|Last Update: May 11, 2008
|Special Thanks to Barbara Rowe and Bruce Kerry Rowe, Kerry family descendants of Albert S Kerry, who
supplied much information for this article.
|Albert Sperry Kerry Sr.
The original owner and builder
of the famous Kerry Railroad.
This photo taken around the time
period the railroad was constructed.
Photo courtesy of Eric Erickson
|The Columbia & Nehalem River Railroad, most commonly known as the Kerry Line, was one of the most famous early
20th century logging railroads in the Northwest.
What distinguishes the Kerry line from most of the hundreds of other logging railroads that operated from the late 1800s through the 1930s
in Oregon and the Pacific Northwest, was the sheer number of logs that were hauled from the woods between 1915 and 1938…over 3
billion, 104 million board feet of timber.
Another thing that distinguishes the Kerry line from most other logging railroads was its 1875 foot long tunnel. It was one of the longest of
the few logging railroad tunnels that ever existed in the Western U.S. and Canada. And one of only three logging railroad tunnels in
Northwest Oregon. The other two are the Westport Tunnel and the Portland & Southwestern Tunnel. In addition to the Deep River logging
tunnel in Southwest Washington, two Spruce Production Division tunnels near Lake Crescent, Washington and the two
Marble Creek logging railroad tunnels in Idaho.
Albert S Kerry’s venture into the logging and lumber industry dates as far back as the 1890s and spanned the state of Washington and the
Canadian Yukon Territory. Kerry’s Oregon venture, the subject of this article, dates as far back as 1912, when Albert S. Kerry apparently
united with the Wright Blodgett Company, the Blodgett Company, Limited and the Oregon-Washington Timber Company to build a new
railroad from the Columbia River into the Nehalem Valley. Significant building of the railroad towards the Nehalem valley began in
approximately 1912, when some 6000 acres of A.S. Kerry timber holdings had burned. To salvage the dead trees, they have to be logged
within three years. Construction of the railroad began on February 17, 1913 at a point near the Columbia River, called Kerry Island, a little
more than 1 mile east of the town of Westport, Oregon. By June, 1914, 8 miles had been completed. A year later, the mileage was 14. By
July 1, 1915, the first train ran over the line.
By July 16, 1916, the initial mainline of the new Columbia & Nehalem River railroad was completed with 24 miles of track laid. By the end of
the year, the line would reach 27 miles. This route would take the line from nearly sea level to straight up the North Oregon Coast Mountain
Range, an elevation over 1100 feet, and into the Nehalem River Valley. It was nearly all completed by labor using hand made carts, pulled
by mules over 20lb steel rails. At the summit, the line passed through one of the few logging railroad tunnels ever to be built. Logging
railroads, with their temporary nature almost never invested in tunnels.
The line begins at the log boom at Kerry Island, which consisted of about three miles of water frontage along the Columbia River slough. A
log dump trestle approximately 1 mile long was built, with as many as 6 separate log dumps. A separate spur left the log dump and
connected with the Spokane Portland & Seattle RR, which ran past the Kerry log dump. A passenger station called Kerry was located there.
There was also a small turn table located there to turn the passenger carrying Jitneys. Logs were not normally shipped from the Kerry Line
to the SP&S, but freight and passengers were. Soon after leaving the log dump towards the woods, the Kerry line passed over the SP&S's
Astoria Division. The line also passed over a newly constructed dirt road called the Columbia River Highway that was finished in 1915.
(Today’s Hwy 30) After crossing the first trestle over the new highway, the line turned directly east, past a row of houses where managers of
the line, including AS Kerry himself, lived.
Between the log dump at Kerry Island and the tunnel, several very high trestles had to be built using long pilings that were hard to source.
Several trestles were well over 100 feet tall. Some as high as 150 feet tall.
The tunnel caused extensive challenges for A.S. Kerry and his railroad. The initial survey did not require that a lengthy tunnel be built, but
after running into a spring and quicksand that would have proven havoc to the line, the decision was made to relocate the line higher up the
hill. That necessitated an 1875 foot long tunnel. However, after digging about 200 feet in, the same spring was encountered. But by this
time, there was no turning back. It was decided to finish building the tunnel and solve the water problems with engineering technology.
