Mobile River Sawmill Company

mrsc_state The Mobile River Sawmill Company was a south Alabama lumber operation on US 43 about 20 miles north of Mobile. The line interchanged with the St. Louis - San Francisco Railroad (Frisco) using a handsome Baldwin "Prarie" type steamer up until the mid 1950s. The mill later used a center-cab Davenport diesel for handling its trains.

Mobile River Sawmill Company #18

  • builder:Baldwin Locomotive Works
  • arrangement:2-6-2 Prarie
  • built:Jan 1920, Baldwin #52850
  • fuel:coal/water
  • notes:
  • ex Bagdad Land & Lumber Co #18
  • journal_rwh
    July 2008

    In the summer of 2008, I received an e-mail through this website from a woman in south Mississippi who did a web search for "Mobile River Sawmill Company" and found our site. We struck up a lively e-mail exchange, through which she related to me that her father had been for many years the engineer at the Mobile River mill. What few photos she had of "her father's" Baldwin locomotive had been damaged by the coastal flooding associated with Hurricane Katrina. As such, she was delighted to discover our two-photo MRSC collection. She recalled for me how their homeplace sat adjacent to the sawmill line, and often her father would announce his run out to the Frisco with a blast of his whistle. That was the signal for her and her brothers to meet him out at the tracks, climb aboard the Baldwin, and ride out to the mainline and back. She had many good memories of this little railroad, and she was delighted to make prints of our photographs to give to her brothers for Christmas.

    This kind of exchange is exactly what we were hoping for in launching this site.

    July 2017

    I was pleased to receive the following correspondence and photos from Michigan railfan Doug Leffler:

    Attached are a few shots that I took in July 1968 at the Cadillac & Lake City Railway in northern Michigan. In 1968, the C&LC leased ex Florida & Alabama no. 18 (nee: W. B. Harbison Lumber no. 18; later F&A no. 18 and then Mobile River Sawmill Co. no. 18, which is shown in your Industrial pages). My wife Sandy and I and a friend and his wife spent the whole day there, riding and chasing the train. Sandy and my friend's late wife also both had cab rides while no. 18 was switching at North Cadillac. The no. 18 is a beautiful example of Baldwin craftsmanship! I hope you enjoy the shots.

    HawkinsRails thanks Doug Leffler for use of his ex Mobile River Sawmill #18 photos above
    This page was updated on 2017-07-12