ABOUT MCCLOUD, CA
McCloud Middle Falls – See all of the McCloud Falls Here
In the 1820’s the Hudson Bay Company – fur trappers arrived in the McCloud area. One of the notable fur trappers was Alexander Roderick McCleod, which the town of McCloud was later name after.
Around 1892 Friday George started sawmill operations in the southern part of McCloud in the area of Squaw Valley, which remained in place until 1919. As a result of inadequate modes of transportation for timber, Georger’s timber operations closed in 1894. William Van Arsdale and George Scott purchased George’s bankrupt sawmill business and created the McCloud River Lumber Company and McCloud River Railroad Company in 1897.
John Henry Queal a well-respected lumber baron from Iowa and then Minnesota eventually became owner and President of the McCloud River Lumber Company, McCloud Railroad Company, and McCloud National Bank. Mr. Queal built his company operations in McCloud into one of the largest and modern lumber operations on the west coast. Mr. Queal was also a director of the First National Bank of Minneapolis. Just before Mr. Queal’s death, he had completed the construction of one of the largest mill operations on the West Coast located on the north end of town.
Under the McCloud River Lumber Company, McCloud was a company owned town where everything including houses, grocery stores, clothing stores, a movie theatre, golf course, and all other buildings/businesses were owned by the McCloud River Lumber Company. Anyone that lived in town worked for the company at the mill, railroad, or company providing retail, maintenance, and other services to the citizens of McCloud. The McCloud River Lumber Company was known for being especially good to its employees, and in return, garnered respect and loyalty for most who lived and worked in McCloud. This reputation lead to The Company town being referred to as “Mother McCloud” by its workers. “Mother McCloud” as a company owned town, ended in 1963 when the mill was sold to U.S. Plywood Corp, and all of the homes and businesses sold at a generous price to all of its citizens.
U.S. Plywood continued operations of the main sawmill until 1979. P&M Cedar Products subsequently purchased the mill and continued operating a portion of the old plant. Cal Cedar Products purchased the mill from P&M Cedar Products, which used the mill to manufacture the #2 wood pencil. Any #2 pencil you have ever touched likely came from McCloud. Unfortunately, due to the declined use of #2 pencils, the mill operations closed for good in 2003 and has remained closed since.
After the mills closure, Nestle then acquired the mill site and proposed locating one of the world’s largest water bottling plants in the world. After a multi-year effort to obtain local approvals for the water bottling plant, Nestle abandoned their efforts and sold the Mill Site to The McCloud Partners in 2014. The McCloud Partners have and continue to sustain the historical character of the mill site while attracting new businesses to the mill site. A storage facility, Christmas tree farm, cabinet business, and Chris Cook Builds businesses have established at the historical mill site and more will come. http://mccloudmillworks.com/