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Minnesota Logging Railroads

2003
Author:

Frank A. King

Minnesota Logging Railroads

The fascinating history of the logging industry and railroads in northern Minnesota

Frank King traces railroads such as the Duluth and Northern Minnesota and the Alger-Smith from their beginnings in 1886 to the railroads’s disappearance around 1937 when the last of the giant sawmills closed down. King profiles every logging railroad in Minnesota and examines their operations. Heavily illustrated throughout, Minnesota Logging Railroads contains maps, photographs, postcards, and engineering drawings.

During the heyday of lumberjacks and sawmills, railroads such as the Duluth and Northern Minnesota and the Alger-Smith enabled logging companies to break away from the traditional mode of transportation (floating logs downriver) and its shortfalls (logjams and winter freezes).

Frank King traces this rich history from its beginnings in 1886 to the railroads’s disappearance around 1937 when the last of the giant sawmills closed down. King profiles every logging railroad in Minnesota and examines all aspects of their operations, including locomotives such as the geared Shays and Heislers, McGiffert log loaders, Russel log cars, dump trestles, hot ponds, logging camp life, railroad finances, and the impact on communities as timber supplies ran out and lumbering and sawmill operations shut down, causing thousands to lose their jobs.

Heavily illustrated throughout, Minnesota Logging Railroads contains maps, photographs, postcards, engineering drawings, and railroad memorabilia such as timetables, passes, fare receipts, and freight tariffs. The appendixes comprehensively list the state’s logging railroads, locomotive rosters, and railroad and lumber company names.

Minnesota Logging Railroads

Frank A. King (1923–1985) worked for the Duluth, Missabe and Iron Range Railway for his entire career, retiring as senior industrial engineer. His articles and photographs appeared in Trains Magazine, Railroad Magazine, and other publications.

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