Nortac Manufacturing Co.

Standard gauge, 25-lb rail

Headquarters: Purvis, MS

Mill Location: 1st mill- Nortac, MS (Pearl River County)

2nd mill- Barth, MS (Pearl River County)

Mill Capacity: 25,000 ft/day in 1910

Years of Operation: 1917-1927

Miles Operated: 6 miles

Locomotives Owned



Click Maps for Larger Versions

History by Gil Hoffman:

On January 4, 1917, the Jordan-Spottswood Lumber Company, a partnership composed of James Hand, F. H. Jordan and C. L. Spottswood, all of Purvis, Lamar County, purchased 4,000 acres of timber from the Blodgett holdings near Poplarville, Pearl River County. They then built a sawmill with a cutting capacity of 25,000 feet per day on the New Orleans & Northeastern Railroad, at Nortac, in Pearl River County.Other plant facilities were a planing mill and dry kilns.  The name “Nortac” came from the backwards spelling of Cattron, one of the owners of the mill site. In April 1917, Fred Jordan bowed out and the Jordan-Spottswood Lumber Company was succeeded by a new company. To operate the mill the Nortac mill, the Nortac Manufacturing Company was incorporated at Purvis on June 7, 1917, by D. P. Kennedy, C. L. Spottswood and J. W. Woodward. Kennedy and Spottswood were sons-in-law of James Hand. These men operated the plant on a contract basis for James Hand. 

On August 1, 1919 the sawmill, logging equipment and 3,120 acres of timber were sold to Kennedy and Spottswood for $225,000. The sawmill contained a timber sizer. 

The mill cut out in 1922 at which time the company leased the mill of the Southern Lumber & Timber Company at Orvisburg. Thanks to a depression in the lumber market the mill lost money. In the early part of 1924, due to unreasonable demands by Ran Batson (owner of the mill), the lease was broken and the Orvisburg mill returned to its owner. 

In the spring of 1924 the company bought a block of timber southeast of Poplarville from the defunct Poplarville Saw Mill Company and established a new mill just north of Barth on the Mississippi Southern Railroad. This mill was run by C. L. Spottswood and Horace Shepard and also had a logging railroad. The Barth operation lasted until April 1927 when it and much of its timber was wiped out by a tornado.



















ROSTER by Gil Hoffman:



Road No.












Dri. Dia.





Previous Ownership






28-2 Shay














P. S. Ernhout #332, Wilcox, PA

Henry, Bayard & Co. #332, Rolfe, PA,

ca. 1894.

New York & Pennsylvania Co., Johnsonburg, PA, in 1904.

Birmingham Rail & Locomotive Co.

King Lumber Co., Prentice, AL, on 1/15/1913.

Nortac Manufacturing Co., in 1917.


Southern Iron & Equipment Co. #1521, on 1/14/1920 as partial payment on #1.

Sabine Valley Hardwood Co. #1, Bon Weir, TX, on 4/12/1920.

Scrapped about 3/1924.



















Kaupp Lumber Co. #2, Shubuta, MS, but shipped to West-King Lumber Co., Waynesboro, MS

Waterford Lumber Co. #3, Waynesboro, MS, in 1913.

Southern Iron & Equipment Co. #1513, on 12/10/1919.

Nortac Manufacturing Co. #1, on 1/14/1920.

Cost $2,500 with $2,000 allowed in trade on Lima c/n 332.


Rented to Batson-McGehee Co. #1, Millard, MS, ca. 8/1924.

Returned by 4/1/1925.

Gulf Pine Lumber Co. #1726, Poplarville, MS

D. L. Fair Lumber Co. #1, Louisville, MS, in 8/1928 (changed to 36 inch gauge)

Bissell-Alabama Lumber Co. #1, Castleberry, AL, ca. 4/1930 (changed back to standard gauge).






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