The Lake of the Sky eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 436 pages of information about The Lake of the Sky.
was worth $25.00 per thousand feet, and clear lumber, $45.00.  The mill was soon destroyed by fire, but the site was bought by A.H.  Davis and Son, who erected a new mill, which they operated for a while and then sold to Wells, Fargo & Co.  It was not until 1873 that Yerington & Bliss came to Glenbrook.  They revolutionized the lumber industry.  While Captain Pray had long used a steam tug to raft logs across Lake Tahoe, the lumber itself was hauled down to Carson and Virginia City.  Now, owning large areas of timberland, operating two and then three saw-mills in Glenbrook, and several others in the nearby mountains, Messrs. Yerington & Bliss sought easier means of transportation for their merchandisable product.  They constructed dams and reservoirs, with V flumes in a number of places, making them converge as near as possible at the Summit, some six miles from Glenbrook.  To this point they built a narrow gauge railway for the purpose of transporting the millions of feet of lumber sawn at their mills.

From Summit a large V flume was constructed down Clear Creek Canyon into Carson City, and into this flume a constant stream of water was poured from the reservoirs which carried upon its bosom another stream of boards, timber, studding, joists and sheathing, the two streams emptying simultaneously just outside of Carson City at a point on the Virginia & Truckee railway, where the lumber was loaded and thence shipped to its place of consumption.

That tremendous amounts of lumber were being manufactured is shown by the fact that the official records of Douglas County, Nevada, for 1875, give 21,700,000 feet as the product for that year.

One department of the lumber business should not be overlooked in this connection.  As the timber disappeared from the mountain slopes nearest Glenbrook, the operators were compelled to go further afield for their logs.  These were cut on the mountain slopes north, south, east and west, and sent down the “chutes” into the Lake.  Where the ground was level great wagons, drawn by ten, sixteen, twenty oxen, hauled the logs to the shore, where they were dumped into the water.  Here they were confined in “booms,” consisting of a number of long, thin poles fastened together at the ends with chains, which completely encircled a “raft” of logs arranged in the form of a V. The raft was then attached, by strong cables, to a steamer and towed to Glenbrook, where the mills were so located that the logs were drawn up from the Lake directly upon the saw-carriages.  The size of some of the rafts may be imagined when it is known that they yielded from 250,000 to 300,000 feet of lumber.

The principal vessel for this purpose at the time I first visited Lake Tahoe in 1881 was an iron tug, called the Meteor.  It was built in 1876 at Wilmington, Delaware, by Harlan, Hollingsworth & Co., then taken apart, shipped by rail to Carson City and hauled by teams to Lake Tahoe.  It was a propeller, eighty feet long and ten feet beam, and cost $18,000.

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The Lake of the Sky from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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