The Grant Project
Our Grant Project began in May, 2003, with the laying of new track. We hired Scott Ogle, Dirk Chandler and Mitch Bohanan (the three engineers on Dollywood's steam trains) to lay our track, and they're doing a great job. Our own board members are preparing the roadbed and ballast, moving ties and rail. As we go along, we'll update this page with new photos to let you witness the transformation of our new outdoor exhibits.
Steam Log Loader
The Texas Forestry Museum in Lufkin has kindly made available to us an American Hoist and Derrick Steam Log Loader. They currently have two of these loaders and are planning to restore their other one. Only a handful of these still exist. The unit coming to us dates to about 1909, and was reportedly used in the building of the Panama Canal. It is an AH&D Model C and virtually identical to the loaders used by Little River.
The portable cabins used to house loggers and their families in the backcountry camps were known as "setoff houses." They were built in the company shops in Townsend, transported on flatcars and "setoff" along the tracks. They were often set together in rows known as "stringtowns," sometimes perilously hung on hillsides. Larger families might have several adjoining units, so these were early mobile homes, even modular homes.