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Research: Tram & Railroad Database

Code: 109
Corporate Name: Egypt & Montgomery Railway.
Folk Name:
Ownership: Lake Creek Lumber Company. Lake Creek Lumber bought out Montgomery & Collins. E. N. Oualline bought Lake Creek Lbr Co. Oualline & Decker, 1893 to 1896.
Years of Operation: 1884 to 1896
Track Type:
Standard Gauge Wooden Rails
Track Length: Eight
Locations Served: Kelly's Switch, Brantley (Montgomery)
Counties of Operation: Montgomery
Line Connections:
Track Information:
Tram Road Logging / Industrial Common Carrier Logging Camp
Equipment: 1888: Collins & Montgomery six yokes of oxen, two log wagons, wooden tramway. 1891: Lake Creek Lumber Companythree lumber trucks, all slab trucks, one Shay locomotive, five log cars, the iron and wood tram track used as a tram road, sixteen yokes of oxen, two mules, three log wagons, and three log carts.
History: The Lake Creek Ry Co., identified in Montgomery County records as the Egypt & Montgomery Railroad, is a little known tram road in East Texas forest history. The beginning of the tram road is unknown. Isaac Conroe, who operated such trams in Montgomery County, was sawmilling at Egypt in 1875. The location of the small community perhaps gave its name to a local tram operation. The Lake Creek Ry Co. was chartered in 1884, according to Reed, and was probably the tram road of Lake Creek Lumber Company, owned by J. H. Smith and M. Wallace, who were not yet sawmilling at that time. The tramway ran on and near the Alfred Dutcher survey, ten miles southeast of Montgomery, in Montgomery County. By 1885, notes Zlatkovich, eight miles of railway connected its terminus at Kelly's Switch with Hawthicket and Montgomery. Kelly's Switch was first known as Brantley, a stop on the Gulf, Coast & Santa Fe. The Montgomery County records do not mention the Lake Creek Ry Co. but the Egypt & Montgomery Railroad does appear in sales involving the Lake Creek Lumber Company. I. H. Collins and H. J. Montgomery operated a steam sawmill at or near Kelly's Switch and had built their own wooden tram road over which animals pulled log carts filled with sawlogs. When Lake Creek Lumber Company bought out Collins & Montgomery on October 20, 1888, bills of sales record that a regular sawmill community had grown at the sawmill site as well as the tram. Besides the sawmill and its equipment, Collins & Montgomery sold buildings on the the Egypt & Montgomery Railroad, six yokes of oxen, two log wagons, $1200 worth of commissary goods, and a commissary. The oxen would have dragged the logs to the tram road, where they would have been loaded into the wagons and dragged along the wooden tracks to the sawmill at the Switch. Smith and Wallace, the proprietors of Lake Creek Lumber Company, made substantial improvements in the logging operation during the next three years as revealed by the sale records of their company to noted Montgomery County sawmiller, Edward N. Oualline, in 1891. Assets included the sawmill and engine, boiler machinery, three lumber trucks, all slab trucks, one Shay locomotive, five log cars, the iron and wood tram track used as a tram road, all buildings east of the Egypt & Montgomery Railroad, sixteen yokes of oxen, two mules, three log wagons, and three log carts. The combinations of the small locomotive, logging cars, wagons, and carts, plus the animals, indicate that Lake Creek Lumber had introduced mechanization to the logging operation but still incorporated an extensive use of animal power for skidding and perhaps as a backup to the locomotive if it developed problems. No further information is known about Oualline's logging trams after 1893 in Montgomery County records. The Lake Creek Ry Co. was officially abandoned in 1895, according to Reed.