Pino Grande was originally a lumber camp of the American River Land & Lumber Co. Logs were transported from here to a point high above the South Fork of the American River by narrow guage railroad to a log chute. From there they were floated down the river to a mill in Folsom.
In 1901, the El Dorado Lumber Co purchased the ARLLCo. They built a planing mill and headquarters in Camino, a narrow guage railroad from Camino to a point directly across the canyon from the chute and a cable way across the canyon to connect the two. The machinery from the Folsom mill was moved to Pino Grande to form a new rough cut mill. Lumber from this mill was then moved via the railroads and cable to Camino.
Operations continued like this through several corporate changes into the late 1940s when the south tower of the cable burnt and log hauling was shifted to trucks. Shortly the railroad and Pino Grande mill were scrapped with the Camino mill being expanded to handle all the cutting.
Though the site was basically leveled during the scrapping process, there are many remains left for the history or railroad enthusiast to explore. A trip to Pino Grande in October of 2011 was made to document its remains. Below you'll find the numbered images and a map of the mill complex. The map has been marked with numbers to match and arrows to indicate the direction of view in each photo. Tour starts at bottom left and continues clockwise. Enjoy.
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