Tallahala Lumber Co.

36" gauge at Ora

Standard gauge at Tallahala

Headquarters: Rock Island IL

Mill Location: Ora, MS (Covington County)

Mill Capacity: 90,000 ft/day in 1917

Years of Operation: 1916-1921

Miles Operated

Locomotives Owned


See also: Tallahala Lumber at Ellisville

Easterling Lumber Co.

Major-Sowers Saw Mill Co.


Click Map for Larger Version

History by Gil Hoffman:

By 1915 the Tallahala Lumber Company, of Ellisville, Jones County, had acquired large yellow pine timber holdings in Jones, Perry and Forrest counties. In December 1916 the company built 12 miles of standard gauge railroad from Hattiesburg to Tallahala, in Perry County, where its logging operations were to be located. This line was laid with rail leased from the Gulf & Ship Island Railroad. To manufacture this timber into lumber, the company took over the mill of the Easterling Lumber Company, at Ora, Covington County, on June 5, 1917. Logs were hauled by the company to Hattiesburg, then shipped to Ora over the Gulf & Ship Island. In the summer of 1917 the Ora mill was overhauled. Harvey Koch was the mill superintendent. 

Because the freight rate on logs to Ora from Hattiesburg was increased by the Gulf & Ship Island making the Ora operation uneconomical, on August 15, 1921, the company sold its timber holdings in Forrest and Perry counties and the logging railroad from Tallahala to Hattiesburg to the Major-Sowers Saw Mill Company, of Epley, Lamar County. The last log was cut at the Ora mill on October 20, 1921.



















ROSTER by Gil Hoffman: 

Standard Gauge Locomotives:


172              3T Shay         Lima                        577                        9-1899                   32                    3-13x13                   135000

                                  Purchased from W. A. Zelnicker Supply Co., St. Louis, MO.

Built as Kaul & Hall Lumber Co. #72, St. Marys, PA, renumb. #172; to W. A. Zelnicker Supply Co.

Renumb. #5.

Transferred to Natalbany Lumber Co. #5, Natalbany, LA.


173              3T Shay         Lima                        745                      12-1902                   32                    3-12x12                   125000

                                 Purchased from J. J. Newman Lumber Co. 2nd #2, Hattiesburg, MS, on 3-26-18.

                                            Cost $8,000.

Built as J. J. Newman Lumber Co. 1st #10, Hattiesburg, MS, renumb. 2nd #2 in 1906.

Renumb. #4.

Transferred to Apollonia Lumber Co. #4, Pelahatchie, MS, in 1924.



36-Inch Gauge Locomotives:


?                  2-6-0               Baldwin                  5317                    10-1880                   37                    13x18                      45000

                                 Purchased from Southern Iron & Equipment Co. #1026, Atlanta, GA, in 1916.

Built as Bellís Gap #3; to Bright Hope Ry. & Coal Co. #1, Chester, VA, in 1882; to Shell Lake Lumber Co., Shell Lake, WI; to Mt. Airy & Eastern #3, Mt. Airy, NC, by 2-1907; to Southern Iron & Equipment Co. #1026.

Sold to Southern Iron & Equipment Co. #1265, Atlanta, Ga.; to Fox Brothers Co., for Compania del F. Cy. Muelledo de Pimentel #10, Peru, on 7-16-18.

Baldwin class 8-20 D 31


3                                          2-8-0                       Baldwin              13634                      8-1893             38     17x20             82000

                                             Purchased from Southern Iron & Equipment Co. #1088, Atlanta, GA, on 11-23-16.

                                            Built as Crystal River Ry. #11, Redstone, CO, an 0-8-0; cancelled and resold to: Central of Georgia #804,                                                                             on 11-22-97, rebuilt to 2-8-0 prior to shipment; to Gainesville Midland Ry., Gainesville, GA, in 1906; to                                                                      Southern Iron & Equipment Co. #973, Atlanta, GA; to Mt. Airy & Eastern #9, Mt. Airy, NC, on 8-25-15;                                                                                to Southern Iron & Equipment Co. #1088.

                                            Sold to Compania Azucarera Madrazo, S. A., Cuba

                                            Baldwin class 8-28 E 1


6?                2-8-0               Mt. Savage            33                         -1883                      36                    15x18                      56000

                                 Purchased secondhand.

Built as Austin & Northwestern #5, Austin, TX; to Eagles Mere R.R. #3, Eagles Mere, PA, in 1892; to Southern Iron & Equipment Co., Atlanta, GA; to Kingston & Central Mississippi Ry., Laurel, MS, on 6-22-01; to W. S. Carter, Orange, MS, on 9-25-03.

Sold to Southern Iron & Equipment Co. #1264, Atlanta, GA; to Compania Azucarera Madrazo, S. A. #4, Cuba, on 8-26-18.


5                  2T Shay         Lima                        2218                    11-1909                   28                    3-10x10                   72000


Purchased from Easterling Lumber Co. #5, Ora, MS, on 6-5-17.

Transferred to Natalbany Lumber Co. #6, Kentwood, LA. Scrapped about 3-1924.







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