Baker White Pine Lumber Company 1912-1929
Back To Baker County
Created  2/22/06
The Baker White Pine Lumber Company was started in 1912 by Frank Gardinier to feed his newly constructed mill in White Pine,
and later in Baker. The BWPLCo ended operations in 1929 when it was bought out by the Stoddard Brothers Lumber Company.
Through its lifetime, the company built logging lines in both Grant and Baker Counties. Surprisingly, there is still a lot that remains of
the lines of this logging company. The mainline itself, coming out of what is now Phillips Reservoir, is divided into sections of
untouched grade, with parts that have been converted into forest roads. The spurs that came off of the mainline are the same way.
Dean Creek Mainline
Ties still in place in the grade at the bottom of Phillips Lake. This is the same grade that follows what was once the Dean Creek
streambed. This spot is near where the line took off from the Sumpter Valley Railway grade.
Rail still sitting beside the grade where it was tossed, at the bottom of Phillips Lake.
Trestle footings on the east side of Dean Creek, approximately 4500ft up Dean Creek Road
Old water tank base on the west side of where the Dean Creek trestle used to be. This same type of tank can be seen on page 111
of Mallory Hope Ferrell's "Rails Sagebrush & Pine".
Ties still in place in the grade, right beside the water tank base, on the west side of the old Dean Creek trestle.
Ties still in place in the grade about a half mile west, gradewise, from the old Dean Creek trestle.
Remains of the trestle that crossed Dean Creek, from what is now Dean Creek Road, on the trestle's eastern end. Sadly, this fallen remnant with a cap
spike is the best part of the trestle today. (5/26/07)
A shot zoomed farther out showing the whole section of the piling laying on the ground. (5/26/07)
Unfortunately, it is not known if this rail came off of the BWP or the OLCo. It is mostly buried by Dean Creek Road. The one thing that is evident here is that
the rail was broken in its lifetime, and was probably cast aside. (5/26/07)
Here is a close up of one of the footings down at the creek bottom. These footings can only be found right next to Dean Creek. It would seem that the
rest of the trestle was constructed by driving piles, and prepping the ground around them into a flat area before driving began. (5/26/07)
More trestle footings. These are where the land stops being flat coming from Dean Creek, and climbs steeply to Dean Creek Road. (5/26/07)
These footings lie right beside Dean Creek, as you can see, on its eastern bank. (5/26/07)
Trestle remains of the Dean Creek trestle on its western end. This picture was taken on the grade near the water tower, where the trestle ends and the
grade begins. Note the flattened out ground in the center of the photo where one of the sets of piling stood. (5/26/07)
Here is another view of the same water tank base that marks the western end of the Dean Creek trestle. (5/26/07)
Here is another angle for the water tower base, with my friend Keith beside it. (5/26/07)
This metal band, lying just south of the water tower base, was used as a strap to hold the planks of the tank together. It was probably left here when they
tore the main part of the tower down. It is also likely that this was one of the first areas logged by BWP, and the tower itself was moved to a different location.
(5/26/07)
Same view taken a couple of years later. Note that not much deterioration has taken place. Sorry about the picture being a little out of focus. (5/26/07)
Here is another picture of the ties that lie right next to the water tower base. Note that they are not in as good of condition as a few years ago. Indeed, when
this line was walked again this time, the ties had significantly rotted away more. Also note the asphalt looking material. (5/26/07)
Here is another view of the asphalt material covering the ties in place beside the water tower. This material was probably formed when hot
grease and oil from the locomotives dripped on the dirt where the ties were, when the locomotive stopped to take on water. As hot as it gets
over here in the summer, the sun probably contributed to the baking of the grease/oil, creating the material here. (5/26/07)
One last look at the asphalt like material mixed with the ties still in the ground at the water tower site. Also, from here there is approximately 3 miles of grade
there were not converted into a road, and has remained intact, except for some spots where logging has taken place the last couple of years and skidders
have run across the grade. (5/26/07)
Two brake shoes and an unknown piece of metal along the grade about 3/4 of a mile down the grade from the water tower base. Also, note the two very
different styles of the brake shoes. (5/26/07)
My friend Keith checking himself for ticks along the grade. This was a very bad year for them. Looking at the Elk Horn Mountains, there was no snow cap,
when there usually is. As a result, the ticks came out of hibernation sooner. On this hike alone, we picked up approximately 12 ticks and 4 burrowers. I
unfortunately had 2 burrow into me. Note the ties set up against the cutbank on the right and in the photo below. (5/26/07)
Keith looking back from along the grade. (5/26/07)
A wheel grease door sitting along the grade. This would have been mounted on the truck at each wheel, and could be lifted up exposing the bearings so
that they could be greased. (5/26/07)
My friends Ryan(left) and Ammon(right) waiting for me to hurry up so that they could go through one of the many throughcuts on this section of grade.
