Los Gatos was never a heavy logging town despite its close proximity to the redwoods of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Perhaps this was because the railroad could get much closer to the source than the town, or perhaps it was because Saratoga and other more northern towns were able to take in the bulk of the supply. Regardless, by 1888, the Lindon & Silverton Lumber Company had begun using the vacant lot behind the Southern Pacific Railroad's engine house to build a box factory and planing mill.
The facility appears to have been short lived, coming into existence in 1888 according to a Sanborn Fire Insurance survey map from the same year. The box factory and planing mill were built immediately west of the railroad right-of-way through Los Gatos with an attached barley and grain mill. Goods were loaded directly onto boxcars waiting on the main track. A large lumber yard sat along a spur west of the fruit packing spur where awaiting lumber could be loaded onto freight cars.
|Sanborn Fire Insurance survey map showing the Los Gatos Planing Mill, 1888. (UC Santa Cruz Digital Collections)|
The planing mill was located down Mullen Street a half-block down from Santa Cruz Avenue, behind the businesses. It is now in a parking lot bisected by Station Way. Regretfully, Los Gatos: Gem of the Foothills by George G. Bruntz does not deign to even mention the short-lived lumbering industry in Los Gatos.