• Jersey Field Lumber Company's railroad service

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New York State.

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

  by nymountainair
I don't know if you ever found out anything on the Jerseyfield lumber company? The Jerseyfield Lumber company was out of Salisbury,Ny. They logged the Jerseyfield Patent and moved the lumber by an extension of the Dolgeville & Little Falls RR. I grew up in Dolgeville, NY and have treked much of the rail lines in the area. Just last weekend found the remains of a Barnhart log loader that flipped off a spur track in the 1920's

  by BSOR Patarak
I never found any proof or details of the lease of that first locomotive that Ed Lewis's book mentions. What I have found is the details of the Jersey Field Lumbering operations and their relationship with the New York Central. It seems the JFL proper closed down in 1917. The operations were also related to the Little Falls and Dolgeville RR. Another small operation that fell under control of the NYC. A&A #2 is reported as an ex New York Central #755, renum #1658 and rebuilt sometime between 1901 and 1905, a 2-6-0, C/N 3900 (also ex LF&D #3). It was also used on the LF&D until 1913, when it returned to the NYC. If all of these operations are related, and this locomotive was an older, smaller locomotive, perhaps it moved between properties under the NYC control. On thought was that the A&A was looking for any available power to start up the operations after the BA&A. The locomotives left by the BA&A were also old and tired out. Perhaps the A&A found that NYC locomotive and leased it for the first few months until it was actually purchased as #2? Given it's age and condition one can see why the NYC would have been looking to get rid of it. It could explain the lease to the A&A. I would find it weird that they would lease an engine for a couple of months to turn around and purchase another one. Seems a lot of time and work to bring in a locomotive, use it a short time, then ship it right back out. Though, there was a NYC connection at Attica....so anything is possible. This is just one of my theories that I am researching.

I am still looking for any more details that might pop up.

  by jgallaway81
Pat, it might not be that much of a stretch to bring an engine in for a few months... its possible that it wasn't needed at the time, and NYC gave favorable rates for a lease. It is NOT unheard of for an engine, leased by a railroad, to be 'recalled' to it parent road when traffic demands warranted. Its possible that those traffic demands might have been a favorable scrapping offer.

This point is reinforced by the DM&IR... I forget which year, but it was at the end of steam: the DM&IR had been slowly dieselizing, and had its power fleet at just right levels. Unfortunately, a pending coal strike was putting pressure on the Proctor area mines to output as much iron ore as possible before great lakes shipping shutdown for the year. The DM&IR leased some engines from an adjacent road, which was then caught underpowered when an upsurge in their traffic occurred. They terminated the leases and recalled the engines to their own territory.
  by nymountainair
It sound like you have extensive research on the locomotive in question so you may already have seen this info:

on www.shaylocomotives.com it shows jerseyfield lumber co. owning 3 shay locomotives s/n 2758, 974, and 874

on www.logingrailroads.com it shows jerseryfield lumber co. only owning 2 locos s/n 974 and 2758

I talked with my brother about it because he researched the shay locomotives a little bit. He told me that a family friend who was a history teacher in Dolgeville (who was also a local history buff) interviewed a few people who had worked for the Jerseyfield Lumber co. and they told him that the company only had 2 locomotives. My brother said if his memory served him correctly that the one loco was 90 ton and the other 70 ton, and that the family friend had pictures of both.

My brother also stated that the jerseyfield lumber co had a parent or sister company Goodyear lumber co in PA.

Also, there were several lawsuits against Jerseyfield lumber company - one from a company in western NY and a major one with the Brooklyn Cooperage co(who was Jerseyfield lumber co primary mill) it may be possible these companies may have obtained the locos.
  by ginosrailpage
If anyone is still looking for info on the Jerseyfield Railroad, I have researched it and could provide some details. I do see that this subject was last discussed in 2010...

  by Aa3rt
Gino, I for one would appreciate any further input that you could provide.
  by ginosrailpage
The Jerseyfield Lumber Company was owned by the Goodyear Lumber Co. of Penn. The owner, Anson Goodyear had some stake in coal mining and railroads. In 1913, The Brooklyn Cooperage Company (Maker of sugar barrels) built a mill at the bottom of the Jerseyfield Tract in Central New York. Basically, the Brooklyn Cooperage, who also had a mill in the heart of the Adirondacks hired the Goodyear Company to bring timber down the mountain for them for their mill. The Jerseyfield Railroad was created just for this. There was a contract for the Lumber railroad to provide 15,000,000 feet of timber. There was also 2 other small mills who received some product located at Salisbury Center New York. The 3 Mills were built at the Wye of the Dolgeville and Salisbury Railroad, a four mile spur off the Little Falls And Dolgeville Railroad to serve Iron Ore mills in nearby Irondale. The Irondale operation closed in 1913, right before the Cooperage operation sprang up.