One suggestion was locating a freeze plant on the tunnel site that would keep the soft ground frozen and stable, but instead, engineers
settled on a complex system of pipes and drainage to keep the tunnel stable. The tunnel was long and had a rare S curve design to allow it
to align properly with the railroad at either end. It took about 18 months to build. When completed, A.S. Kerry was so happy that he gave a
large party and feast for all of his workers.
Unfortunately, engineers had failed to design an adequate drainage system and the tunnel would collapse just a few years later in 1918
when about 400 feet at the south end gave way. Ironically, just a few months earlier, the engineer who designed the tunnel gave a proud
speech about his accomplishment. The line was shut down for several months as new engineers had to completely redesign the drainage
system and the collapsed section was daylighted. Numerous safety devises were also added, including tale tells, switching signals and a
unique fire barrier. Steel doors were hung at each end over the portals by soft steel chains. In the event of a forest fire, the steel chains were
designed to melt, causing the doors to close off the tunnel portals and prevent the fire from reaching the timber supports inside the tunnel.
At the very least, it would hopefully starve any fire that reached inside the tunnel of oxygen and put it out. It is said that Kerry was able to
procure $50,000 in government subsidy to make the expensive repairs. By this time, the line's economic importance the surrounding
community was extremely clear.
It’s not surprising that Kerry went to great lengths to protect his tunnel. By that time, the line was the main thoroughfare for numerous logging
operations in the North Oregon Coast range and the tunnel was the main potential bottleneck if anything happened. Dozens of active
logging operations would have come to a screeching halt if the tunnel was blocked.
Not many years later part of the tunnel again collapsed, but this time not by accident, by sabotage. The Wobblies began making an
appearance on the Kerry line and gave some headaches for a few years, threatening to cause major accidents on the Kerry Line. One of
which was blowing shut one end of the tunnel. Using rented SP&S equipment, the tunnel was cleared shortly thereafter.
The Kerry Line was the main lifeline for several remote communities, such as Birkenfeld and Neverstill, deep in the Nehalem Valley, isolated
due to the poor nature of the wagon roads at that time. The roads into the area, were barely traversable in summer, with the fine deep dust
and impossible in winter with the snow and mud. The line also served as many as seven major logging camps at any one time. Over the
years, Kerry operated camps such as Bango, David Creek, Sunnyside, Nehalem Camp, Thompson Siding, Neverstill and Buster Camp.
The names of logging companies that connected to and built spurs off the Kerry Line included the likes of Porter-Carstens, Elwood Logging
Co., Westport Logging Co., Hammond Lumber Co., La De Logging Co., Kiernan-Flora-Noyce-Hollard Logging Co. and Chaney-Christenson
Jitneys, motor cars with flanged wheels, were used to haul freight and passengers from Kerry Station on the SP&S to and from these remote
communities and the Kerry logging camps. Runs were made as often as twice a day, 7 days per week, and they were almost always full as
they were nearly the only mode of transportation into an entire region of the state.
The site of Thompson siding is now under Fishhawk lake, but when in use it was where loaded log trains were built for the grade up the
mountain to the tunnel and back down to the log dump. Trains consisting of two or more locomotives double or triple heading were very
At Birkenfeld, a still existing small community that dates from the late 1800s, a spur line was constructed off of the Kerry Mainline that headed
east for several miles to Kerry's Nehalem Logging Camp, near Mist.
At Neverstill, just a few miles south of Birkenfeld, a long two stall engine and machine shop and facilities were built at approximately
milepost 21 from the log dump. The town served as a repair facilities for both cars and engines along the line for many years. It operated
both day and night and at one point even served the Western Cooperage Logging Railroad out of Olney, which the Kerry Line connected too
at Buster Camp and who’s logs they also hauled out to Kerry Island. The name came from Kerry himself after he noticed how the railroad
facilities was always bustling and was "never still". A car repair facilitiy, a post office and a two story hospital complete with both doctors and
nurses were built there.
