| The Pacific
Medco Logging Railroad and Related History
The Pacific and
A Brief History
The Pacific & Eastern began as the
Medford & Crater Lake Railroad in Dec. 1904. Official ground
breaking was in April
1905. The railroad reached Eagle Point
in spring of 1907 and due to higher than expected costs ceased
operation in May
In May 1907 James A. Hill, who was also involved in the Spokane,
Portland & Seattle
Railroad purchased the line renaming the railroad the Pacific &
Railway. It was Hill’s goal to use the
line as part of a bigger plan of reaching California.
Construction was restarted to Butte
Falls and progressed
smoothly. The line to Butte
Falls was finished on April
1911. An economic downturn in 1918
doomed the line with operations ceasing in Jan. 1919.
The rails lay dormant until Aug. 1920 when James N. Brownlee and
D. Olds pooled their resources into the Brownlee-Olds Lumber Company. Brownlee also bought the Pacific &
Eastern Railway and all rolling stock.
Their goal was to use the line to move timber from the nearby
to a new mill in Medford.
In 1923 Brownlee sold his shares to Olds. In
May of 1924 Olds sold everything to John
S. Owen. Owen and his backers formed the
Owen-Oregon Lumber Company. The Medford
Logging Railroad Company was incorporated as a wholly owned subsidiary.
In the late 1920’s serious thought was given to extending the
line from Butte
Falls to Klamath
Falls. It was the
hope of the planners that the line
would give shippers a second route for product moving out of the valley. The financial collapse of 1929 ended the
dream as funds became unavailable to finance the project.
In 1932 Owen-Oregon went into receivership.
During the same year a group of Chicago
based bondholders reorganized the property as the Medford Corporation,
known as MEDCO.
The line eventually reached as far as the Medco Ponds, about
way between Butte Falls
and Prospect, and to just east of Willow
railroad continued into the early 60’s when it was determined that the
better moved by truck. Operations ceased
in 1962 with equipment being sold to other operators.
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