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Mud Bay Logging Company

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Log cars of the Mud Bay Logging Company at the Mud Bay log dump

Mud Bay Logging Company was a 20th-century logging company based in Olympia, Washington. The company was established in 1899 as Western Washington Logging Company by Mark Draham, who had previously established Mason County Logging Company. The name changed to Mud Bay Logging Company in 1910.[1] The company was disestablished in 1941.[2]


2-6-6-2 Mud Bay Logging Company locomotive "#6" at Northwest Railway Museum

Operations were in the Mud Bay, Thurston County, Washington area, harvesting timber from the Black Hills, hauling it out by logging railroad, and rafting the timber by water from a Mud Bay log dump to mills on Puget Sound.[3][4][5] The railroad ran west from Mud Bay to Summit Lake, about halfway to McCleary, Washington.[1] By 1918, in the Black Hills, the line run as far south as section 20 or 27 of township 17 north, range 3 west—almost as far as Littlerock.[6]: 157 

The company was one of the last in the South Puget Sound area to use a logging railroad. Traces of the rail line can be easily seen across the greater Olympia area, now used as county roads and private driveways, a natural gas pipeline, and a nature trail.[6]: 157, 160 

The company became one of the seven founding members of the State Log Patrol, incorporated in 1928 and given special quasi-law enforcement powers over timber piracy by the state legislature.[7]


A 210,000-pound (95,000 kg) 2-6-6-2 steam powered Mallet locomotive, serial number 60412, was built in 1928 by Baldwin Locomotive Works for Mud Bay Logging Company. It became a Weyerhaeuser Timber Company logging locomotive after Mud Bay dissolved, and was operated at Klamath Falls, Oregon. It was Weyerhaeuser's last steam locomotive. It was acquired by the Northwest Railway Museum at Snoqualmie, Washington, in 1965, and was last operated in 1974.[8][9]


The logging railroad has been converted to a rail trail, now the McLane Creek Nature Trail.[3][4] The timberlands worked by Mud Bay have become part of 100,000-acre (40,000 ha) Capitol State Forest, a state-managed protected area including multi-use forest where logging continues but with modern forestry practices.


  1. ^ a b "Washington to sell timber on school lands -- shingle mills organizing", The Timberman, p. 36, April 1910
  2. ^ "Railroad logging camp, Mud Bay Logging Company", Digital collections, University of Washington Libraries, PH Coll 516.2068
  3. ^ a b McNair-Huff & McNair-Huff 2004, p. 128.
  4. ^ a b Romano 2007, p. 77.
  5. ^ Thurston County 2004, p. A-5.
  6. ^ a b Hannum 2002.
  7. ^ Large artifact collection: Weyerhaeuser Timber Company #6, Northwest Railway Museum, retrieved 2015-08-30
  8. ^ Jon Davis (2006), "Weyerhauser #6/Mud Bay Logging Company #6", Mallets in the Tall Timber, Railfan.net, retrieved 2015-08-30
  • McNair-Huff, N.; McNair-Huff, R. (2004), "McLane Creek", Birding Washington, Birding Series, Globe Pequot Press, ISBN 978-0-7627-2577-9
  • Romano, C. (2007), "McLane Creek", Day Hiking Olympic Peninsula: National Park/Coastal Beaches/Southwest Washington, Day Hiking Series, Mountaineers Books, ISBN 978-1-59485-047-9
  • "Thurston County history", Thurston County Comprehensive Plan (PDF), Thurston County, Washington Long Range Planning Division, November 2004
  • Hannum, James (2002). "Mud Bay Logging Company Railroad". Gone but not forgotten : abandoned railroads of Thurston County, Washington. Olympia, Wash: Hannum House Publications. pp. 155–166. ISBN 0-9679043-2-3.

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