The Clyde Rehaul Skidder

One of the most unique things on the Southern Forest Heritage Museum’s property is a Clyde double-ended rehaul skidder. It is thought to be the only machine of its type still in existence. Ron Findley and I first saw it when we stumbled on the property back in 1988. It was parked in the woods just a few dozen feet in front of locomotive #400.

On a return visit in April of 2011, we found the trees and undergrowth had been cleared away considerably which enabled us to get a few photographs. Ron recorded these views of the machine as it appeared that day.

Clyde Reload Skidder- View 1
The Clyde rehaul skidder. Mostly intact with the exception of the large A-frame booms on each end and the boiler stack and enclosure at top center. Note the heavy clevises on top of the chassis at each side. This is where the boom assembly attaches to the machine.
Clyde Reload Skidder- View 2
This view shows the internals of the machine a bit clearer. There would be another boom at this end (hence the name “double-ended”). The large cylinder in the center is a vertical boiler. The boiler stack and a small enclosure atop the frame are missing. All these things can be seen in the photograph linked to on the SFHM website below.

Built by the Clyde Iron Works in 1919, this machine was used to haul logs from where they were harvested to the railhead. It was able to pull logs in from up to a thousand feet away. Being double-ended (booms on each end), it could pull logs from a huge surrounding area without having to relocate. A photo of the machine in operation is on this SFHM webpage (scroll down a ways to see it in action).

There are various locomotive and equipment pieces-parts scattered throughout this area. We assume that this was where much scrapping was done. Fortunately the scrappers weren’t careful to haul away every piece, and they remain where they fell to this day. One thing of particular interest to me are the remains of a Shay locomotive (tears in my eyes)!

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