Buster Camp, some 31 rail miles south of Kerry Island, was the furthest southern “permanent” logging camp. The line reached that point in
approximately 1920-22. From there the line eventually extended another 18 miles and numerous spurs branched out. The Camp was in a
remote area, but was not without its conveniences, including a pool hall and motion picture facility. Despite its remoteness, Buster Camp
had its unfortunately share of criminal activity. On April 20, 1930 a lone bandit carrying a revolver walked into the pool hall and attempted to
rob it. Thinking it was a joke, the owner and a friend didn’t respond to the robber until they were both shot and wounded. The bandit
disappeared into the woods never to be seen again. The local Sheriff didn’t bother to attempt to chase the bandit over the vast mountainous
terrain and to this day, it’s not known who he was or what ever became of him.
When first opened in 1916, the line served at least 7 different logging companies. But by the time operations had ended as many as 18
different logging companies hauled timber over the line.
Major train wrecks were not common, but there were some notable close calls. One incident occurred in 1922. Water damned up in the
canyon above bridge number 5, which was 75 feet high. When it let go, it washed away several bents. As a logging train with 12 loads of
logs approached on the 2 percent down grade to the log dump, the crew didn't notice the missing bents, but when the engineer approached
the far end of the trestle, he felt a dip in the bridge. Not sure was going on, he opened up the throttle. Upon clearing the trestle, he found
that three bents had washed away and only the stringers and 60lb rail were carrying the load. A nearly impossible feat. The bridge was
simply jacked up and repaired and served approximately another 16 years.
Another incident occurred near Buster Camp, when a fire had broken out, threatening a very high and expensive trestle. A locomotive and
water car located about 10 miles away was called to assist while on its way, approached a burning trestle. As the locomotive slowly
crossed, the fireman began to spray water down on the trestle, when he noticed that it was more on fire than they thought. He signaled to the
engineer to open up the throttle, which he did. As soon as they cleared, the trestle collapsed.
The railroad was most active between 1923 and 1929, and was operated almost daily with a number of trains and even operated day and
night to keep up with the huge number of logs being shipped. While the grade up to the tunnel and down the other side was remarkably
good, 2 percent or less, for a logging railroad, often times, trains would have be pulled by two or three steam engines tied together. The
Kerry Timber Company operated as many as 14 engines, 9 of which were rod engines commonly used on the mainline. Total locomotives
including independent operators and loggers on the line made the number as high 32 locomotives operating at one time. Of the geared
locomotives, most were Climax or Shays. Skeleton log trucks with air connections were used and most of the logs were cut in 64 foot
Kerry sold his railroad on September 11, 1925. Seven days prior, the Knappton Mill Company and Peninsula Lumber Company joined to
purchase C&NR railroad. The new operation would be called the Knapp-Peninsula Timber Company, or more commonly, the K-P Timber
Company, although the railroad would forever still be known as the Kerry Line and the Columbia & Nehalem River Railroad name was still
The Western Cooperage Logging company operated out of Olney starting in 1910 on their new railroad they called the Astoria Southern
Railway. That line was eventually constructed to Jewell. Initially, logs were hauled to the log dump at Olney, but at some point, the line was
connected to the Kerry Railroad at Buster Camp. For this reason, the Kerry Railroad is sometimes referred too as reaching as far as
Astoria. The Tidewater Company purchased the Western Cooperage Co. in 1923 and continued to operate and expand logging operations
until 1943. Presumably, Tidewater ceased using the Kerry Neverstill shops when they purchased Western Cooperage as they had own
shops on Olney.
The B-W Logging Company, based out of Jewell, and apparently a subsidiary of the Brix Timber Co, operated a fairly extensive logging
operation starting in 1926, but used the Kerry Line to haul it’s timber out to the Columbia River. Presumably, the B-W used the same
trackage that Western Cooperage had developed to connect to Buster Camp and eventually to Kerry Island. That would come to an end in
1930, less than a year after Tidewater bought them out too and ceased using the Kerry Line, instead hauling its logs to its own dump at
Olney. Here's a picture of one their sn-3005 Shay and their Alco-Brooks cn-65497 courtesy of Steam in the Woods.
