REGARDING the operations of the Gerard B. Lambert Co., I am able to give the following general items of interest:
Elaine is on a division of the Iron Mountain railroad, thirty miles south of Helena, Ark. From this point, the Gerard B. Lambert Company, an Arkansas corporation, of which I am president and Henry F. Holbrook, secretary and treasurer, has built a railroad to the timber holdings of that company, six miles due west of Elaine. This logging road was built for the most part during the winter, and was a great source of trouble on account of the difficult character of the soil. It is an alluvial deposit and when wet, turns almost to liquid. We finally succeeded in ballasting the road with 18 inches of gravel, and now have practically no General Office Gerard B. Lambert Co., Elaine, Ark. trouble with it. We use all oak ties, which are supplied from our own property. The road is standard gauge and the steel from 56 to 60 pounds. The timber being cut is hardwood, 40% oak, 50% gum and the remainder miscellaneous. We have about ten miles of ballasted main line so far, and maintain an additional ten miles of spurs. This, of course, is not ballasted, and is put directly on the ground using, however, all oak ties and the same size rail. Our spurs run north and south from the main line every quarter of a mile. We keep four spurs working at once and as they are cleaned up, move the steel west for the spurs.
All the timber of the Gerard B. Lambert Company is being delivered under a flat contract to the newly constructed hardwood mill of The Chicago Mill & Lumber Company, West Helena. This company owns 150 steel flat cars of standard construction with a capacity of 80,000 pounds. These are confined exclusively to our service. We maintain two 24-ton Shay locomotives on our spurs and one 42-ton Shay on our main line. We find this locomotive equipment entirely sufficient for the operation. The cars from the spurs are hauled to the main line by the 24-ton Shays, and they are made up twice a day in a train for the 42-ton to haul to Elaine, six miles away. This 42-ton, our No. 5, can handle 38 loaded log cars at one time over our main line without any particular trouble. These cars are loaded each with logs averaging 5500 board feet. I believe this green hardwood weighs at least 12 pounds to the foot, giving the timber alone a weight of 66,000 pounds for each car. The logging train on arrival in Elaine is taken by the locomotive belonging to the Chicago Mill & Lumber Company, and the entire train is run through to West Helena. They run over the tracks of the Iron Mountain until about three miles of their plant, and from this point, over their own tracks to the mill. This train service, in which they employ their own cars, locomotive and train crew, is run on the Iron Mountain independently of their service, but they are paid a certain rate per ton per mile for this trackage right.
Our logging plant delivers logs all the year around in spite of weather conditions. Each day after September we bring in a few cars over and above those to be delivered and these are unloaded and stored at a storage yard in Elaine. The machine for doing this work was constructed especially for us by the Clyde Iron Works at Duluth, Minn. It has a 16 foot gauge, and is self-propelling, allowing the standard cars to pass underneath after unloading. With its 75 foot boom it is enabled to pile the logs on a high pile with ease. In case of over-flow or very wet weather on the land where we are logging, we deliver to the Chicago Mill & Lumber 42-ton Shay Locomotive owned by Chicago Mill and Lumber Company from this storage yard, and are thereby enabled to keep up consistent deliveries throughout the year.
Our capacity in running full is 48,000,000 ft. per year. I do not believe you will find another single logging hardwood operation in the South delivering this quantity.
Regarding our logging equipment, we have four double line mule out-haul self-propelling Clyde skidders, all identically the same and interchangeable; also four Clyde rapid loaders, all interchangeable. We are thus enabled to keep a skidder and loader available for emergencies and have sufficient operating capacity at all times.
From the above you will see that our machinery equipment is confined practically to two companies —four skidders, four loaders and an unloading machine from Clyde, and three Shay locomotives from the Lima Locomotive Corporation. That we deliver the goods is sufficient answer as to their quality.
The locomotive of the Chicago Mill & Lumber Company for the haul from Elaine is a rod locomotive of 70 tons, I believe. They maintain also a 42-ton Lima for switching at their plant. This is locomotive No. 10 in the photographs.
The plant of the Chicago Mill & Lumber Company in West Helena is of the latest type, and has not been completed longer than a few months. The sawmill has a capacity of 80,000 feet and the veneer and box plant has a capacity of 60,000 feet. This is, of course, only one of their many plants.
The primary object of The Gerard B. Lambert Company is not to remain in the lumber business, but to clear up all of the land which they are now logging and put same under cultivation, mostly in cotton. The plans for towns, building, etc. have been carefully laid in advance and they will endeavor to establish a scientific up-to-date farming community. The soil, as you know, is a combination of the salt of the Mississippi River and some lime overflow of the White River, forming a deposit which is as rich as any soil in the United States. The timber averages 8,000 feet per acre, and is very fine hardwood of its kind.