Willamette Valley Lumber Company
Created 1/21/06
Back To Polk County
The Willamette Valley Lumber Company railroad began operations in 1906. The line began in Black Rock, crossed
the Little Luckiamute River and wound it's way up to Boulder Creek. There were five logging camps that were
constructed along the line; Camp 2, Balderee Camp, Camp 18, K Junction Camp, and Boulder Camp. In 1926 the
trestle that crossed the mainline just above Black Rock was used in the movie "The General" by Buster Keaton for
the scene of the locomotive chase where one locomotive was on a trestle above another. Truck logging began
above Black Rock in 1939 above Boulder Camp, which served as a reload facility until the end of rail operations.
Boulder Camp was established prior to 1935. For their production of 4.4 million board feet of aircraft lumber in 1943,
the Willamette Valley Lumber Company received the Army-Navy E award for meritorious achievement on production
front.  In December of 1943 railroad operations were stopped and the lines pulled. In the summer of 1945, the same
year as third Tillamook Burn, a large forest fire burned through the timberlands above Black Rock destroying
trestles and any other remnant of the railroad operations. Today, there are a few reminders here and there of the
old steam days. There are no trestles still standing, although there are a couple of spots where there are still some
pilings, and one spot where a trestle had fallen perfectly to the ground preserving the top where the ties were. Rails
and rail joiner are also somewhat plentiful, as are rail plates and spikes. There are at least a half of a dozen donkey
sleds left, with one on a truck operation with fallen spar pole, rigging, tires, and a wooden culvert.
Mainline
Looking west at the concrete tiers for the crossing of the Little Luckiamute River, and the first trestle for
the WVLCo. Judging by their shape and distance apart, there was probably some kind of truss or girder
bridge here. (10/95)
Although a little hard to read, the date "1927" is carved into the base of the tier for the second trestle of
the WVLCo. (4/2/98)
Little Luckiamute falls. This was the wight of the trail that followed the river beginning at the second
trestle. It was actually faster to get to the falls by following the old railroad grade, and cutting down an old
skid trail in a clearcut to reach the falls. (3/18/97)
Burnt piling of trestle along grade above Little Luckiamute River, about 2.3 up the grade
from Black Rock. (3/1/97)
A close-up of the burned piling. It is possible that this trestle burned in the fire of 1947, but it also
appears to have been burned when the area was broadcast burned following harvesting. (3/1/97)
My friends Mike and Joe with a couple of rails along the mainline that has since become the 8-7-14.1
Road. (11/18/99)
Here are the two rails that are pictured above. (11/18/99)
Here are the same two rails as above. Notice though the obvious broken end on the bottom rail. It's
evident that these rails broke while in service and were thrown aside one they were replaced. (11/18/99)
Here is the other end of the broken rail that is laying nearby on the 8-7-14.1 road. (11/18/99)
These two rail joiners were found in the ground nearby and propped up against the tree. (11/18/99)
This buried rail was also found in the section of the 8-7-14.1 Road as the others. It would seem that these
may be evidence of a derailment that occurred here since there is the broken rail, the rail joiners, and the
other two rails. Incidentally, this section of road had just been cleared by a cat for rebuilding. (11/18/06)
Water tower remains lying beside the mainline between the Black Rock Mainline and the RR Grade RD.
(3/1/97)
Another shot of the water tower remains along the mainline. (3/1/97)
What looks like 3 snags are actually the burnt piling still standing from the trestle just before the S-Line
junction. The ground below these piling were littered with metal from the trestle. (10/95)
Looking at the fallen trestle remains of the trestle on the untouched section of grade between the Black
Rock Mainline, and the RR Grade RD. (4/17/97)
Rail joiner located along mainline about 1.7 miles past where the current FAA tower road takes off. When
I was exploring this area in the late 90's, going up to the tower and around it was no problem. Since 9/11,
good luck getting near it. (2/6/98)
Adams Siding
Spur To Little
Luckiamut
2
3
4
6
5
7
1
Concrete remains of the second trestle of the WVLCo out of Black Rock. This trestle was also the starting
point of the Little Luckiamute trail. However, since Weyerhaeuser has taken over Willamette, the trail has
fallen under considerable disrepair. The plank foot bridge across this spot and creek is now unsafe to
travel on. (9/2/98)
The concrete bases for the second trestle across Black Rock Creek.
The last trestle piling still standing for the trestle past the second switchback. The trestle between the first and
second switchbacks on this same creek had long ago been obliterated by a road being built.