|A map showing the site of Dougherty Mill|
(purple marker) and the Riverside Grove
subdivision (flag). (Courtesy Google Maps)
The result was the Dougherty Extension Railroad, a railroad specifically designed to service the SCVM&L Co. mill at Riverside Grove, though also servicing around a half dozen other minor mills via direct connections and loading spurs. Most of these other mills were at least partially owned by the SCVM&L Co. The new narrow-gauged railroad reached Riverside Grove in 1888 and the flume was finally dismantled soon after. The new railroad extension was built to support South Pacific Coast (or rather Southern Pacific, since the transfer of ownership in 1887) rolling stock and much of the right-of-way was built to conform to company standards. For twelve years the Dougherty Extension Railroad would service the mill, allowing the Doughertys to ship all of their finished lumber, split stuff, ties, and shingles down to Santa Cruz or over the mountains to San Francisco. Production at the mill averaged at 50,000 board feet of lumber a day. A small community developed around the mill including a cookhouse, 30 four-person bunkhouses, a schoolhouse, and a meeting hall. An entire school district was established to teach the twenty-odd children living at the mill.
|1892 Sanborn Map of the Santa Clara Valley Mill & Lumber Co facilities at Riverside Grove. (Courtesy UC Santa Cruz)|
|Santa Clara Valley Mill & Lumber Company facility at Riverside Grove, 1895. (Courtesy SLV Museum)|
|1908 Sanborn Insurance map showing the former California Timber Company site at Riverside Grove.|
(Courtesy UC Santa Cruz Digital Collection)
No strong lingering presence of the railroad remains at Riverside Grove. Though the properties did not sell particularly well, those lots with quick access to State Route 9 did better than most. A reminder of logging days remains with "Lake Street" sitting along the former site of the log pond. Some property lines also still hinting at the railroad's right-of-way. Still, the site today remains simply a rural community with knowledge of its railroading past, but few surviving relics of it.
- Rick Hamman, California's Central Coast Railways (Santa Cruz, CA: Otter B Books, 2002).
- Lisa Robinson, Images of America: The San Lorenzo Valley (Charleston, SC: Arcadia Press, 2012).