On May 31st 1898, The West Side Flume & Lumber Company was formed when William H. Crocker, Henry J. Crocker, Andre Poniatowski, Thomas Bullock and Charles Gardner bought 55,000 acres of timber just outside of present day Tuolumne (Then called “Carter’s”). A small mill was constructed in Carter’s, and a small railroad stretched out 10 miles east into the woods to Nashton.
Although most of the timber logged in the first years went straight to the building of the saw mill, by 1900 there was enough timber being brought into keep the mill going year round even though the railroad shut down during the winter. In 1900 the West Side Flume & Lumber Co. incorporated their railroad as a common carrier, the Hetch Hetchy and Yosemite Valley hoping to offer passenger service to the Hetch Hetchy valley on to Yosemite National Park. Passenger trains were operated twice-weekly and later three times weekly. Ridership on the line was low, with the primary riders being employees of the company. In 1903 the operation was sold to W. R. Thorsten of Michigan and the corporate name was shortened to the West Side Lumber Co. In 1904 the railroad gave up on passenger service, focusing on its growing lumber. Read more >