Fruit Growers Supply Co.

Logging Camps

 
 

Fruit Growers had 22 logging camps before railroad logging was eliminated in the mid-1930’s. Many of the railroads were removed by the CCC’s and converted into logging roads which still exist in the Siskiyous.

 

Around 1912/13 after Fruit Growers established the mill at the Hilt town site, they started working on the railroads starting in a northwesterly direction, crossing west of Hilt. Northwest of Hilt about two miles, they change the course of the railroad and took around the side of the mountain facing Hilt, out up almost to what they call the Four Corners now, because the switch back is about a mile or so before you get to Four Corners. Then they changed the direction of the railroad and ran it in a southwesterly direction over the summit and around the head of Hungry Creek, clear out and across Nickleweight, almost over to the head of Lumgrey Creek.


Up to around 1924-1925 the railroad was primarily built by hand. They had a crew of Swedes, about 30 Scandinavians and they did the work by hand with wheelbarrows and dump carts. There were 20 trestles on the whole road and there only several that were built straight, the rest were built on a curve. Some of these were as high as 60 feet.


Then in 1920, Fruit Growers came back and established a camp at the head of Nickleweight.  From there they came back and build a road at the head of Camp 15, just before they got to Four Corners. Then they build the railroad down the head of North Hungary, down the North Hungary, on the ridge between North Hungary and Grouse Creek, and then they built Camps 16 and 17 down in there.  Then they came back to Four Corners and ran the railroad in easterly direction towards Colestine and build Camps 18 and 19 out there.  Again they came back to Four Corners and build Camp 20 and during this time they extended the railroad in a westerly direction across Grouse Creek and down the ridge northwest of Grouse Creek, where they built Camp 21. The railroad then extended almost to Cow Creek or Beaver Creek whichever name you want to call it.


From there they came back close to where they had crossed Grouse Creek and then they took the railroad in a northwesterly direction over to the end of Long John and that’s where Camp 22 was. That was one of the biggest logging camps. From there they logged clear around into the head of Red Mountain Creek, and the railroad went way up the Red Mountain Creek. That’s when Fruit Growers figured they couldn’t afford to maintain a railroad with that much trackage and they would have to go clear across the head of Cow Creek to get into all their timber. So in 1933 for growers ran a double shift in the hilt and cleaned up all the timber they could reach with their railroad. In 1934 they pulled the steel up and that was the end of the railroad near Hilt. (from memories from  Frank Graves)