Simpson Brothers Logging Company
Created 12/19/06
Back To Polk County
Unfortunately not easy to see due to the logging slash, this is log chute #2. This picture was taken at the
start of the chute, from the old railroad grade which is now the 1400 RD. Walking down the chute, there
are still logs in place within the chute about midway down to the Luckiamute River.
Here is another picture of Cute #2, looking up towards the railroad dump. The leaning stumps bear
witness to the slope of the chute.
Although the hubcap may not be that impressive, the brake shoe is. This is sitting on a stump right
beside the chute. The fact that it is sitting with the hubcap leads me to believe that it was placed there by
loggers when they logged the hillside.
This spike was also found nearby, less than a hundred feet away.
These rail joiners were found where the grade leaves the 1400. Notice that there are two different types
that were used on this line. The very old metal bar with holes, and an early version of the form fitting style.
Simpson's main camp was located at what is now the county park along Gage road, and the railroad ran west along the
north side of Ritner Creek, until the creek makes a near 90 degree turn to the north. A splash dam was located here for
the purpose of storing logs so that a huge Mundy donkey could drag the logs up a chute to the top of the ridge, and let
them go down chute #1 into the Luckiamute River on the other side of the ridge. After all of the logs that could be
hauled out of this area were removed, Simpson expanded their railroad and ran on top of the ridgeline itself. The log
cars would be emptied into chute #2, where the logs would head down to the Luckiamute River. Chute #2 was located
just a little bit west of chute #1, and both emptied into the same splash pond. All of the artifacts found were at the top of
the #2 log chute, and I have not yet been able to find anything in the old camp, nor on the line running up Ritner Creek.
I have been able to walk this chute from the top to the bottom, and can safely say that although most of the logs in the
chute are gone, it is still easily visible. The chute emptied out into the Luckiamute River at Seekay. Seekay was named
for Chas K. Spaulding, who owned the timber in the area, taking his initials. Seekay was situated on the south side of the
Luckiamute river west of Fisherman's Camp. There is not much there today, as the area was used as a rock quarry.
However, it would be noteworthy to mention that the Valley & Siletz did not stick to the north side of the river as the
current logging road that was once the grade would have you believe. The V&S originally crossed the Luckiamute to
Seekay, ran through this camp, and then crossed the river again. A keen eye will be able to see the old fill taking off
from the Hoskins/Valsetz Mainline heading east to Seekay.