The loss of those sources of timber haulage to another log dump is very evident when looking at the number of board feet hauled out per
year. Not the peak year, but close, was 1928, when 217,807,982 feet were hauled out over the Kerry Line. By 1930, the haulage had
decreased by three quarters to 56 million. Obviously, the B-W was a significant source of timber for the railroad. Within a few years, the
haulage decrease yet again by half to 23 million and remained roughly at that level for the balance of the line’s operation during the
Depression through 1938.
The southern logging operations of the Kerry and later K-P Timber operations south of Buster Camp were fairly close to the northern
operations of the Oregon-American Company. This led to some contention, especially in 1928 when two fires broke out causing damage to
both companys property. On August 31, 1928 a fire broke out of control on K-P Timber lands and quickly spread to Oregon-American
property destroying 4 million board feet of O-A Timber. While one K-P crew was fighting the fire, there were accusations that another
continued to log for 2-3 hours after the fire broke out. A few weeks later, on September 18, fire broke out on the O-A property and spread to
K-P Timber property. This lead to a legal dispute with the O-A going as far as hiring Pinkerton to spy on the K-P Timber and gather
information for a possible future legal battle.
One major fire would cause extensive damage to the K-P logging operation in 1932. It began on September 12, 1932 when the Tideport
Logging company set fire to burn slashing but got out of control. On September 19th that year, the K-P Timber company began to burn
about 3000 acres of years worth of accumulated slash as ordered by the Fire Protection Association. After burning in damp conditions for
about a week, it too got out of control and then joined with the Tideport fire. While much of the fire occurred over already logs lands, it
destroyed 23 of the 35 Kerry Line trestles. 7 on the mainline and 16 on the spurs south of Buster Camp. Logging operations were halted
for the balanced of 1932 and many of the spurs, now cut off by burned trestles were abandoned. Much logging equipment was destroyed
and I tend to wonder what might have been left behind that might still be there today.
It’s sometimes thought that this fire ended all logging operations and is what shut down the Kerry Line. Actually the railroad operated for
another 5 years, although sometime between 1933 and 1938, all of the trackage and logging operations south of Horseshoe Camp, 12
miles south of Kerry Island were abandoned.
The last part of the railroad to be used was the first 12 miles between Kerry Island and Horseshoe Camp, located several miles south of the
tunnel. The Blodgett Company logged this area for a number of years and would be the last to send logs over the Kerry Line.
By July 1938, it was over. The last of 3,103,498,750 board feet of logs were hauled to the Kerry log dump. The Columbia & Nehalem River
Railroad was officially abandoned when the last 12 miles of steel was finally pulled up. By 1939, the last resident of the huge log dump
complex had left.
Over the years, the remains of the line fell into decay and disrepair. The log dump at Kerry Island is little more than a few pilings sticking out
of the water today. However, the giant trestle that once crossed the SP&S and what is now Hwy 30 is not completely gone. Instead, a few
bents still remain and can be viewed from the highway as a monument to one of the largest logging operations in Oregon history. James
Backman reported that he lived in the area in the 1950 and noted about 6 to 8 abandoned houses on the hill still existed overlooking the log
dump. He said that the Olsen Creek railroad bridge and at least part of Bridge number 2 was still standing as of 1956. The log dump also
still existed at that time.
The shops at Neverstill survived for many years, and was used for storage by it's last owner, E.T. "Boone" Johnston, but by the 1960s had
fallen into serious disrepair. By the 1970s, it was largely abandoned and finally succumbed in the winter of 1983. However, the house and
other buildings that still exist as an occupied farm, apparently were part of the railroad, with the farmhouse being the line's headquarters for
a period of time. Most of the trestles that didn’t burn in the fires over the years, collapsed on their own after rotting away, but several bents do
still survive today. Several sections of the grade, particularly between Kerry and the tunnel, became part of a network of logging roads that
were constructed when logging resumed in the area decades later. A little more than a mile of the grade, including one of the logging
camps, went under water when a 35’ tall and 395’ long private earth dam was built on Fishhawk creek about 1 mile west of Birkenfeld, in the
1960s, to create a recreational private lake. However, there are many sections of grade that were never turned into roads and remain as
they did when abandoned in the early to late 1930s, still waiting to be explored. South of Neverstill, most of the grade was converted into a
logging road years later, although it's current condition is not yet known.
