|The two things this article is missing are any historical photos of the Bradley-Woodard Railroad and additional information. If you know of any
additional photos or information that you can share or give me a lead to follow, I would sincerely appreciate it. To best of my knowledge, this
article is the only major source of history on the Bradley-Woolard Logging Co. and I would like it to be as complete as possible.
|Please note that logging and railroad items found in the woods are rare historical artifacts. We believe that they should not be scavenged for personal use. It is our
policy to discover, record and photograph artifacts, but leave behind what we find, unless the artifact will be put in a museum or on public display. We ask that you
respect this as well in an effort to preserve our history.
|Last Update: November 17, 2006
|The following photos were taken in 2005 and 2006 and show the remains of the grades of Bradley-Woodard Logging Co.
and Oregon Timber & Logging Co that we've explored so far. There are still many miles left to explore, but so far we've
found some interesting remains.....
The grade is show here starting in Bradwood from the north and working it's way south.
|Maps of the Bradley-Woodard Railroad
|These are maps of the Bradley-Woodard Logging Railroad traced out on modern day USGS maps. Information contained here is from a 1947 USGS map,
showing the then abandoned Bradley-Woodard line, in combination with other data. There could be other spurs that existed that are not shown here.
Orange lines are abandoned grades that were not converted into roads. Red lines are abandoned grades that were converted into gravel logging roads.
Blue lines are known trestle sites. Purple lines is the suspected Oregon Timber & Lumber grade that I don't think was utilized by the Bradley-Woodard Co.
Pink lines are known inclines according to the 1947 map. More inclines probably existed.
|The site of Bradwood
|Bradwood was site of the company town of the Bradley-Woolard Logging operation and headquarters of the railroad. Later it would be the
site of a major mill that would exist for years long after the logging operation was abandoned. Today, almost nothing remains of the original
town site or mill. That last remaining buildings of the town were razed in 1983. The only remains of the Bradley-Woodard company here are
a few bents sticking out of the Columbia slough from the original log dump trestle.
|This is the paved road to Bradwood from Highway 30. Originally a dirt road. At first, I assumed the road was built over the old RR grade, but as it turns out the
grade is to the right of the road down in the canyon and largely built on a fill just to the east of the road. Bents of the log dump trestle still survive, more than 75
years after it was built. The mill site existed well beyond the dump. Photos: September, 2005
|Unfortunately, the area of the old mill site and Bradwood is on private land and is completely blocked off from public access. Future plans include building a
huge Liquid Natural Gas transfer facility in this exact location and that will likely completely wipe out any possible remains. As much as I'd like to explore this
area for any remaining artifacts, it appears that I may be out of luck.
Photos: March, 2006
|Sites of the Hunt Creek Double Trestles/fills (site)
|The site of the Hunt Creek trestles offer a bit of mystery and intrigue, although they were by no means the most significant trestles on the
Bradley-Woodard operation. From Bradwood, the railroad, skirted the west side of Hunt Creek for a number of miles, but at this point was
required to cross over to the east side. Two small trestles were built at a narrow, shallow point where two creeks converged. These trestles
were very likely originally built as early as around 1905-1910 when the original Oregon Timber Company built the first part of this line.
It's not clear if the Bradley-Woodard Company ever rebuilt these trestles, but in our search for the elusive trestle that a Shay crashed through
at one point, these have become likely candidates. The reason being that the trestles had to be old enough by the 1930s to collapse, but
shallow enough that noone was killed, but tall enough that a Shay was damaged and required to be scrapped. These trestles appears to fit
the bill. When we arrived on site, we found that the trestles were in fact replaced with fills. Indicating that the original structures were
probably replaced after they were damaged.
