Newspaper Archive of
Portola Reporter
Portola , California
May 17, 2017     Portola Reporter
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May 17, 2017

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Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter Wednesday, May 17, 2017 1B ~o,l.lmIi..,mIleo~l t i~i!i!i!iiiiii!!!!ii!i!!iii!~iiiii~ii~i!i~i!iiisE~!iii!~ii~~!~i~i!i~O~N!~Nsii~i~ii~i~M!~ii~y~ i~iil Y: ........ i id~i~i iiiiiiii~@iiiii~iii~i!i i i~iii?!iiiii~i!~iiiii!ilili~ii~@ii~ii~i~@i i~i~iii !i~i~!~!~i!! i i ~iii~i ii~:i~i~i~i~i~izi:~i ~i~i~i~i ~;~i~i~iqi~i~I ";i ,:o ,]iiii i~!i!i;i~iilsi~ii~i!~iiii]i~:ili@@il]~ili~ ~:i~i~!i!ii!i!! !~iq!xqli~i~.~i iii~i~i~ii! }i~i;iii~!,i~ii~ i.~i.i,.~Wii~:~qiqi~i~i::~i~i~ .iiiii.~i~i~,~,il~i ~ili~iit ~i" '~ This little gine has ry to tell The Spanish Creek Lumber Company's No. 2 engine in 1926 or 1927 at the Spanish Peak Mill in Spanish Ranch. Photos courtesy of the Plumas County Museum This photo was taken in 1927 at Spanish Ranch and was titled "No. 2 got in a hurry." The service that same year. I engine was quickly repaired and back in Len Mosley prepares to rebuild the cab of the engine. No. 2 was taken down By Scott Lawson Special to Feather Publishing There were tense moments as volunteers slowly moved historic engine No. 2 out of the art barn to its new location at the Plumas-Sierra County Fairgrounds last month. One day it will tote tykes and their families around the fairgrounds, which will be an entirely new phase for an engine that began life by hauling lumber to a mill. A little history The Spanish Peak Lumber Company began operations at Spanish Ranch, six miles west of Quincy, in the fall of 1916. Within a few years, the company built and operated an aerial tramway to ship rough-cut lumber from the sawmill to its planing mill at Gray's Flat on the East Branch North Fork Feather River. Initially, the logging operation used steam-powered donkey engines that dragged or "yarded" the logs into the sawmill. When the nearby timber had been cut, the company began hauling logs on gasoline powered, chain-drive, solid tire Fageol trucks and trailers. This continued until 1925, when a "technological reversal" was made. Parking the trucks and trailers, the company began hauling logs on a narrow gauge logging railroad. The first locomotive was a gasoline-electric Whitcomb named "No.l," which operated a year or so before it wrecked. It was rebuilt, but in the meantime, a second locomotive was commissioned, with the imaginative name of "No. 2." This 25-ton engine was built to company specifications and delivered to the mill in June of 1926. The railroad logging operations continued in the Pineleaf Creek and Snake Lake areas north of Spanish Ranch until 1933, when Spanish Peak Lumber Company went into receivership due to the Great Depression. The two engines were disposed of to other entities. No. I went to Swayne Lumber Company in Oroville, while No. 2 was sent out to Nevada and Utah to scrap out other railroads. In Utah it was changed from its three-foot narrow gauge to standard gauge. From there, the diminutive engine ended up in the Bay Area under to its frame just before moving it to the ownership of the U.S. Navy where it went to Camp Parks in Alameda County. After many years, it was transferred to the Bay Area Electric Railway Museum at Rio Vista Junction, where it languished on a spur track. Back home In early 2001, the late Kent Stephens of Chico State arranged for the Plumas County Museum to acquire the Spanish Peak Lumber Co. No. 2 locomotive. Todd Anderson of Harco Trucking hauled it from the museum to Wilburn Construction on Lee Road where it was restored for about a year. The following year, the Plumas-Sierra County Fair requested it be brought to the fairgrounds for display or possibly to operate it. Wilburn Construction, Plumas County Public Works and Caltrans moved it into the art barn, where volunteers worked diligently on it for over 15 years. By 2006, the engine could move on its own. It was reconfigured back to its narrow gauge status; the cab was rebuilt; a new engine was installed; windows were replaced; plumbing, electrics and other components were reconstructed; and the whole thing given a paint job close to the original color. After 14,639 volunteer hours, it was decided that it was far enough along to move it from the art barn to its new home behind the grandstands. On April 23, a volunteer crew gathered to begin the almost daylong task of moving the engine. Tim Mannies and Bob Meeks of Wilburn Construction provided a large loader and mechanical expertise; Mike Curran of Mike Curran Trucking brought his low-bed trailer and truck to haul the engine; and Kathy and Leland Cotter, Ken Myers and Larry Trotter assisted. Cotter had prepped for the project by welding two railroad track panels to use to "leapfrog" the engine to the east entrance of the Art Barn from its home at the west end. Once the engine was out the door, it was rolled up a rail ramp onto Curran's lowbed trailer. From there it was trucked through the fairgrounds to the new shed behind the See Engine, page 14B fairgrounds in 2002.