Willamette Steam Donkey Engine

Willamette Steam Donkey Engine (HM22X2)

Location: Saint Maries, ID 83861 Benewah County
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Country: United States of America
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N 47° 19.103', W 116° 35.185'

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"A locomotive without wheels..."

The Willamette donkeys were fueled by wood or oil, which generated steam to turn drums that were spooled with cable.
Cables of 8,000 to 12,000 feet length were common.
Because of the long lengths of cable used, usually the "choke setter" (choker), wasn't in sight of the steam donkey operator ("donkey puncher").
Therefore a long line was run from the donkey's steam whistle - mounted on the engine above the operator, to the vicinity of the "choker" - up to 1 ½ miles away.
A "whistle punk" (often a young lad) would relay the verbal instructions and warnings from the nearby choker to the donkey puncher by yanking on the steam whistle line, using a simple code.
The "shrill" instructions would jolt the puncher into action and he would start the rewinding of the cable, "skidding" the logs to his location.

In 1958, this three-spool Willamette was skidded out from Hobo Creek, loaded onto a lowboy and brought to town by Robinson Brothers Logging Company. At one time there were at least twenty donkeys in the Marble Creek country.
At least one still remains, abandoned, at Cornwall.
HM NumberHM22X2
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, November 16th, 2017 at 7:02am PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)31N E 166021 N 0
Decimal Degrees47.31838333, -116.58641667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 47° 19.103', W 116° 35.185'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds47° 19' 6.18" N, 116° 35' 11.1" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)208
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling West
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 301-349 N 23rd St, Saint Maries ID 83861, US
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