(5/26/07)
Ties sitting still in place in the grade from when the rails were taken up. (5/26/07)
Rail joiner found along the way. Not the lettering that was inscribed on it, and consequently partially obliterated when they bore the holes into it for the
bolts. (5/26/07)
Sorry about the blurriness, but this is looking along the grade at a fill that turns into a side hill cut. Notice the ties along the bottom of the grade. (5/26/07)
Stack of ties sitting along the grade. (5/26/07)
Another gearbox door sitting beside the grade. (5/26/07)
Pair of rail joiners sitting in the grade together. (5/26/07)
This is the remains of a small wooden box culvert still sitting in the grade. It would appear that this has been undisturbed since abandonment, but has
deteriorated due to weather. (5/26/07)
Just another picture of some more ties sitting against the cutslope along the grade. (5/26/07)
Two more rail joiners lying together along the grade. (5/26/07)
A pair of ties still lying in place in the grade. It is a curious thing why, when the grade has not been turned into a road or skid road until the last couple of
years, the ties where left in place in sections, placed against the cut bank in sections, and just thrown down the hill in sections. (5/26/07)
Pictures of a wreck scene. The brake shoe and the gearbox door in the first photo are the only pieces that I can identify here. It looks like there is a piece of a flanged
wheel in the second picture. I have no idea what the broken pieces of metal are in the other pictures. However, I am certain that this was a wreck scene. I found all of the
pieces at the bottom of a 20ft fill. I saw the brake shoe at the bottom and when I went down to look at it, I kept finding all of the other pieces that you see here. Some of
the smaller fragments were hidden between the large rocks of the fill. If I had more time and/or a metal detector, I probably would have found more. However, this was all
that I could find with the couple of minutes that I had. (5/26/07)
This is a tie that still had the spikes in it, outlying the rail plate, right before the throughcut shown below. How they got the rail plate off without cutting or
removing the spikes is not known, unless the plate itself was fractured, like those pieces of metal shown above. (5/26/07)
My friends Keith(left) and Ryan(right) getting ready to enter one of throughcuts on the line. (5/26/07)
The Dean Creek Mainline started along the SVRY at a place called Curry. All of this now is under the Phillips Reservoir. Here is followed Dean Creek for about a mile and
a half, 3/4 of a mile from the start of Dean Creek Road, where it split off of the Oregon Lumber Company trackage and crossed Dean Creek on what would have been a
spectacular trestle. From here it proceeded mostly west, and tied into the USFS 1130 RD about a half mile from the McHenry Creek trestle, which would have been
another impressive one to see. Here the line turns to the south until it reaches Clear Creek, which it crosses on a large fill. From here, the line turns to the west again.
Just before the 1130 RD ties into the USFS 11 RD, the grade takes off to the north on a logging road spur, for about two miles. At this point, the grade once more has
not been turned into a road and is untouched. The grade will run to the west for about 2 miles, where it will go back in the near opposite direction, and then form a giant
horseshoe to cross trout creek. Once it does this, it will follow Trout Creek, on its south side, to where it crosses USFS 11 RD. In this untouched section, all of the trestles
have been burned down by the USFS. From the USFS 11 RD, the grade follows Trout Creek all the way out to the SVRY near Whitney.
This tie at the bottom of Phillips Lake still has one of the spikes driven into it.
To Part II