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PAYETTE LUMBER COMPANY:
The proclaimed "World's Largest Retailer of Lumber" - the Boise Payette Lumber Company - was the Weyerhaeuser outpost in southern Idaho.
The sum of its lifespan included four mills, seven camps, three company towns, and in aggregate, 170 miles of Shay lines. It operated its own common carrier railroad, fostered two others, and dominated yet a fourth.
But Boise Payette quit logging in 1945. Its railroads and shop-floor history have been forgotten. Total literature on these subjects has been six sentences.
The book - THE LOG TRAINS OF SOUTHERN IDAHO - compiled from original research, and with more than 300 never-before-published photographs, is that history: the compendium of large-scale logging, and the logging railroads of southern Idaho...
• The Intermountain Railway Company, the BOLCo 40-mile common carrier, is the principal focus for the book. One of only two common-carrier loggers to operate in Idaho, its origin was a feud between the Northern Pacific and Union Pacific for the Idaho "San Francisco Mail Route" - a story also never before told.
•The Shay operations of Boise Payette in the Boise Basin, Long Valley, and the Gold Fork and Little Salmon rivers - a tenure of 34 years. Inter-mixed are the towns and camps, horses and chutes, bummers and pans, and finally, the arches and trucks; the evolution of logging equipment in words and pictures. Each cutting has a map, drawn from field research.
•The Boise & Arrowrock Railroad This oddity, which became a segment of the Intermountain, was built and operated by the Federal Government to construct the world's tallest dam - the Arrowrock. Predating the Alaska Railroad by four years, it was the government's first common carrier. Included in this chapter are rare photographs of the dam construction, the network of' narrow-gauge railways at the damsite, the cliff-hanger town of Arrowrock, and the railroads that worked the catchment reservoir, Lake Lowell.
• The pocket-sized narrow-gauge logging road of Eccles Lumber- kith and kin to Oregon's Sumpter Valley Railroad - Boise Payette's only serious competitor in southern Idaho, and one of but two narrow-gauge loggers in this state.
•The Idaho Northern and the Pacific & Idaho Northern railroads - Like the Intermountain, these were products of the Northern Pacific-Union Pacific war. Owned by the Union Pacific, and the haunt of some of UP's smallest motive power, they were built for or manipulated by the Boise Payette. Of particular note in this chapter is a series of black-and-white and full-color photographs by renown railroad photographer, Richard Kindig pursuing the Idaho Northern mixed train in its final days, in the length of the scenic Payette River Canyon.
THE LOG TRAINS OF
SOUTHERN IDAHO... is unique -
not only by locale,
but also by content
For habitues of logging railroads, branch lines and the bizarre, this book is required reading. For the serious scholar of industrial history, it is a true reference work on the laws of timber and eminent domain. And for the modeler, it is a source book of new ideas-from hillside enginehouse to triangular depot; and from dragline to gas streetcar.