker
Author: MacBeau

One of McGiffert's advertising points was that the log cars stayed on the logging company tracks. That was a direct shot at Decker, which used the track system featured in the images above, hence my conclusion it was a Decker.
—Mac 


DWDebs/2472 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> This is a McGiffert log loader, built by the Clyde
> Iron Works in Duluth, Minnesota.
>
 



Date: 02/27/21 13:03
Re: Help with a Decker
Author: LarryDoyle

Great postings, MacBeau and DWDebs

Effie, MN is in Itasca County, very near the headwaters of the Mississipi River.

I believe the machine in the picture is a Decker.

As DWDebs said, McGifferts were manufactured by the Clyde Iron Works in Duluth, MN.  The plant still stands, though it now serves as an upscale resturant.
https://www.clydeironworks.com/about-clyde-iron.php

The McGiffert could move under its own power, if need be, by a chain drive.  The loader was spotted at the midpoint of a loading spur, then the trucks were winched up against the floor of the cab, settling the  loaders lower framework onto the ground stradling the track, leaving a clear space below the cab.  A locomotive would shove a string of empty log bunks, or flatcars as seen in the above picture, completely through the clear space, then cut off and go about other tasks elsewhere.  A winch in the loader would pull the cars forward and spot each for loading as seen in the picture.

As pointed out, one McGiffert is on public exhibition in Duluth, at the Lake Superior Railroad Museum.

A Decker was similar, but did not have the ability to raise its trucks and set itself on the ground as a McGiffert could.  Instead, Deckers required temporary rails in front and behind the loader be set to ramp up flatcars through the clear space below the cab.

Both the Decker and McGiffert loaders were manufactured by Clyde Iron Works.

-LD



Date: 02/27/21 13:51
Collier McGiffert
Author: heatermason

Collier Museum in Chiloquin, Oregon lost their 1906 McGiffert loader in the late forest fire:
https://www.nrtoday.com/collier-memorial-state-park-is-rebounding-after-fire/article_ff1c41e2-c483-5cf8-a948-d48297a3e48c.html



Date: 02/27/21 18:49
Re: Help with a Decker
Author: MacBeau

So the logging company logo remains a mystery.
—Mac

LarryDoyle Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Great postings, MacBeau and DWDebs
>
> Effie, MN is in Itasca County, very near the
> headwaters of the Mississipi River.
>
> I believe the machine in the picture is a Decker.
>
 



Date: 02/27/21 18:54
Re: Help with a Decker
Author: ctjacks

Can you post a magnification of the logo?  Do you have the negative to this print?



Date: 02/27/21 19:09
Re: Help with a Decker
Author: MacBeau

No negative, just a med res tiff.
—Mac

ctjacks Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Can you post a magnification of the logo?  Do you
> have the negative to this print?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/27/21 23:04 by MacBeau.




Date: 02/27/21 19:56
Re: Help with a Decker
Author: LarryDoyle

Crookston Logging Co. operated a rail line with several branchs running southeast from from a Jct. with the Minnesota & International just north of Blackduck, MN into the area around Effie, and shipped logs on the M&I.  The Logo in the picture appears that it might include the initials C L Co.  The Northern Pacific controlled, then aquired, the Minnesota & International which connected Bemidji and International Falls, MN

-LD



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/27/21 20:00 by LarryDoyle.



Date: 02/27/21 22:01
Re: Help with a Decker
Author: MacBeau

Thank you sir.
—Mac

LarryDoyle Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Crookston Logging Co. operated a rail line with...



Date: 02/27/21 22:20
Re: Help with a Decker
Author: Evan_Werkema




Date: 02/28/21 08:03
Re: Help with a Decker
Author: LarryDoyle

The mystery is why they're loading prime white pine logs, while the surrounding trees are 2nd growth aspen, probably nearly 10 years old.

-LD



Date: 02/28/21 08:13
Re: Help with a Decker
Author: jbwest

I've posted this before, but here is one of the McCloud McGifferts still working in the summer of 1958 near Burney.

JBWX




Date: 02/28/21 20:05
Re: Help with a Decker
Author: elueck

For the record, Clyde actually manufactured both the Decker and the McGiffert Loaders.

Also for the record, the Clyde records show only one Decker loader delivered to a Minnesota, Wisconsin or Michigan lumber company beginning with a C.
Consolidated Lumber Co, of Hiawatha, MI received Decker loader #1138, 3-8-1913

Here is the Clyde record for Minnesota from Tony Howe



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/28/21 20:11 by elueck.




Date: 03/02/21 06:18
Re: Help with a Decker
Author: Evan_Werkema

Wonder if the logo might be for International Lumber - I.L.Co.



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