Here is what Randy and I have been able to figure out so far:
Elmer E. Pollock begins in 1912 when the "Pollock Lumber Company" of Mount Hebron begins operation utilizing a steam tractor to haul lumber to the railroad (presumably at Mount Hebron Station on the SP).
In 1913, Elmer E. Pollock, A. Burlingame Johnson, M. Earl Johnson, J. E. Moffett, and Clayton P. Smith organize the Johnson - Pollock Lumber Co. in Pasadena.
On April 1913 the same men organize the Sacramento Timber & Box Co. with plans to open a mill 60 miles Southeast of Sacramento. It is unknown if this was related to their operation out of Jerome.
A mill was constructed at Jerome Siding, 2.5 miles south of Mount Hebron Station. The railroad ran from the company’s mill, on the west side of the Southern Pacific Siskiyou line, southward, crossing under the SP line’s Butte Creek trestle, then once on the east side, splitting into two branches, one to the north-west, one to the south-east towards Kegg. At least some track material was leased from the Southern Pacific.
April 1915 - Johnson Pollock Lumber Co Hebron Cal operate a logging road one and a half miles long (Timberman, April 1915, p 48E, via Google)
May 1915 – Three miles in operation (Signor p 168) also Johnson Pollock Lumber Co. Mt. Hebron Cal with a mill at Jerome are operating three miles of narrow gauge logging road The company expects to extend the road two miles into the timber A 27 ton Shay locomotive and six cars are used 45,000 to 50,000 feet are logged per day (Timberman, May 1915, p. 46R, via Google)
1917 – Five miles of railroad in operation (Signor, p 168)
June 1918, the Sacramento Union reports the death of a trainman on the railroad (Sacramento Union, 12 June 1918 via California Digital Newspaper Project)
According to Signor the mill at burned down in 1919. I have not been able to locate a reference to the fire.
September 1919 – The mill and railroad are being dismantled in preparation to move to a new location 60 miles southeast of Sacramento(Timberman, Vol 21, Dec 1919 via Google)
The mill remained in place in some form until 1921 when final lumber was shipped. (Timberman, May 1921 pg52 via Google).
The railroad is known to have operated two locomotives, a Shay and a gas locomotive.
#? - Shay c/n 154, Class B-28/2 (2 truck, 28 ton, 3x 10x10)
Built 8/1887 for Butters & Peters & Co., Mason & Oceana RR #2 (3rd), Ludington, MI
To Brookings Lumber & Box Co. #2, Fredalba, (Lake Arrowhead) CA This operation ended operations between 1912 and 1914
Sold to Johnson - Pollock around 1914.
Converted to 30" gauge in ????
Stored - For Sale 9-8-1923 thru 10-6-1926
Scrapped, Jerome, CA 1937
#? - Gas locomotive – per a report in The Timberman, vol. 19, January 1918
Very little is known about the cars used on the line.Ingenious Gasoline Locomotive
Johnson-Pollock Lumber Company of Bray, Cal., employs a very simple but ingeniously constructed gasoline locomotive, built from a Ford engine, to transport its lumber on a narrow gauge track from the mill to the loading spur.
“after 1912” A single photo shows three 8 wheel connected log cars, similar to the cars used on Brookings Lumber. The cars in the photo are consistent with a Russell “Pattern No 2” which were known to have been used at Brookings.
May 1915, Timberman Reports 6 cars in use.
1918 Signor reports that the sale of the shay and 13 cars to Mt Hebron Lumber Co.
The Other Railroads
In the 1922s a new company, the Siskiyou Lumber Co. built a new mill west of Johnson - Pollock's former mill site. They also constructed a standard gauge railroad up the side of Mt. Hebron. The mill operated through the end of 1928 when it shut down.
Back in 1913 the Mt. Hebron Lumber Company constructed a mill five miles west of Mount Hebron station and reported it was operating that season. (Timberman July 1913 pg32)
By 1918 Mt. Hebron reported having 3 miles of railroad in operation. Mark Chase is the General Manager, J. D. Cameron the Logging Superintendant. (Timberman August 1918 pg50)
This railroad built a series of switchbacks up Ball Mt. to the west of Mount Hebron Station.
John Signor says the Johnson - Pollock sold their equipment, 1 shay locomotive and 13 cars to the Mt. Hebron Lumber Co. in 1918.
Mt. Hebron Lumber ceased operating in 1928.
Further complicating things: Each of these three railroads was a different gauge!
Based on field research by Scott Gavin the ties of the Johnson - Pollock he located on the grade indicate it was 36" gauge.
The Siskiyou Lumber Co. was standard gauge and Scott found evidence of dual gauge ties where the Siskiyou reused Johnson - Pollock's grade in the 20s.
Ties from the Mt. Hebron Lumber Company on Ball Mountain have spike holes indicating the line was 30" gauge.
The shay being converted to 30" gauge makes sense if it was done for use on the Mt. Hebron, but the locomotive winding up back in Jerome to be scrapped is curious. Did the Mt. Hebron have another locomotive?
It seems the more we dig into this railroad the more confusing it becomes...