Pudding Creek Trestle

Ten Mile River is, give or take, ten miles north of Fort Bragg, The Union Lumber Company constructed the Ten Mile Railroad between 1915 and 1916 to bring logs from the 10 Mile River drainage area to the mill. The line extended north from the mill past over Pudding Creek. The railroad ceased operations in June 1949 and the railway roadbed was then converted into a road. This picture shows last load of logs to cross the Pudding Creek trestle by train. After the railway was removed the Pudding Creek trestle became part of the ULC road system that was used to haul logs – hence the locals name for the road on the south side of the trestle, the Haul Road.

Note: Click the pictures to see a larger version.

The Pudding Creek Trestle (see picture below) could well qualify as an icon for Fort Bragg. It is/was the first of five trestles between the ULC and Camp One some 9 plus miles north. It has 34 bents (uprights) each 44 feet high and is 527 feet long. The trestle you see today is different from the way it was originally built. The original trestle was for a railway and had a walkway between the rails.

After the 10 Mile Railway was torn up in 1949 the bridge was significantly reinforced when it became part of the haul road. The trucks (see picture below) that were used to haul the lumber were specially built off-road monsters with a 10 foot wheel span and were not allowed on “regular” roads. The trestle had additional uprights added as well as many longitudinal members.

Look carefully at the trestle from the road. No, your eyes do not deceive you. The trestle (see picture below) does go downhill. It has an 0.75 per cent grade in fact. This means that the Fort Bragg end is 4 feet higher than the other which is why the fireman of the train made sure the engine had a full head of steam when they approached Fort Bragg. It also might explain why there are no pictures of a train with a full load stopped on the bridge.

The sand hill (see picture below) on the north and road side of the trestle was not there when it was built.

When first constructed there was a nice flat beach that had a boardwalk and dressing cabins built by the Fort Bragg Bachelor’s Club as a public service. How did the sand hill get there? Who maintains/replenishes it? The answer is the wind, which picks up the sand on the sea side of the trestle and because of the impedance of the bents drops the sand on the road side. The trestle is in excellent shape. It has become part of the State Park system. Funding was obtained and the trestle has been refurbished and there is a walkway/bike path along the top.

Looking up Pudding Creek to the east from the road you can see the dam. Behind this dam there used to be a huge log pond which held up to 20 million feet of timber as this picture shows.

This log pond serviced the first Fort Bragg Mill – see picture below taken about 1897.

And our model? The picture below shows our diorama being transported from member Tony Phillips house to be placed in the Train Society’s layout.