"Tap Line Case" Summary of Mill Creek & Little River Railway  
  Abstracted from "Tap Line Case", published in Decisions of the Interstate Commerce Commission, 23 I.C.C. 277, 23 I.C.C. 549, and in Decisions of the United States Supreme Court, 234 U.S. 1.  

MILL CREEK & LITTLE RIVER RAILWAY. The Mill Creek & Little River Railway & Navigation Company is controlled by the stockholders of the Little River Lumber Company, which furnishes its entire traffic, consisting, for the year covered by this record, of 52,425 tons of logs and lumber and 197 tons of merchandise. It is admitted on the brief that the two companies are one and the same investment, and that there is no outside traffic. The country traversed is hilly, with very few settlers, for whom the tap line does not, in fact, carry any products or supplies. The mill is at Manistee, La., on the tap line about 3 miles from the junction with the Iron Mountain. This is purely a mill town, of about 300 inhabit-ants and a company store, The construction of the tap line was begun in August, 1905, by the lumber company, and about 6 miles were built the first year. In November, 1905, the tap-line corporation was formed, but it did not take title to the railroad property until 1908. There are 10 miles of incorporated track, lightly constructed with 35-pound rails, of which 8 miles is on land owned by the lumber company, the tap line itself owning no right of way. The lumber company also has several miles of unincorporated logging spurs, the rails in which are owned by the tap line. The equipment of the tap line consists of 2 locomotives and 12 logging cars.

For the movement of the logs to the mill the tap line makes a charge of $4 per car against the lumber company; and this includes the operation of the unincorporated spurs. It also includes the unloading of the logs into the mill pond by employees of the tap line. The tap line switches the empty cars furnished by the Iron Mountain from the junction point known as Bryant's spur to the mill, a distance of 3 miles, and switches the loaded cars the same distance back to the Iron Mountain. For this service a division of 2 cents per 100 pounds is allowed out of the rates, which are the same from the mill as from originating points on the Iron Mountain proper.

It is interesting to observe that for several years there was a mill in operation at Manistee which brought in its logs by ox carts and reached the Iron Mountain with its lumber over a wooden tram operated by mule power. The mill was compelled to suspend operations with the cutting away of the timber standing within a distance that could be logged profitably by wagon. The present owners purchased the property and constructed the tap line.

The intention of the lumber company seems to have been to acquire barges or other floating equipment and thus move forest products on the river. This intention is expressed in the corporate title of the tap line, but has not been made effective.

Text and images were digitized and proofread from the original source documents by Murry Hammond. Contact Murry for all corrections, additions, and contributions of new material.