Last Update:  June 5, 2008
Fishhawk Lake Area
These abandoned railroad flatcars were located in a gravel pit north of Fishhawk lake.  Not directly related to the Kerry Line, they were likely used as bridges for
log trucks until the bridge sites were either abandoned or replaced with something more substantial like concrete.
Photo:  Nov, 2005
Located about 1 mile northeast of Fishhawk Lake is this exposed area of Kerry Railroad grade above the local road.   Logging has obviously taken place a while
ago to expose the grade cut into the side of the hill.  This section of grade was about 1 mile long before it was cut off by a local farm at the south end and
connected to a logging road that was built over the grade at the north end.
Photo:  Nov, 2005
It was starting to get to dark to explore much when I shot these photos.   The grade just northeast of Fishhawk Lake follows the local road on the south side on a
built up fill.   The photos on the left show the top of the fill and how someone had gone to the effort to cut the branches and sort of keep it open.  The photo on
the right show a  culvert that might have been crossed by a short trestle back in the Kerry days.
Photo:  Nov, 2005
Less than 4 miles west of Birkenfeld is the private community of Fishhawk Lake.   This was once the location of the Thompson Siding on the railroad, but the lake
did not exist back then.    Apparently in the 1960s, a 39 foot tall by 395 foot wide earth filled dam was built here to create Fishhawk Lake for recreational purposes
and the land was developed with modern homes into a nice isolated community.  Under the water is about 1 mile of Kerry Line grade and the site of Thompson
Siding, which was where railroad set up logging trains to tackle the grade up to the tunnel, many times using 2 or 3 locomotives to pull one train.  
Photo:  Nov, 2005
Part 3 of 8  Tunnel to Fishhawk Lake
Copyright © 2004-2008 Brian McCamish,  All Rights Reserved

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Continue to Part 4,
Fishhawk Lake to Neverstill

Or click here to return to the main page & menu of this Kerry Railroad Article
Much of the Kerry Railroad between the log dump and the tunnel is on private timber land and therefore not easily accessible.
However this spur was on public Oregon State Forest land and was generally open to the public.    A current logging operation did have one nearby area
gated off.     The logging road we drove in on from Westport was well graded and easily travelable.    The abandoned spur we explored was part of a spur
that connected the Kerry Mainline near Horseshoe Camp to what is today Porter Ridge Road, built over an old logging RR grade.   
We stopped near Porter
Ridge Road and Horseshoe Camp Road.  There, the old spur was barely visible through the logging slash.  The area was logged a few years ago and nearby more
logging took place just a few months earlier.
Feb, 2006
Not far down the old grade, we found this artifact.  It looked like old cooking pot.  Very likely from the original logging days of the mid to late 1930s.
Perhaps a temporary camp existed nearby.  This was a good distance from the main camp at Horseshoe and relatively flat ground existed nearby.  
Unfortunately, the logging slash and underbrush made it difficult to explore around for more remains.
Feb, 2006
We came to the first trestle on grade.  Today, not a lot remains of the old wood trestle.   It's long since collasped.  The rotting timbers hard to discern from the
logging slash that surrounds the area.   Only clues to the former trestle were the iron and steel remains sticking out of some of the timbers.
Feb, 2006
In the far left photo looking across the gully from the other side of the same trestle site.   At the bottom of the trestle, under the timbers, near the creek, Frank found
this old bottle.   It appears to be a wiskey bottle of some type.   Likely dating to the Kerry Railroad days.  How did it get here?   Was it thrown off of the trestle by a
passing logging or crew train?   It's a good bet.   The bottle appears to be  machined made, which likely dates it after prohibition in 1933.    However, it lacks the
"do not reuse" imprint on the bottle, which likely predates before 1935.    That would be consistent with time period when this spur was cut and used.
Feb, 2006
Continuing down the spur, it was rough going.   The slash from recent logging made it a difficult hike.  If not for the many cuts along the grade, it might
have been hard to follow.
Feb, 2006
One thing we consistently found along the grade was very old rotting stumps with fire damage.  When the fire occured is a mystery, but we know a number of fires
occured in the 1930s and it's very likely at least a local fire came through this area, probably after it was logged.  It might explain was so little remains of the
trestles in this area.  In the far right photo some cable remains from the Kerry Railroad days.
Feb, 2006
This interesting find was a set of well rusted rail joiners.   Probably found by the loggers who came through here a few years and then set aside on top of the
logging slash.   Because of the slash, who knows what remains exist under the downed trees and debris.  Rail joiners, along with spikes and an occasional piece of
rail were commonly left behind when the scrappers would tear up a logging spur.   Probably set aside and simply forgotten as the scrapping crew works it's way
back down the line.
Feb, 2006
More cuts guilded down the old spur.   We really wished we had hiked this a few years earlier before the recent logging and slash
buried everything.
Feb, 2006
Several deer were in the area.  The strange thing was two of them actually started walking towards me, even though I was in plain view.
A few dozen yards away, then continued on past me.
Feb, 2006
In this area, the grade was easy to follow as it was built into the hillside.  To the right it was straight down several hundred feet.   One curiosity of note that we
found was the remains of a insulator.  Power pole?  Not likely, but it could have been to for a telegraph or telephone.   Interesting, since this was only a logging
spur.   My guess is that a more permanent camp existed up by where the cook pot was found.
Feb, 2006
One final deep cut, another burnt out log, and the end of the spur, where a trestle used to exist, but remains were difficult to find.
Even though we only hiked barely a mile, it took use several hours.   We decided to cut across county and head for a logging road to get back to the trucks.
Feb, 2006
After cutting across yet more slash we finally came to Kerry Road.  A logging road today that also used to be a logging spur back in the Kerry days.   However,
today, the road is gated off due to current logging.   After hiking past the gate, we hiked another mile or so back to the trucks.  That was it for us today.
But we'll definitely be back in the next few months to explore other logging spurs in the area.
Feb, 2006
Various photos of spurs on the northwest section of the above map.
2005/2006 photos
Map of this section of railroad grades covered on this page.
Same area as the above photos.  This is actually a switch back.  Photo is taken from the upper switchback looking down at the lower switchback going through a
cut. 2005/2006 photos
Photos from the same logging spurs show several old barrels, a rusted pipe, a burnt stump from the Kerry days with a spring board cut and a fallen burnt snag likely
from the Kerry days, across one of the spurs.   2005/2006 photos
These photos show more artifacts, which include oil containers, various spikes, an old shovel, pan and a rail joiner.  2005/2006 photos
Although difficult to discern in the photos, this is a collapsed trestle site.   The remains of the trestle are mostly overgrown, but the bent trestle spikes are a dead
giveaway.  2005/2006 photos
These are all stumps from the railroad logging days.  Note the spring board cuts and evidence of fires that later came through and likely destroyed most of the
trestles and any remains of the railroad in this area.   2005/2006 photos
This is the abandoned brake rigging of a log car.   Possibly an accident occured here and these remains were left behind, although not much else was found in
the immediate area.    2005/2006 photos
A somewhat common find for us, are spark arrestors like this one.   Most likely belonging to donkey.  They were often left behind when donkeys were scrapped on
site or removed during the winter months and then lost and not moved with the donkey.  2005/2006 photos
More artifacts, including trestle spikes and several abandoned rail joiners.   2005/2006 photos