Davis Cut – Lassen County

Davis Cut under construction. Courtesy of David Ross

In April 1912, the Southern Pacific Railroad announced construction of the Fernley & Lassen Railroad, and awarded the contract to the Utah Construction Company. That company hired a numbered of sub-contractors, the most prominent of which was J.H. Maxey Construction Company. No time was wasted on construction as there was a deadline to reach Westwood by March 1, 1914.  In the fall of 1912, a construction train reached Davis Cut, near Johnstonville.  There were several fatalities associated with the construction of the railroad, and one of them occurred at Davis Cut. On April 13, 1913, James Cook, a powderman for the J.H. Maxey Construction Company, was killed there in an explosion to blast the rock.

For those not familiar with the location, it is just past Brockman Slough, near Johnstonville on your way to the prisons. It was named after the John C. Davis family who owned the property there.


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