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Southern Forest Heritage Museum Logging Equipment

Logging Equipment

Equipment and innovative processes increased the efficiency of logging during its boom years. We have some of the only equipment still in existence. Come see these gems from the lumber era!

Clyde Rehaul Skidder

The Museum boasts a rare Clyde Rehaul Skidder—a massive piece of equipment. This piece of equipment pulled harvested logs to the rail track for loading on log cars. From attached booms, four cables pulled logs from nearly 1,000 feet and then the cables returned to the area of cut logs—hence the name, "rehaul." It could at one setting on the track pull logs from a 40-acre area. The logs would be loaded on rail cars by a steam-powered loader. This is the only steam-powered skidder known to now exist. It was so powerful that little standing vegetation remained after its operation.

McGiffert Log Loader

On the track in front of the Machine Shop is one of two McGiffert loaders owned by the Museum. This one has been under restoration by two volunteers for several years. The loader moved along the track to where the Clyde Skidder had gathered logs. Once at a setting, the loader lifted its wheels up under the cab/deck floor. When the wheels were raised, the shoe at the bottom of the legs would rest on the ends of the ties outside the rails. With the wheels raised, the loader could pull empty log cars though the opening to be loaded.

The machine shop is where the sawmill depended on all repairs and modifications of machinery to take place. In it was the forge, wheel press, lathes, and other equipment needed to maintain the mill and its equipment. The machine shop was powered by an overhead belt and line-shaft drive system. In the 1950s, the steam-powered engine was replaced with an electric motor. This type of drive system has survived in only a few industries.

Lumber Locomotives

There were several trains used in the lumber industry as well. You can find out more about the railroading industry in the era on the railroading pages.

Locomotive #400 was built by the Baldwin Locomotive Company and was used to pull log trains. It made its last run in 1954 and has been parked here since then—not protected from the weather. Such locomotives could pull up to 20 loaded log cars. It was converted from burning wood to oil and both water and oil for its operation were carried in its tender (behind the engine).

Locomotive #106 is parked in the car knocker shop—a building designed as a repair facility for log cars. The engine was parked under cover and is the best maintained of the three owned by the Museum and was used on the Crowell Lumber Company’s Red River and Gulf Railroad. An extension effort led by volunteers is underway to restore the engine to its original appearance. Parked behind the engine is a log car. Of hundreds in use at the sawmill, it is the only one remaining. Others rotted away or were burned.

Tracked Equipment

Necessary over the unpaved and often muddy areas of logging operations, the invention of tracked equipment was a boon to the industry. There are still many tracked machines in use today, such as Catepillars, and Insley brands.

Southern Forest Heritage Museum Sawmill
Southern Forest Heritage Museum Sawmill
Southern Forest Heritage Museum Sawmill
Southern Forest Heritage Museum Sawmill
Southern Forest Heritage Museum Sawmill