EBT Virtual Tour
Booher Branch

Photo of Booher Branch

This short branch serviced an iron mine south of Rockhill Furnace. the mine and branch were named for a farmer, Joshua Booher, who had bought the land from the Rockhill Iron and Coal Co. He drilled a sample hole in 1880 and interested the RI&C Co. sufficiently that they, in the form of some of their directors, purchased the land back in 1883. the branch was constructed in 1890-91. The branch was owned by the RI&C Co. and operated under lease by the EBT. Operations continued until the 1893 shutdown of the furnaces amid low iron prices and a tumultuous strike. The branch remained out of service after the furnaced reopened using imported Lake Superior ore in 1902, despite initial plans reactivate it. In 1905-06 the branch was rehabilitated and placed back in service to reduce reliance on lage ore. In 1907 a short depression forced the closure of the mine branch. The branch never reopned due the permanent closure of the iron furnaced in 1908. In 1908 the line was sold by the RI&C company to the EBT as part of a finantial manuver. As where the line was acutally owned by RI&C board members and not the company, it was not until 1912 that the EBT had clear ownership at which time the branch was dismantled.

The branch grade was later used by the McKelvey Lumber Company in the 1920s for their logging operations in the Blacklog Mountain area.

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