One theory is that the Shay Mrs. Bradley referred too in one story that we've heard, crashed through one of these trestles due to their age, or
possibly ran away down the steep incline on the east side and went over the trestle since it had to make a very sharp turn to the west. The
Shay was likely damaged and probably scrapped out, due to its age. The remains were hauled out and up to the lower switchback camp,
since access to the Bradwood was cut off at that point. At the lower switchback camp, the Shay was likely cut up for scrap, with worthless
parts like the water and oil tanks as well as the air tanks and other smaller pieces being left at the camp. Later, the larger remains were
likely hauled back down the mountain to Bradwood. The railroad then likely filled in both trestles, rather than rebuild them.
|This photo shows the washed out west fill. As you can see, the size of the original trestle was not large by any means. One interesting thing that we found just
below the washed out fill were these newer (relatively) looking culverts. At first I suspected they belonged in the fill, but I have my doubts that the fill and grade
were ever used after the line was abandoned. Some have suggested, the grade was later turned into a logging or access road that may have been used into the
1950s and culverts are part of that. I suspect the culverts were washed down creek from a logging road that crossed the creek about a mile upstream and have
nothing to do with this fill. Possibly washing down stream during the 1996 floods. But I could be wrong. Photos: March, 2006
|One of the biggest mysteries about the Hunt Creek trestle site is this cable that came out of the woods and went straight into the side of the east fill. I suspect that
the cable was attached to a tree or something on one end and then perhaps the remains of the trestle on the other end, buried under the fill to hold it up as they
filled it in. But I'm really not sure. On future trips we will investigate this mystery a little further. Photos: March, 2006
|Getting to the site was not particularly easy, since the area is very overgrown. The grade were pretty difficult to trace. The white lines in this photo near the east
fill indicate the approximate location of the original grade. Photos: March, 2006
|Access to the old trestle/fill site is from this old rock quarry. After the railroad crossed Hunt Creek, it headed north for a short distance on the east bank of Hunt
Creek before turning south again and heading up Nicolai Mountain. Photos: March, 2006
|These photos show the railroad grade between the Hunt Creek trestles and the first switch/camp. Now a fairly well used logging/access road. The photos are of the
truck facing north as if it were heading from the woods to Bradwood, going downhill. Photos: March, 2006
|Switchback No. 1 and major logging spur
|This was a major site of the Bradley-Woodard operations and included a water tower, log boom, and possibly a logging camp. Today a few
remains still exist to hint at its former glory. At this site, approximately milepost 7.5 on the logging railroad mineline, a several mile long spur
headed west into the woods. This spur cut across a long slope and allowed for major logging above and below the railroad. Several
trestles were built along this spur as well. Unlike many other logging railroad spurs, this one was never converted into a road, although
heavily used by hunters and dirt bikes, the grade is largely original. Unfortunately, a logging operation in early 2006 wiped out nearly any hint
of the grade and its remains after we first visited this site in mid 2005.
|While a major logging road exists nearby, built over the old Bradley-Woodard mainline, the site of the 1st switchback is largely hidden, just beyond the bushes. In
the left photo, we're looking east at the remains of the swtichback. The mainline is left out of view, now a logging road. The switchback is the left road in this
picture, barely visible. The right road, sort of visible, was probably a short storage track spur. This area was logged a few years ago and many artifacts that existed
here were disturbed and destroyed. A few still remain, under the bulldozed dirt and debris from the logging. Photos: February, 2006
|When we arrived, we found this brand newly constructed logging road built through what had been a relatively untouched railroad grade. The red fire truck, left
behind by the loggers, marked where the old road ended and the brand new muddy logging road began. Fearing everything was destroyed, we were happy to find
the road diverted to the north away from the rest of the grade and only destroyed a few hundred yards. And thankfully at least a few of the important artifacts that
existed here remained. A few months later the mud would be covered by gravel and the diverting road closed. Photos: September, 2005
|Believe it or not, this view is of the exact same area as the three photos above, taken about 6 months later, after recent logging completely devastated
the area and most of the historical artifacts located here. Photos: March, 2006
|More pictures of the boom taken a few months later when I returned to the site. Photos: February, 2006
|Photo of the same boom taken about 6 months later after a recent logging operation in the area. The remains of the boom has survived, but just barely.
