Thursday, August 11, 2016

Dinkey Creek CA And The Pine Logging Company

Dale Matson

Click On Photographs To Enlarge

Housing For Pine Logging Company

Dinkey Creek is both a small resort community east of Shaver Lake and the name of a creek that flows nearby. Most of the time the creek is tame and good for fishing, camping and recreation. However, I have seen the creek flowing as a raging torrent like in 2006 when school administrator Mike Young drowned in Dinkey Creek. The mountaineering unit of SAR team was not involved in the search for his body because of concern about the dangerous conditions of the fast flowing deep water headed to Pine Flat Reservoir.

Living near the central Sierra Nevada one gradually learns and gains appreciation for the history of the area. There is the glacial/geological history but there is also the more recent human history connected to the Sierra. The Sierra is such a wonderful and necessary resource for California in general and the local communities in particular. Each year much of the California irrigation and drinking water comes from the annual snowmelt held conveniently in the high Sierra and gradually released via the major rivers flowing west toward the Pacific Ocean.

In addition to water, electricity and mineral resources, the central Sierra Nevada has provided millions of board feet of lumber for home construction. Lumber companies in Bass Lake, Shaver Lake and Dinkey Creek sent lumber and logs to towns like Sanger, Clovis and the Pinedale area of Fresno.

Shaver Lake was initially only a millpond created by damming Stevenson Creek.
Only later was a larger dam built that held additional water for the generation of electricity at Big Creek.

The Pine Logging Company in Dinkey Creek was built in 1937 and operated until 1979.
These lumber camp/mills became self-contained communities. As you descend toward the community of Dinkey Creek on Dinkey Creek Road, there is a CDF station on the left. If you turn there, you will also encounter the deserted logging community. It is well worth the time spent wandering among the buildings and imagining what life would have been like in this busy community with the immense wood scrap burner as the central feature. If you go inside, with all the bullet holes, it is like being in a kind of planetarium.

There is an additional feature of Dinkey Creek worth visiting. If you go into Dinkey Creek, continue past the ranger station and store. Turn right on the paved road that heads down to the creek. There is a beautiful unique Bowstring Arch Timber Truss bridge. There are large boulders placed at each end to prevent vehicular travel. I enjoyed seeing the wonderful craftwork and worked my way into the center of Dinkey Creek to photograph the bridge from the side also.



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