The tunnel, which is the subject of most people's curiosity, has long since collapsed. When abandoned, the complex system of drainage
was no longer maintained and it was inevitable that the quicksand would take its toll. Not too many years after being abandoned, the tunnel
entrances were blown shut to keep people from getting trapped inside. Today, the interior of the tunnel has almost completely collapsed as
evident by a very clear long depression in the hillside between the two portals. The grade within a mile or so of the tunnel is original and
overgrown, apparently never converted to a road. For this reason, an interesting artifact still remains at the south portal, a collapsed water
tower, valve and piping.
Some of the land which the Kerry Line ran though is now owned by the Evenson Logging Company, based out of Clatskanie, Oregon. Other
sections are managed by the Oregon State University Forestry department. The former not withstanding, the latter takes historical sites very
seriously, and had made a concerted effort to not let any logging operations interfere with any potential historical sites. It is hoped that the
remains of the Kerry Line will someday be categorized and officially designated a significant historical site and protected as such. Right
now, only the tunnel remains is an official historical site.
One final tidbit about the Kerry Railroad pertains to one of its locomotive engineers, Joe Lewis. Mr. Lewis originally worked for the Illinois
Central Railroad at the turn of the century, having been hired in 1898. On April 29, 1900, Lewis was supposed to run train 638, but had fallen
ill. A young engineer took over for Mr. Lewis on his run that night. In an attempt to make up for lost time, the young engineer ran at high
speed to his next stop, not realizing that a freight train was his path and unable to get their entire train off of the mainline onto a siding. By the
time the young engineer realized he was about to hit the other train, it was too late. His fireman jumped off and survived, but the engineer
rode the train to his death, attempting to stop and warn other crew with his whistle. That engineer became a railroad legend.
His name was Casey Jones.
S.A. Edy was the Auditor of the Kerry Railroad from 1921 through 1938, apparently working for the new K-P Timber when it took over the line.
Much thanks to Mark Edy, S.A. Edy's grandson, who provided information for this article.
Albert S. Kerry died April 27, 1939 at the age of 72. By numerous accounts, he was a very generous man, to his loyal employees, family and
the communities in which he lived and did business in, particularly in the Seattle, Washington area.
This interesting article about life in a Shingle Mill, is somewhat related to the Kerry Railroad.
The following sources were used for this article, thanks to Barbara Rowe:
“Kerry Line is Through Work” The Timberman – June, 1938
The Kerry Line by Almon A Kerry - 1962
“Kerry Line Still Stirs Memories” Logger’s World – July, 1991
Other sources include Mark Edy, grandson of Kerry Auditor S.A. Edy, and the following:
Oregon American Lumber Company - 2003
Eric Erickson (who is planning a book on Kerry's Timber Co.)
and The Nehalem River Valley, Settling the Big Timberland by Stella Bellingham Satern - 2005
TOPO Maps with the grade plotted.
|Map of the Kerry Mainline as it relates to the Northwest corner of Oregon.
More Historical Photos Coming Soon
|This was taken around 1924 on
bridge # 8. See below for a picture
of what this looks like today.
Picture courtesy Jerry Davison
|Another picture showing a Kerry Timber crew and family
posing inside the cab of a Kerry Climax in the 1920s.
Picture is courtesy of Marc Reusser from his website:
Steam in the Woods.
|A drawing made in the 1940s of
part of the old railroad showing
the location of the tunnel and
some of the many trestles.
|This photos was taken somewhere
on the Kerry Line, possibly at one of
the logging camps and shows two
of several Climaxs that the Kerry
Timber Co employed.
