Monday, June 30, 2014

Schutte Lumber Company

This installment of the Fairgrounds Branch tour looks at Schutte Lumber, which was spot #311 on the 1972 Map.

While the lumberyard occupies the same real estate as it traditionally has, rail service has been severely curtailed since it's heyday.  Schutte must have found it more economical to have the Frisco spot cars directly for unloading rather than move material around the yard -- in the days of horse and buggy, who could blame them -- as there were multiple spur tracks to multiple car spots at each of their buildings.

Here's how the grounds appeared as late as 1957; note the myriad of tracks serving many different buildings.

A massive fire nearly destroyed this business in 2003 and likely reshaped it to the shed configuration seen today.  The myriad of rail spurs into nearly every building was reduced to just the two current tracks at the edge of the property.  Based on this independent review, they had rail service as of 2006 and, according to their website they still do, though recent photography from Google (street and aerial) show the tracks in pretty rough shape.

It's not clear if that fire coincided with any retrenchment of the Fairgrounds Branch itself...As mentioned in the Pacific Mutual Door Company post, rail south of Schutte Lumber was gone by 2006.

Modeling of this industry will be very era-dependent and difficult to squeeze onto traditional shelf-style linear benchwork.

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