Carson & Tahoe Lumber & Fluming
Locomotive No. 1 Glenbrook
The locomotive Glenbrook, and its sister the Tahoe, were built for the Carson & Tahoe Lumber & Fluming Company (C&TL&F) in 1875 by the Baldwin Locomotive Works of Philadelphia. They are 2-6-0, or Mogul, type freight locomotives built to operate the 3 foot narrow gauge rails of the C&TL&F. The Glenbrook and Tahoe were typical of the locomotives built for narrow gauge railroads and industrial lines in the 1870s and 1880s.
The Glenbrook (No. 1) and Tahoe (No. 2) operated on the C&TL&F rail line hauling cut lumber and cord wood from the sawmills at Glenbrook, on the shores of Lake Tahoe, to the top of Spooner Summit, where Highway 50 currently leaves the Tahoe basin. At the Summit the lumber and wood was taken from the flat cars and put in a water flume that carried it to the south end of Carson City. There it was reloaded onto the flat cars of the Virginia & Truckee Railroad and carried to Virginia City, where the lumber was used in construction and as mine supports, while the cord wood fueled the hoist boilers.
In addition to the line from Glenbrook, the C&TL&F also operated a logging railway from Bijou, on the south shore of Lake Tahoe, through the forests to Meyers, originally called Yanks. This line hauled logs to the lake shore, where they were chained together to form rafts that steam boats pulled to the sawmills at Glenbrook. Records suggest that the locomotive Glenbrook was used on this line as well.
By the 1890s most of the available wood around Lake Tahoe had been cut by the C&TL&F. The Bliss family, the owners, closed the Glenbrook sawmills down in 1898. The locomotive Tahoe was sold to the Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad, and eventually acquired by a Hollywood studio. Today it is leased by the Nevada County Historical Society, and is displayed in Nevada City, California.
In 1899 the two C&TL&F rail lines were taken up and, with the Glenbrook and other equipment, barged to the north shore at Tahoe City. From there, the Bliss family built the new Lake Tahoe Railway & Transportation (LTR&T) line to the Southern Pacific station in Truckee. In Tahoe City, the trains met the LTR&T steamships, including the famous Tahoe, that crisscrossed the lake serving the many resorts and other settlements around the lake shore.
In 1926, the Bliss family sold the LTR&T to the Southern Pacific, who promptly converted it to standard gauge. Although the SP acquired the other locomotives, the Bliss family kept the No. 1, storing it at Tahoe City. Finally, in 1937 they sold the locomotive to the Nevada County Narrow Gauge to supply spare parts for its sister, the Tahoe. NCNG was abandoned in 1942, and it looked like the old Glenbrook would finally be scrapped.
Enter Miss Hope Bliss, who in 1943 convinced the family to purchase the historic engine from the scrap company, and then presented the locomotive to the Nevada State Museum in the old mint building in Carson City. For years, the engine sat displayed beside the Museum, played on by generations of kids. In 1980 the State created a new Railroad Museum at the south end of Carson City, and in 1981 the Glenbrook was trucked there in preparation for the long work of restoring it to original 1875 factory condition.