Photo courtesy of Martin E Hansen
|The Kerry Timber Co and Columbia & Nehalem River Railroad engine house and machine shop at
Neverstill, Oregon. Neverstill was a busy town during the Kerry days, responsible for the
maintenance of dozens of locomotives and cars and other equipment between 1916 and the mid
1930s. The building survived as a storage shed for many decades before falling down in the
winter of 1983. These photos are courtesy of James Talback. Original photographer is Ellis
Lucia. Photo date is possibly the 1960s or 1970s.
|More notes & tidbits
|Here is one interesting email that a reader sent me last year detailing some of his explorations of the old abandoned Kerry line.
From Bob Y.
Hi Brian and thanks for the interesting web-site. I moved to Fishhawk lake in 1980 and was lured to exploring the rail line. My Friend Bill and I started from the lake
and walked every mile of it to the South face of the tunnel. along the line we found the split cedar fire line poles which as you explained were connected to the
steel entrance doors which would close in the event of fire. The wood insulate were still intact but we found only one insulator. At the side creek just below
Horseshoe camp we found remains of a water supply with piping and misc. hardware. Interestingly there was a woven wire fence that surrounded about 20 acres of
ground there. as we progressed up the grade we too saw the collapsed trestles but at the east end of the next to last bridge before the tunnel we found a piece of
metal resembling a gate. As I recall it looked to be forged of cast iron and was about 10 feet long 2 foot wide. Much to heavy to carry. When we got to the last
canyon before the tunnel we found a lake on the uphill side due to the wooden culvert collapse under the grade which eventually breached the grade and sluiced
the creek below for a mile or so. This we discovered at a later date. At the tunnel we saw the hardware you mentioned but also the wirebound wooden watermain
which led up the hill to the east to the remains of dam. We also explored the North side and by climbing on your belly up a small creek there are timber remains of
the opening there but it appears they dynamited the Hillside to close it off. If you like to explore there are trestles a little more intact by taking Porter Ridge road to
Horseshoe ridge road. Where that road crosses Fishhawk creek via a concrete bridge park and walk NE . That grade runs for miles and trestle still tie on them etc.
unless they logged there since. Thanks for info.
|Bob Jack forward this message ffrom a gentleman named Darrell
From 1945 to 1950 I lived on the Neverstill. We had a hired hand at the age of 70 to 75 Harvey Redmond who we called "Pop"
He told us a lot about the history of logging and the camps. Neverstill was the maintenance shop. The farm house was the headquarters, and up north of the
cleared land was the hospital. Two story. To the west was where the doctor and the nurses lived. The land in 1945 belonged to a Annie Sears. and Byron
Windslow. A contest had been held to name the Camp and a logger came up with Neverstill. The roundhouse was still standing while we lived there. We
tarpapered the roof so we could use it for storage. There was 199 acres of farmable land there. Most of the logging was from the hill sides down to the rail road.
and they used oxen. As Pop said they never used the word Timber when they fell trees. It was "up the hill" or "down the hill". If it went side ways very often they
were fired. The Clatskanie Paper archives has a good story on the "Kerry Line" It reported that the Kerry line entered the Nehalm Valley by the way of the Fish
Hawk. Buster Camp was the main camp and most trains left there to go up and through the tunnel. The Berg Family at the mouth of the Fishhawk also set up the
Fishhawk cemetery on their land. The Berg's still have the ledger for who and when people were buried. The owner of the Clastkanie paper sent me the stories of
the Kerry line. I had five years listening to Pop tell me about the logging and the land use
|Return to the Abandoned & Active Historical Railroads Page.
Return to my In Search of History Page.
