Intel's Ronler Acres Plant

Silicon Forest

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Stirling City, California

Diamond Match Sawmill, Stirling City, California, 1912
Stirling City, California, is a place in the western foothills of the Sierra Nevada. There was a loop (which terminates a winding spur line) of the Southern Pacific Railroad there, built to collect lumber from the Lassen National Forest. It came into being when the Diamond Match Company built a sawmill there back in 1903. It got its name from the boiler used at the company's Barber plant, made by the Stirling Boiler Company. Stirling Boiler is now a division of Babcock-Wilcox. The sawmill closed in the early 1970s. The land surrounding Stirling City is still harvested for timber. Barber, a suburb of Chico, was named for the founder of Diamond Match. - Extracted from Wikipedia

The Stirling City Museum has a collection of photos of early lumbering operations, including the Shay locomotives that were used on the 'winding spur line'. Click on FS in the lower right corner of the gray frame to see the pictures at full size.

10,000 board feet per day does not sound like enough to justify building a railroad line and a sawmill. Ten good sized logs would be sufficient for that. But lumber is always in demand, so perhaps Barber was branching out and this branching out just happened to ensure him with a supply of wood for his match factories.

Inspired by an email from Posthip Scott, who is "in the wilds of Magalia, out of  Paradise, out of Chico.  Not really near anything except Stirling City, onetime home to the Diamond Match Company. . . The internet connection up here is a slow version of dial-up, which is another impediment."

I've heard rumors of dial-up connections, but I didn't think anyone really had one.

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