Comapny Prefers Long sheep Drive to Expensive Railway Shipping

Jun 25, 2014

 The Western Meat Company had spent nearly $100,000 in 1914 for 19,000 fat sheep and gathered them in Lakeview, Ore., for shipment to California.  But its plans were stymied by forestry officials’ refusal to let the company drive the sheep through the corridor they had been using for years across the Klamath/Modoc Reservation to the railhead at Klamath Falls. 

 The narrow-gauge Nevada, California and Oregon Railway offered to reduce its fees for shipping the sheep from Lakeview to Doyle, Calif., and from there on the Western Pacific Railroad to Oakland.  Since it took three narrow-gauge carloads to fill a standard-width car, the cost was almost double the usual fare. The Western Meat Company agreed to the charges, but required 50 cars a day to move 800 sheep. The railroad had only 55 cars and only supplied 20 on the first day.  The deal was canceled. The company instead drove the sheep 150 miles around Tule Lake to Montague, Calif., for shipment on the Southern Pacific Railroad that had offered undisclosed, reduced fees.  The company opted for the lower shipping cost even though it risked sheep would lose weight on the long drive. 

 Source: "Drive Thousands of Sheep Many Miles to Market." Riddle Tribune 30 July 1914: 2.