Standard gauge, 56-lb rail
Headquarters: Saginaw MI
Mill Location: Laurel, MS (Jones County)
Mill Capacity: 150,000 ft/day in 1910
Years of Operation: 1907-1937
Miles Operated: 20 miles in 1917
Locomotives Owned: 7 known
See also: Kingston Lumber
Click Map for Larger Version
by Gil Hoffman:
Gilchrist-Fordney Company was incorporated at Saginaw, Michigan, with
$1,200,000 in capital stock. On June 3, 1907, the company purchased the
sawmill plant and timber holdings of the Kingston Lumber
Company, at Laurel,
Jones County. The sawmill, which had a cutting capacity of 150,000 feet per
day, was located in the northern outskirts of Laurel at Kingston. The
purchase included about 50,000 acres of longleaf and shortleaf pine timber.
The president of the company was Frank A. Gilchrist, of Alpena, MI, who
after buying the Kingston plant, moved to Laurel to take charge.
1915 the main line of the logging railroad extended from the New Orleans,
Mobile & Chicago, at Stevens, in Jasper County, to Camp III, 10 miles.
The company had trackage rights over the N. O. M. & C. from Stevens to
Laurel to haul logs to its mill. Engine No. 204 was the mainline engine used
on this run. In late 1915 the logging camp was moved to a point about 10
miles east of Ellisville, Jones County. Again, about 1920 the camp was moved
about 15 miles north of Laurel to Dushau, on the Gulf, Mobile &
Northern, near Louin. This camp had a post office and a large commissary. In
the winter of 1930 the camp was moved for the last time to a point near
Mossville, in southern Jasper County, and was known as Camp Allen.
Laurel sawmill cut out in 1937, after which the company moved to Gilchrist,
Oregon, where it operated as the Gilchrist Timber Company.
For a detailed history of this company, see
our new book YELLOW PINE CAPITAL available HERE