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Foothill Rails--Mich-Cal Lumber Maps and Photos

Michigan-California Lumber

El Dorado National Forest Map
15 Min series 1950 Saddle Mtn. Topographic Map
Camino Street Map
Pino Grande Sanborn Map

I also recommend the following 7.5 min series topographic maps:
Devil Peak, Pollock Pines, Slate Mountain and Tunnel Hill


The Locomotives

1. 2. 3. 4.
1. Shay #1:2 heads for the mill at Camino with a load or rough cut lumber. Date is 10-02-07. (Al Phelps image/John Barnhill Collection)
2. #1:2 in her previous life as Swayne Lumber Co #1 in Oroville, 1931. (Marc Reusser Collection)
3. First #4 at Pino Grande. (Marc Reusser Collection)
4. #4:1 on the south side at South Cable. (John Barnhill Collection)
5. 6. 7. 8.
5. Second #4 at Camp 15, 1941. (Francis Guido image/Yesteryear Depot Collection)
6. #5 at Pino Grande, 1943. (Marc Reusser Collection)
7. Another shot of #5. Note the different spark arrestor. (John Barnhill Collection)
8. #5 seen at Pino Grande. (John Barnhill Collection)
9. 10. 11.
9. Madera Sugarpine #6 became third #6. Seen at Merced Falls,CA. (Marc Reusser Collection)
10. Second #8 seen at Camp 10, 1942. (Marc Reusser Collection)
11. Shay #8:2 drops its load into the pond at Pino Grande. (John Barnhill Collection)
12. 13. 14.
12. #10 in October of 1937. (John Barnhill Collection)
13. #10 at Pino Grande in 1941. (Marc Reusser Collection)
14. #11 awaits some work at Camino, October 1937. (John Barnhill Collection)

Survivors on Display

1. 2. 3. 4.
1. Numbers 2 and 11 on display behind the office at Camino. (John Barnhill Collection)
2. #6 seen on display at Camino, May 18, 1944. (EC Fowler image/Gerald West Collection)
3. The opposite side of the #6 display at Camino. (John Barnhill Collection)
4. A rear shot of #11 at Camino. (John Barnhill Collection)
5. 6. 7. 8.
5. #2 alone now at Camino on July 27, 1996.
6. #2 makes an appearance at Railfair 1981 in Sacramento,CA. (John Barnhill Collection)
7. Later #2 was moved to Turtle Bay Museum in Redding,CA. (John Goldie image)
8. Museum signage for #2 at Turtle Bay, November of 2008. (Sonny Wells image)
9. 10. 11.
9.-11. #11 was moved to a display at a Medford,OR lumber mill and includes a nice plaque. Photos taken Aug. 18, 2007.
12. 13.
12.-13. #6 is currently at the El Dorado Co Museum in Placerville,CA

More Photos

1. 2. 3.
1. View of Pino Grande from a hill to the southeast. (George Parker image)
2. Looking across the log pond at Pino Grande. Note the spray jets to clean the logs. (John Barnhill Collection)
3. The enginehouse at Pino Grande. (Martin Hansen Collection)
4. 5. 6. 7.
4. Crossing the cable heading north. (Martin Hansen Collection)
5. Postcard recreating the same view. (Beth Squiers Collection)
6. Steam donkey. Location and date unknown. (John Barnhill Collection)
7. Loading logs onto the cars at unknown landing. (John Barnhill Collection)
8. 9. 10.
8. Locos sitting at Camino,CA. (Martin Hansen Collection)
9. Here are two of Mich-Cal's tank cars seen at Camino,CA. (John Barnhill Collection)
10. Restored bobbi car at NCNGTM in Nevada City,CA. 9-05-09
11. 12. 13. 14.
11. This postcard view depicts the steam tractors used to haul lumber to Placerville from the Camino mill before a railroad was built. (Beth Squiers Collection)
12. A few No Tresspassing signs still mark the borders of ex Mich-Cal land.
13. A letter to the editor of the Mountain Democrate from Eugene "Sonny" Wells. (courtesy Sonny Wells)
14. This fence behind a shop in Camino is made from old rail. Markings on rail say J & R Moor 1880.
15. 16. 17. 18.
15. After the narrow guage was abandoned, the hauling of logs was up to trucks. (John Barnhill Collection)
16. Catskinner Joe Robert Allen in action on his tractor, sometime in the early to mid '50s. (Kathie Carden Collection)
17. Joe Robert Allen and Leon Marvin Allen working in the woods. Circa early to mid '50s. (Kathie Carden Collection)
18. Privately owned and under restoration is this old 1945/46 Chevy flatbed.

Remains At Slab Creek Resevoir
(photos by Doug Jensen)

Last week some friends and I went kayaking on Slab Creek Reservoir. I looked up the area for some geocaches and realized this is where the cable for the Michigan-California crossed the South Fork of the American River. One of my first RR books I have is Polkinghorn's Pino Grande - Logging Railroads of the Michigan Lumber Co. and I recalled a few details including the fact that there had been two cables built over the years and that the second one burned "mysteriously" in 1949.

So one of the geocaches is located at the base of what was a 3000' flume - considered the longest of it's day in 1893. What's left is a very large trench that climbs up the entire mountain (see photo).

We paddled up the lake a bit and one of my partners discovered the old cables laying on the south side of the lake. Then looking up from there he also found the old cable carriage laying in shambles on the side of the mountain just above lake level. Pretty cool stuff and no where is it in Polkinghorn's book so I took photos and marked the coordinates.

Doug Jensen

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