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Steam Donkey Days


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Hank Sims referred in the “Town Dandy” of Dec. 18 to “... the Timber Heritage Museum, a proposed showcase of ancient train equipment ...” Well, yes, it is that -- and so much more. The Timber Heritage Association is planning an extensive and partly interactive museum displaying our large collection of historic logging equipment. We have everything from misery whips and steam donkeys to drag saws and a portable sawmill. As part of the museum, we plan to operate a steam-powered tourist railroad between Samoa and Eureka. We have the original, local equipment, including locomotives, thanks to the foresight of the organization’s founders back in the 1970s.

Humboldt County’s redwood forests produced innovation along with lumber. The steam donkey was invented here. THA’s collection focuses on the steam era between the 1880s and 1950s -- between ox teams and dieselization. Our museum and railroad will be located at the historic Samoa shops complex behind the Cookhouse. This will be a unique educational and entertainment attraction that has significant potential to help turn the Eureka area into a destination rather than a drive-through. There’s lots of work to do. Volunteers are welcome. Check us out at www.timberheritage.org.

— David R. Young, Secretary, Timber Heritage Association


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