Davis Cut, Fernley & Lassen
Davis Cut near Susanville of the Fernley & Lassen Railroad, 1912

Well, now that I have included future topics on logging, mining and ranching, I need to add another—railroads. It is hard to imagine in this day and age just how important railroads were for development. In certain ways you could compare it to the internet of the 1800s and for a large part of the 1900s. Railroads were one of the most efficient ways to move goods and people. Without rail transportation, growth was stymied. This was particularly true in Lassen when politics versus common sense bypassed Lassen with the transcontinental railroad. After all which would be cheaper to build and maintain a railroad over Fredonyer Pass/Deer Creek as originally surveyed versus Donner?

Four railroads would build through Lassen—Nevada-California-Oregon, Fernley & Lassen (Southern Pacific), Western Pacific and Great Northern. In addition, Fruit Growers, Lassen Lumber and Red River operated their own logging railroads, so a lot of old iron horsepower was put to work. Stay tuned for more on this topic.


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