Chuck Mack: M.T. Streeter and his railroad plans, Part 5 |

Chuck Mack: M.T. Streeter and his railroad plans, Part 5

Chuck Mack, Special to the Daily Press
Chuck Mack

Gosh, I love this job I’ve worked out for myself. I love digging through old newspaper files or any other means I can find searching for anything pertaining to early day coal mining.

And of course, almost all of the early-day coal mining also included railroad plans for the mines involved. Searching for then compiling all the stuff almost makes me feel like I’m right back there in the old days, right in the thick of things myself.

I sometimes find myself talking to myself when I read about all the pros and cons and all the discussions that took place throughout the involvement of M.T. Streeter’s railroading dreams, or schemes, whichever way you prefer to look at it.

I’ve come across articles pertaining to so many different railroads that were planned for Moffat and Routt counties.

It seems that in the 1910s and 1920s, and even somewhat into the 1930s, there was an abundance of propaganda floating around about the building of railroads. I can’t help but wonder what this country would have turned into if only a small proportion of those railroad plans would have come into being.

What gives me the most pleasure out of doing research and writing is the fact that I know a lot of other people like reading about things like this also. That is enough said.

So, on with a couple of short articles to finish this fifth part.

January 19, 1921 – Company Announces That It Will Begin Work.

“The indomitable M.T. Streeter, founder of the Axial Basin Development Company and builder of the town of Mt. Streeter, is not to get his anticipated vacation this winter. The intended California trip has been called off, the Craig-Empire states.

“Mr. Streeter got back to Craig last week and is the busiest man in seven states. He says that affairs of the Mt. Streeter railroad company are in better shape than ever before, that ample capital is in sight to build the proposed line from the coal camp to Craig and that there will be no further delay. Engineers will be in Friday to put the finishing touches on the preliminary work, and steam shovels and other roadbuilding equipment will follow within a short time.

“Continuation of the present open winter will mean that it is not necessary to wait for spring to resume grading on the road bed, according to Mr. Streeter.”

May 25, 1921 – Streeter is working – Has been delayed in getting to Steamboat but is coming soon.

“Messrs. Streeter and Stryker, who planned to visit the various towns of Routt County last week and explain the details of the proposed Craig Wamsutter extension, did not arrive but promise to come as soon as possible.

“The gentlemen were obliged to spend more time in Omaha than they had anticipated and then went to meet a delegation of capitalists in Chicago. C.M. Thompson, the engineer, is in Mt. Streeter going over the work previously done in making maps, preparatory to getting his surveying parties in the field within the next two weeks.

“President Streeter sends word that everything is working out satisfactorily on his Eastern trip. The Commercial Club on Monday received this wire from him dated at Denver.

‘Urgent and important railroad matters have prevented our return to Steamboat. As soon as plans are consummated, we will notify you to call a meeting, and all plans will be submitted. Everything is working in our favor.'”

July 21, 1921 – J. V. Stryker brings equipment for grading

“There arrived in Craig last week the first consignment of equipment to the J. V. Stryker Construction company. The outfit was moved to Mt. Streeter, and it is said the grading for the railroad will at once began.”

This is the part that I couldn’t understand. If they really had intended to build a railroad, why haul the equipment 30 miles or so from the railroad and then start building towards the railroad? It would have been sensible to start building the railroad right from the Moffat railroad line in Craig and then working towards the mine.

To be continued in part 6.

Compiled and written by Chuck Mack, December 25th, 2007.

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