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D. H. McEwen Lumber Company.

T he D.H. McEwen Lumber Company incorporated in December 1905, with an office in the Balboa Building in San Francisco, and a Cazadero post office address. The company was lead by Daniel H. McEwen of Burlingame, a long time lumber man, who had previously run mills in Pennsylvania, in Minnesota, in Louisiana. Between 1900 and 1906 he had served as president of the El Dorado Lumber Co. (later the Michigan – California Lumber Co.) where he envisioned and installed the famous cable way across the American River. His D.H. McEwen Lumber Company operated a 50,000 board foot sawmill at Niestrath & Fort Ross Roads in Sonoma County, served by a 3’ gauge railroad, logging on the upper reaches of the South Fork of the Gualala River.

The company operated a six-mile long, 3 foot gauge logging railroad running from the mill site, up the South Fork of the Gualala River on what is now the Bohan-Dillon Road. A single small Shay was purchased new in 1907. According to the 1910 Railway and Loggers Directory, McEwen had an 8 pairs of log trucks, 30 flat cars and 5 donkey engines. Lumber had to be teamed down the Fort Ross - Cazadero Road to the NWP railhead for shipment. Apparently, McEwen planned to extend his rail line down Ward Creek to Cazadero but nothing ever came of it; probably because he ran out of harvestable timber in 1917. He sold his Shay to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation in Bullard near Placerville in 1918, where it was used by El Dorado Lime & Mineral Company.


Revised: April 27, 2015

Reference Material Available Online:

Locomotive Roster.

Number Type Builder Bldr.# Built Dispositon
1 Shay 2tr Lima #1823 04-05-1907 Scrapped.
3' Gauge.
Built for D H McEwen Lumber, for Cazadero Lumber Co. #1, Cazadero, CA
To U. S. Reclamation Service, Sacramento, CA 1917
Leased to: El Dorado Lime & Mineral Co., Bullard, CA
Returned to Bureau of Reclamation, Sacramento, CA 1923
For sale 1923
Scrapped, likely in the mid 1920’s
Note: This is the first Shay built with cast steel side frame trucks.
California \ D. H. McEwen Lumber Company
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