The Jerseyfield line was built in 1914 and by 1915 it was sending out 10 carloads of logs a day. When WWI came around, labor costs rose and the Jerseyfield Company was losing money left and right. It actually cost them money to cut wood and haul it down the mountain. Around 1919 is when the company decided to stop harvesting timber and keep the logs where they laid. Of course The Brooklyn Cooperage was unhappy with the fact that they contracted for tons of hard wood and were only provided half of the lot. The Jerseyfield Company was to supply wood for around 15 years.

The town of Salisbury Center lost most of it's inhabitants due to the three mills closing down. The Brooklyn Company kept a presence to maintain the property. In 1921, the Jerseyfield group (From Buffalo) started ripping up the railroad for scrap and this is when the Brooklyn Company went to court and forced them to leave the property as is. A law suit was also filed by the Cooperage against the Jerseyfield Company to get some of their money back. After some fighting in court, the state awarded the Cooperage the damages they desired, but the company was never opened again. In the late 20's, the Virginia Pulp Company acquired the Jerseyfield Tract and railroad property with the intent of reopening the timber operation. Some logs were removed, but the railroad remained in bad shape and was never used.

In 1937 some interest arose with the intention of restarting the pulp business. The Brooklyn Cooperage people sent workers to repair the railroad and restart the mill, but nothing ever transpired. A local used a doodlebug to travel up and down the railroad between Salisbury Center and Jerseyfield Lake, but the railroad was finally scrapped in the early 1940's. No doubt the iron went to the war effort.

In the late 40's the property was turned over to the state and the rest is history!

I'm not sure if the line had 3 locos or two, but two of their Shays were sold to the Grasse River Railroad near Cranberry Lake. One was used for a short time, but the other wasn't. Both engines were scrapped in 1955-56 when the Grasse River operation shut down.

  by Aa3rt
Thanks for the extensive history, I appreciate your sharing this information.
  by ginosrailpage
No problem! That is the short history, I hope to put together one a little longer and maybe make a booklet. I've always been interested in the
line to Jerseyfield as well as Irondale...

  by ginosrailpage
I have uncovered a ton of info on this logging railroad. More and more turns up. I need to change some info in my post detailing the history. The Jerseyfield Railroad was not a product of the Goodyear Lumber Co., but the product of A.C. Goodyear a vice president of the Goodyear outfit from Pennsylvania. AC was also Vice President of the Buffalo and Susquehanna Railroad. That is probably the link that Patrick was looking for in the first place. I believe it was said that the Arcade and Attica used an engine borrowed from the Jerseyfield RR to help build their outfit. That makes total sense.The Jerseyfield slowed down operations in 1917 (WWI) and I'm sure they didn't need three locos (yes, three locos!) at that moment. They also owned flatcars and a caboose. We know two locos went to The Grasse River Railroad. I'm still trying to find where the third engine went. Perhaps it went to another lumber outfit after the A&A.

Another correction is the Virginia Wood and Pulp bought the Jerseyfield Railroad (The Lake too) and the lumber tract. It was they, not the Brooklyn Cooperage as I previously stated who hoped to restart the railroad in the 1930's. It was also they who turned the property over to the state in the 1940's.

Any more details and I will share them!

  by ginosrailpage
Oops, the WEST Virginia Pulp and Wood Company that should be...
  by traingeek8223
Here are a few pictures I took of the logloader a few years ago. I have been told it is a Marion. There is also the remains of a wood flat car (not much left) next to it and upside down. Story I was told is that it overturned durring the scrapping operations when the tiny trestle it was going over gave way and it was determined to be to much of a hastle to deal with. Also told there are the remains of three log cars that derailed at the bottom of a switchback. I have not located those yet.

http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/archiv ... x?id=10249
  by Kuyahoora Valley
Lucinda parker's book "Into Salisbury County" has a lot of information about Irondale, Jerseyfield Lumber and the LF&D. It states that locomotive #3 was purchased from NYC&HR in 1910 and sold on August 16, 1916 to General Equipment company who on the same day sold it to the Pittsburg and Shawmut RR and renumbered P&S 101.
  by CarterB
There appears to be a covered bridge over Spruce Creek at N 43.14010 W 74.78994, which on the topo map of Salisbury Center, NY was on the NYC line up there. (topo map also shows "abandoned" logging road going further north, up to Black Creek N 43.26336 W 74.77690 including a switchback)

Was this and/or the "abandoned line" part of the Jersey Field Lumber rail operation/s?
  by Kuyahoora Valley
The covered brisge is a road and you can still drive on it. Looking at a map in Parkers book it appears the RR was to the east of Spruce Creek but definitely crossed Black Creek to the north.