Much of the commercial logging of the North Coast centered around Eureka, and Humboldt Bay. Several railroad companies competed to stake claim to the growing market for redwood lumber. Railroad cars were able to transport large supplies of logs from forest cuts to sawmills and on to coastal shipping ports.
In 1875, the first steam locomotive began work in Arcata. Logging companies were expanding their footprint in the redwood forests, and many railroad lines branched into the forests of Humboldt County. Eureka was quickly becoming a prominent shipping port to large cities on the West coast and beyond. The introduction of railroads to the Humboldt County area expanded the commercial potential of the redwood forests exponentially.
This railroad bridge was built by the Little River Redwood Company in 1907. At 110 feet high, it was the tallest single spile trestle in the world at the time. The engineers reportedly did not enjoy traversing the bridge, because it wiggled.
Beginning in 1886, John Vance hosted an annual picnic each summer near his sawmill. In this photo, some of his employees are shown with their families near his Mad River Ralroad No. 3 called "Onward", loaded with sixteen redwood logs.