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Sawmill established on Lompico Creek

Located at just a third of a mile south of Eccles, the Union Mill & Lumber Company maintained a spur just north of the present site of Olympia Station Road. The company was owned by Santa Cruz and Santa Clara County locals and the mill on Lompico Creek was probably established around 1884, when its spur was first connected to the mainline track. The railroad built a short spur down to the county road (now East Zayante Road) at which point the Union Mill extended it to the confluence of Zayante and Lompico Creeks, where it had its mill. The mill was capable of producing 50,000 board feet of lumber per day. Not long after the Southern Pacific took over the railroad in 1887, it took control over the entirety of the Union Mill's spur and upgraded it. A joint-use agreement was arranged whereby the mill maintained the track and the railroad provided the rolling stock. Union Mill closed at some point in the early 1900s. It remained in agency books and timetables until 1910, suggesting that the spur was removed with the standard-guaging of the line. It probably had been out of use for many years by this point. Little else is known about the Union Mill & Lumber Company or its operations in Santa Cruz County. No known photographs exist of the facility or the station.


Eccles, California is a ghost town in Santa Cruz County, near Felton, east of Ben Lomond. It was near where Lompico Creek flows into Zayante Creek.[1] Located between Zayante and Felton, Eccles was a stop on the narrow gauge South Pacific Coast Railroad that ran from Santa Cruz to Oakland from 1880 to 1940. The railroad carried lumber and local produce.[2] It was acquired by the Southern Pacific in the early 1900s, which added weekend excursion trains until the April 18, 1906, earthquake damaged or destroyed tracks, tunnels, and bridges. The Southern Pacific repaired the line, converted it to standard gauge and operated it until March 1940, when it suspended operations. State Route 17, which was completed in 1940, bypassed Eccles, contributing to its decline. The area today is mostly rural and heavily wooded. Some of the old railroad has been preserved, from Olympia (just south of the site of Eccles) to Santa Cruz, and operates as an excursion train, the Santa Cruz, Big Trees and Pacific Railway.


Evening Sentinel - Saturday, September 26, 1896

Duffey & Longley's Mill

But few of the residents of Santa Cruz county know that there is a creek in the county named Lompico, but there is such, its waters mingling with the Zayante at Eccles, a station on the narrow-gauge road a couple of miles north of Felton. Lompico creek is but little visisted and would not now be brought into notice but for the fact that Messrs. Duffey & Longley have a saw-mill located about two miles up the gorge through which the creek runs.

A representative of this paper, in his wanderings paid the mill a visit last Monday, and agter his arrival he was treated to as lively an electric storm as he would wish to experience. The heavens were darkened and the vivid flashings of lightning and sharp rolling thunder betokened the near approach of rain, which limited our stay, for after our departure the rain came down in sheets, to express it mildly.

While at the mill we were greeted by E. R. Longley, son of one of the proprieters. A. D. Duffy, the partner or Mr. Longley Sr., and Messrs. J. T. Hall, the engineer, F. W. Simmonds, head sawyer, and A. N. Hedgpeth, who is in charge of one of the machines used in lumber manufacture.

From Mr. Duffy we learned that 56 men were employed and the cut was about 25,000 feet per day, and that the mill would cut about all the timber in its neighborhood this year, when other quarters would be sought.

There is a great deal of noise and clatter about the saw-mill; every one seems to be busy - no place for a lazy man.

"Yes," said Mr. Duffey, "the men work well and hard. There seems to be a facination and excitement about a saw-mill, for if a man works once in one he hardly ever goes to work at anything else, and if he did, and worked as hard, he would soon be work out, but here he is interested and don't seem to mind it."


 

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