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California \ West Side Lumber Co. \ Requiem for the West Side

Requiem for the West Side - 2009.

By Hart Corbett

It has been 50 years, as of this past May 10, 2009, since my wife and I first saw the West Side Lumber Co. We first heard of it as we crossed the narrow gauge tracks on our way into Tuolumne, pursuing a Sierra RR excursion on May 10, 1959.

The world has turned over a few times since then and Tuolumne has changed a lot as well.

I have put together a "Requiem for the West Side - 2009" to mark the 50 years. It consists of color photographs and stories that tell what what the West Side was like in 1959. That day was a Sunday and nothing was moving or happening in the yards. This Requiem includes all the Kodachrome slides which I took in the yards that first day, as well as all the Kodachrome slides which I took when my wife and I returned a month later -- June 10, 1959 -- to see and photograph the yards in use when the railroad was in full logging operation.

All 18 photos that I took on that first visit and all 35 photos that I took on the second visit are included.

Part Three consists of 11 photos (with captions) that I took of the yard and mill area on April 19, 2009.

Please look carefully at Parts One and Two to appreciate what and who was once there. Then look at Part Three to see just how very little now is left. Compare the two and you will understand how people, who saw the West Side during its logging days, value their 50 year old memories so highly. The West Side does live on with usually operating prototype Shays scattered from California to Colorado to Iowa as well, some saved prototype rolling stock, and in model railroads all over the world. Not to mention thousands of photographs!.

This Requiem was inspired, in no small part, by the new "Epson Perfection V700 Photo" dual lens scanner (and new IMac with new software including PhotoShop) which we acquired a few months ago. I have never before seen such sharp and clear images from the 16 mm Kodachrome slides which I exposed at the West Side in 1959. The sharpness is amazing compared to all previous attempts over the 50 years!

There are details in these photos that I've never seen before. Modelers should look especially closely.

Below you'll find 3 sections titled "REQUIEM -- PART ONE"; "REQUIEM -- PART TWO"; and "REQUIEM -- PART THREE". Please read through them in numerical order. Each section contains one or more Adobe Acrobat .pdf Files that can be opened with 1 or 2 clicks and which also should be read and viewed in numerical order.

You may download the .pdf Files or even the individual photos, if you wish - under one condition: that you must credit my name with any downloaded photos.


Best regards, Hart Corbett

Before proceeding please note: Due to the size of these files they can take a few minutes to load depending on the speed of your internet connection. Some web browsers may not indicate that anything is loading initially, Please be patient!

Requiem Part One.

Requiem Part Two.

Requiem Part Three.

California \ West Side Lumber Co. \ Requiem for the West Side
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