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Research: Tram & Railroad Database

Code: 100
Corporate Name: Newton County Tram Company.
Folk Name:
Ownership: Newton County Tram Company. Sheriff E. D. Downs, president; Ed Ellington; T. J. Trotti. Later sold to Kirby Lumber Corporation. .
Years of Operation: 1890s to 1906
Track Type:
Standard Gauge Wooden Rails
Track Length:
Locations Served: Trotti (Klondike) Newton
Counties of Operation:
Line Connections:
Track Information:
Tram Road Logging / Industrial Common Carrier Logging Camp
History: T. J. Trotti wanted to harvest a stand of virgin pine located two miles from the Sabine and ten miles southeast of Newton. His logging community was called Klondike, later Trotti. It expanded slowly, from using oxen to skid logs into the River, to eventually building a wooden tram road to facilitate the movement of cut timber. Finally, the operation entered the modern world of sawmilling when Trotti brough a small locomotive up the Sabine River, offloaded it at Old Salem, where it rolled over the steel tracks the short distance to Trotti. In 1899, Trotti partnered with Sheriff E. D. Downs and Ed Ellington, and the Newton County Tram Company was founded. A trade journal noted that “E. D. Downs, president of New County Tram Company, spent several days” in Beaumont “transacting mill business with the mill men.” The Kirby Lumber Company bought Newton County Tram in 1901, establishing its tram headquarters at Old Salem, and operated the logging camp until the timber was cut out in 1906. The tram road consisted of ten standard gauge miles, according to the American Lumberman , in 1906. The average of 100 workers could monthly drop about three million feet of timber into the river. After Kirby sold Mill D at Orange to Miller-Link in 1905, thus eliminating the Sabine River as a route of transportation and requiring another cost-effective method of transporting the logs, the logging tram headquarters were abandoned at Old Salem. The company shipped the logs by rail to Call and Roganville. The riverport of Old Salem had been of the oldest on the Sabine River, dating back to the old corn and cotton days. It soon became a ghost town.