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Research: Tram & Railroad Database

Code: 26
Corporate Name: Gilmer Lumber Company tram road at Lemonville
Folk Name:
Ownership: Alexander Gilmer, president and chief stockholder. Gilmer sold to Dewey-Talbert.
Years of Operation: ca. 1890 to 1928
Track Type:
Standard Gauge Wooden Rails
Track Length: Eighteen
Locations Served: Orange
Counties of Operation: Orange, Sabine, and Jasper
Line Connections: Texas and New Orleans (Southern Pacific) at Orange
Track Information:
Tram Road Logging / Industrial Common Carrier Logging Camp
Equipment: Nine locomotives and tram engines Keeling: five geared and four rod locomotives and eighteen miles of track
History: Gilmer built a standard gauge tram road connected to the Kansas City Southern Railroad at Lemonville, about two miles east of Maurice, adjacent to KCS, and ten miles north of Orange. Lemonville was established in 1897. The Lemonville Lumber Co had a 30,000 feet sawmill here in 1900. By 1904, the Lemon Lumber Company owned it and had increased capacity to 60,000 feet and two planers. By 1906, it was in the assets of Alexander Gilmer. Talbert-Dewey Lumber Company later bought it. When the lumber was exhausted in 1928, the mill was closed and the site abandoned. The tram roads, at one time or another, extended in Orange, Sabine, and Jasper counties. R. R. Cahal, who had an excellent recall of events in the history of the Alexander Gilmer Lumber Company, wrote in 1978, that Gilmer commissary practices resulted in lower prices at the main commissary and the logging Front “than were available elsewhere in the area. A specially built and commodious commissary car was maintained at the logging front for the convenience of workers and the natives living thereby.” Strapac's work notes that the Alexander Gilmer Lumber Company at Orange, Texas, operated nine locomotives and tram engines at various times. [No 2 was delivered at Brookeland, where Gilmer had a sawmill plant three miles distant at Remlig. No 3 was sold to Martin Wagon Company of Lufkin, which had sawmill plants at Lufkin and another in the county. No 5 was sold to Weaver Brothers & Thompson at Latexo, Texas.] Keeling identifies the locomotives as four geared and five rod engines operating over eighteen miles of track.