Return to my main home page.
|Copyright © 2004-2008 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.
|Part 1 of 8 History of the Kerry Railroad
|Continue to Part 2,
Kerry Log Dump to the Kerry Tunnel
Or click here to return to the main page & menu of this Kerry Railroad Article
|Note about the maps:
These maps were painstakingly plotted over modern day USGS maps by the author. They are brand new and updated based on various
information, including our own personal surveys of the area. Other sources are 1930s USGS maps, 1930s hand drawn fire maps, and
other sources. Not all grades are shown on these maps due to lack of discovery or confirmation and to save space in some areas. In the
future more spurs may be added to these maps. The mainline Columbia & Nehalem River RR between the log dump and Camp Buster is
distinguished from the spurs with blue dots.
|Log dump to the tunnel. This is an older map that I had made up and still remains fairly accurate, so rather than start over, I'm including it, although it's a
little different format than the other maps, and shows most known trestle sites. Unfortunately, this is one large section of the Kerry Line is that one private
timber land and is not accessible to the public. Other than the south portal area of tunnel, which we hiked to, I have not visited any mainline or spurs on
this map, south of Highway 30. Hopefully, we can change that in the future.
Trains exited the tunnel and made the long windy run down to the log dump over numerous bridges, some were the highest on the line and nearly 200 feet
tall. The last 1/2 mile or so of the railroad, trains would pass several company residents, including one that is said to have been used by A.S. Kerry himself
and entered the vast log dump complex on the Westport Slough.
|We have spent an extensive amount of time exploring some of the grades on this section of the map. The northeast corner of the map, south to Buster Camp
are all privately owned and managed and gated off. The rest are on public state Forest lands, with the exception of some grades around Fishhawk Lake,
which are on private property. We believe the extensive network of grades on the northwest were logged off around 1933-1938 and were possibly last
logged by the Blogget Company. Its possible these were the last timber lands cut using the C&NR mainline, when the timber lands and railroad lines south
of Neverstill burned and were abandoned in 1933. Horseshoe Camp was most likely built after 1933 and operated until 1938.
Thompson Siding was likely operated from 1916-1933 and was where the log trains were built using multiple engines for the run up and over the hill and
through the tunnel to the log dump. This was a 24 hour operation during the busy years and the camp for this operation was located several miles south on
|As the mainline leaves Thompson Siding heading south, there were numerous spurs heading west into the hills, not shown, because their locations have
not been confirmed at this time. Just north of Birkenfeld a spur leaves the mainline heading east towards Mist. Only the stub is shown, because the exact
route of this spur is still in debate. It's not known who operated or logged this area, but several nearby roads carry the name Joe Flora, most likely of the
Carlton & Coast Railroad fame, who probably logged this area at one point as well as a sub contractor.
Neverstill was the base of operations for approximately 1916 until probably 1933. Here the company headquarters, an engine repair house and a hospital were
built. The company headquarters is now a farmhouse in the area, but the famous engine house fell down in the early 1980s. Many of these grades are
located on private property on this map.
|From Neverstill the lines continues south. Several spurs were built of the mainline south of Neverstill and logged by a company called Deep Creek
Logging. Not much known about them or their operation yet. Several pilings and partial trestles still exist along this section, however, the majority of this
section is on private timber land. But access is sometimes granted to the public during certain times of the year.
This map also shows the location of the Deep Creek Trestle. This major trestle would separate the Buster Camp area from Neverstill and is a major point of
mention the mainline.
|This maps show the southern most spurs, south of Camp Buster. These grades were among the last to be logged in the late 1920s and early 1930s, before
a fire wiped out access to most of this area in 1933. Today, most of these grades are on public state forest lands with some minor exceptions and are
accessible. Many were converted into logging roads over the years.
South of here are the Oregon-American Logging grades and because the two companies worked within several miles of each other as some points,
conflicts arose, including legal conflicts over fire damage and other issues.
|From the Deep Creek trestle to Buster Camp is area of operations for the Kerry Timber Company and other companies, especially during the early years.
Extensive networks of grades were built, not all of which are shown. Buster Camp was the largest camp on the railroad and was largely self supporting
for this vast operation, which was most active in the 1920s. The B&W built a spur from it's operations to Buster Camp and hauled a significant number of
logs to Buster, which were then shipped to the Kerry log dump. By 1930, the B&W was bought out by Tidewater and this interchange was abandoned as
Tidewater had its own dump at Onley near Astoria.
The majority of these grades on this map are on public state forest land and accessible, although some are easier to reach than others. A large percentage
of these grades were converted to logging roads, which make them easier to locate and reach.