Photos: March, 2006
|Lloyd Biddlecome shared these photos of items that he found back in May, 2005. Unfortunately, I was not able to locate these items when I visited the site, but
that doesn't mean I just didn't miss them. The left photo shows what appears to be the down pipe for a locomotive water tank. This would be the pipe that was
pulled down and used to fill the tenders. It might appear to be in too good of shape to be that old, but I've visited another confirmed water tank site and found the
remaining pipe to be in just as good as shape, despite being 70-80 years old. Also note that it was riveted together. The second picture shows what appears to be
metal bands that were likely used to hold a water tank together. USGS maps clearly indicate that a water tank did exist here and probably existed for a number of
years after the line was abandoned. It appears it was torn down for unknown reasons in the 1940s or 50s sometime after a new logging truck road was built into the
area. The right photo shows a brake shoe that Lloyd found along the old grade. I also found a brake shoe, but it appears to be a different shape. See below for
my brake shoe photos. Photos courtesy of Lloyd Biddlecome, May, 2005
|Photos taken after a logging operation went through the area sometime in early 2006. From left to right, a photo of a broken rail joiner, pieces of 1-2" pipe that
was presumably used in conjunction with the water tower in the area, three photos of what's left of water tower bands that got tangled up and destroyed in logging
slash, and finally a mystery piece of rotted wood with old nails pounded into it. Perhaps an old piece of the water tower? Photos: March, 2006
|Photos of the remains of the water tower. This is the elbow pipe that hung under the water tower and connected the large pipe that used to fill the locomotive
water tanks. This historic artifact was found in the middle of a logging slash pile and it's original location was lost or destroyed during the logging operation.
Compared these photos to photos of the Kerry water tank remains and you can see that they are very similar, except the Kerry water tank pipe-valve was more intact.
Photos: March, 2006
|This burnt stump hints at a fire that apparently came through this area at one point. Whether it predated or postdated the Bradley-Woodard Railroad is not clear,
however. Photos: March, 2006
|What is interesting about this picture is that is shows my truck parked on a brand new logging grade that built in the area over the old railbed. For decades, the
railbed was nothing more than a dirt trail through here, but the new rocked road reminds me of a ballasted grade and makes the area look just like it probably did
back in the railroad days, minus only the ties and rail. Photos: March, 2006
|As we hiked down the trail, we quickly came upon a steep downward section. Knowing that a trestle had to exist nearby we walked into the brush and stumbled
upon this trestle site. It was very rotted and collapsed, but what struck me most, was how the upper decking and ties appeared to have been left behind. I've visited
many abandoned trestles both standing and collapsed and one common theme is that only the bents remain. The top deck and ties are usually long gone.
Photos: September, 2005
|As we hiked down the grade, we didn't find much in the way of artifacts, but the grade itself was fairly interesting. It appeared to be frequently used by ATV riders,
so the vegetation was kept at bay. We noted several spots that appeared be to landings where logs was either lowered to are dragged up to the grade, then loaded
onto log cars. Photos: September, 2005
|We noted a number of abandoned cable along the grade or sometimes in the middle of the grade. We also noted some fairly large tree stumps. That's me
standing next to one, and I'm standing right next it. It's that big. Photos: September, 2005
|We found this brake shoe on the grade. At first I assumed it was the same one that Lloyd found earlier this year and then left behind, but after examining the photo
of his find, I suspect this is a different one. This appears to have belonged to a log car. Photos: September, 2005
|Switchback No. 2 (upper switchback)
|This is looking north, down hill, but the location is just above the 1st switchback. The first switchback is located just around the corner. Here, the mainline was
converted into a major logging road sometime after the late 1940s. Photos: February, 2006
|All of these photos were taken while pointing north down hill, but show the railroad grade as it progressed up hill between the 1st and 2nd switchbacks. Here the
grade averaged around 7.3 percent. Not very noticeable in the truck, but definitely noticed by the train crews as they either strained to get the train up the hill or
very carefully brought it downhill making sure it didn't run away. Photos: February, 2006
|The upper switchback. The first photo is looking south up a the switchback site. The second photos is looking north down the road from the swtichback site. The
third photo is looking down the east leg of the switchback. Today this is little more than a logging road intersection. Photos: February, 2006
|Copyright © 2005, 2006 Brian McCamish, All Rights Reserved
Note about the photos on this site:
Most photos were taken by me, except for those that are otherwise indicated. I usually allow people to use my photos for personal use or
websites. Simply Email me. I may not have authority to grant permission regarding some photos that were only loaned to me by others
specifically for this website. Every effort has been made not to include other's photos without the proper permission and credits, however, if
you see any photos which belong to you and that I don't have permission to use, I apologize. If you send me an Email, I will remove the
photos immediately or give proper credit, which ever you wish.
|The remains of a very long log boom discarded along side what was the railroad tracks, can still be seen today, some 66 or more years after was abandoned.
According to 1947 maps, an incline existed here as well. The boom likely used to load logs onto railroad cars. Photos: September, 2005
|This is currently a 3 part Article
Part 1....History of the Bradley-Woodard Logging Company & Historical photos
Part 2....The abandoned railroad grades
Part 3....The Abandoned Shay remains & loco roster
|Oregon Timber & Logging Co. Nicolai Ridge spur
|Sometime between around early 1900s, the Oregon Timber & Logging Co. line from the twin Hunt Creek trestles, extended east towards
Nicolai ridge, where it then hung off of the cliffs, heading directly south as largely a ledge railroad along the steep cliffs of Nicolai Ridge.
For several miles the logging RR head south before eventually switch backing and splitting into several spurs. This line was extensively
used by the Oregon Timber & Lumber Co. into the late 1920s before being abandoned. When Bradley-Woodard took over, it doesn't appear
they used the Nicolai Ridge line, instead, cutting a new line south from the twin Hunt creek trestles that went up Nicolai Mountain.
Matt Wolford explored this grade first. Frank Calia and myself then explored it a few months later in August, 2006.
|Looking down on the Oregon Timber & Lumber Co. grade from near the summit of Nicolai Mountain.
Photos: August, 2006
|We found this along the old grade. It appears to be the remains of a steam donkey engine smoke stack. Smoke stack and spark arrestors were commonly left
behind by scrappers as the thin metal wasn't worth much.
Photos: August, 2006
|Photos of several miles of the Oregon Timber & Lumber Co. grade, with the outlines of the approximate location of where the track used to exist.
This spur was abandoned in 1928 and hasn't been used since. Photos: August, 2006
|Remains found along the grade...from left to right...
2 pictures of rail joiners we found, the remains of a bucket, a mysterious piece of metal, a rod stuck in a tree, probably part of a rail car that the tree grew around
and picked up off the ground over the years and finally a piece of cable.
Photos: August, 2006
|More remains found along the grade....from left to right....
2 pictures of a mystery metal remains. Possibly a tank of some kind, although the metal was pretty thin. A bucket (found on the ground, we hung on the tree for
the photo), a burned out stump with springboard holes dating from the 1920s or earlier, and several plank boards found dating from the 1920s, but unknown what it
was used for. Photos: August, 2006
|The most interesting find along the grade (so far) has been a number of broken rails several miles from the nearest access point. Matt Wolford first found these. It
would appear some kind of wreck occured here and the broken rail was tossed aside and then left when the good rail was picked up after the line was abandoned.
What makes these pieces of rail so interesting is the manufacture date stamped on it...1881. This rail was obviously 2nd hand to the loggers that used it, probably
laying it here around the early 1900s, some 20-30 years after it was first made.
Photos: August, 2006
|Continue on to Part 3, The abandoned Shay parts & loco roster
Return to Part 1, History of the Bradley-Woodard & Oregon Timber & Lumber Co.
|Matt Wolford's Trestlewalker website also has many interesting photos of the Oregon Timber & Logging Co. spur on
|Matt Wolford explored this grade earlier in the year and was able to get further than we did. Check out his photo page,
which includes a few more artifacts including a rare logging railroad switch frog.