Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Charles William (C. W.) Hayes and his Moreland Motor Trucks

Little is left of the Salt Tram and its diggin's. The Waag Bros. are actively seeking out information about the Saline Valley Salt Tram and the Salt Mine between 1903 and the 1960's, including: documents, photos, articles, stories, artifacts, etc. If you can help us out, please email us at the address above - Thank-you!  Caution (PLEASE READ): Climbing around on the tramway is dangerous because its really old and defnitely unsafe, so don't even think about it. Shoot, just getting to it requires some perilous hiking, and if you don't believe me, just take a look at the Zig Zag Access Trail (or what's left of it). Plus, climbing on it weakens it and endangers your life. Also, the Saline Valley Salt Tram is on the National Register of Historic Places and should be treated with the respect that it deserves. What little remains is of great historic value, and should not be disturbed in any way. Heck, its probably against the law to move parts of the tram around, and certainly a crime to take home some of the few bits of it that remain (though you'd have to ask your friendly local BLM agent for details). So please treat it with the respect it deserves, so that future generations can enjoy whats left, without you messing it up. Really. Please. You can see its listing on the National Register of Historic Places at these web links: National Register of Historic Places  • Inyo County Places of Importance

*****QUESTION 1:  Speak to Cleo, Bob or Bill Hayes (grandchildren of Salt Trucker C. W. Hayes) and find out what they remember of their grandfather's trucking business, especially as it pertains to the Salt Tram.

*****QUESTION 2:  Where did Charles William Hayes live during the time he trucked salt for George Russell? (Bakersfield?) Where was C. W.'s trucking business, how many trucks did he have, how many Moreland 3 axle, 6 tire, dual rear-axle 4 wheel drive trucks did he own, how did he know and make contact with the Sierra Salt Co.'s George Russell or White Smith?

*****QUESTION 3: Find out if the Eastern California Museum already have a copy of the blue Sierra Salt Co. brochure below (and do we have a copy?) or do we need to get a copy of this document from Bob D? The ECM has a copy, but is missing page 12 and 13, which Bob D. has supplied to me and that I will supply to ECM! Thanks, Bob. Supply the ECM with page 12 and 13 to complete their booklet.

*****QUESTION 4: Does the showroom in Bakersfield California on Chester Avenue (the photo showing Charles Wesley Hayes standing with a Moreland Truck out in front of the Moreland Bakersfield showroom - photo below on this web posting) still exists?
Above: Pioneer trucker C. W. Hayes behind the wheel of the mighty Moreland Motor Truck TX-6 10-ton 4 wheel drive truck. C. W. hauled the first load of Salt trucked out of Saline Valley on June 15, 1926. Note that behind the tree to the right, you can barely make out the words "Lone Pine Garage".
Above: The Sierra Salt Co. printed the blue-covered pamphlet above around June 15, 1926, and it contains 20 pages. The driver of the Moreland Truck is C. W. Hayes. The person on top of the salt at left is Cyril G. Hayes  (son of C. W. Hayes) and the person at right is Charles Hulin Hayes (son of C. W. Hayes). The Eastern California Museum has a copy of this brochure, but it is missing page 12 and 13, but we got those pages from Bob D. The Eastern California Museum already had the truck photo shown above, which was located in the blue Sierra Salt brochure (page 12). However, what is new is the caption below the photo, which indicates that the first load of salt trucked of Saline in 1926 was sold to the City Market in Bishop, Calif., which explains what the trucks were doing parked in Bishop; however, we are not sure why the truck was posed for photos in front of the Watterman Bank. 

Note that "City Market" in Bishop, Calif. was owned by none other than Phillip Keough, the owner of Keough Hot Springs. Though Keough bought the Hot Springs in 1919, it hit its heyday in the 1920's and 1930's as a resort and spa. Though more quaint than fashionable, it is still open to this day!

*****Pre-Introduction: Before reading this post, we recommend that you read the section on the San Lucas Canyon Road by clicking here - if you haven't done so already. For all photos below - click to enlarge (you'll be glad you did!).

*****Introduction: In the early to mid 1920's, George Russell, President of the Sierra Salt Co., was desperate to save his failing Salt Mining operation that he had taken over as President from White Smith. He saw that the operation of the Salt Tram may have been too expensive to make a profit, but that the pure salt just waiting to be picked up off the Saline Valley floor was still a valuable commodity. He was certain that with the advancement of over-the-road trucking, the salt must surely be able to be trucked out of Saline Valley with less cost than the operation of the massive tramway. If they could find a short route to run trucks out of Saline Valley that avoided the long road out via North Pass, maybe they could start making some money with this operation, after suffering through business losses in the salt mining industry for so many decades.

*****New Information: We recently found documents indicating that George Russell opened the San Lucas Canyon Road to truck out Saline Valley Salt merely as a clever scheme to get the Steel Company to sell the Salt Tram to Sierra Salt at a steep discount. Mr. Russell and White Smith believed that using the Moreland 4 wheel drive trucks to transport Salt out of Saline Valley would diminish the value of the tramway, thus lowering the price during future negotiations to buy it back! I was happy to hear this news, because after looking firsthand at nightmare that was the San Lucas Canyon Road, it was clear  to me that this was a bad idea and an easy way to lose money. The San Lucas Canyon Road was used merely as a pawn in the game to retrieve ownership of their beloved Salt Tram.

*****Witness the Birth of the San Lucas Canyon Road: George Russell convinced the Inyo County Board of Supervisors that an efficient trucking road needed to be built to economically access the various mining operations in Saline Valley, including the Sierra Salt Company's Salt Lake. Serious route evaluation resulted in the selection of San Lucas Canyon road as the shortest route out of Saline Valley where it was possible to build a road.

Just one problem: a short section of narrows presented a road construction nightmare to any potential road builders. Sierra Salt partnered with Inyo County anyways, and took 2 years to build the San Lucas Canyon road. A handful of photos exist that demonstrate the difficulties encountered in building the road. No doubt, it took longer to build than expected, and cost more money. But they did build it! Now they would need some really tough trucks to haul the loads of salt up San Lucas Canyon and over to the Salt Tram terminus.
Above: rare photo of the construction of the San Lucas Canyon Road. Yes, they built it largely by hand with picks and shovels, as seen in this photo. Photo courtesy Eastern California Museum, Independence, California.
Above: I was intrigued by the unidentified yet well-dressed man in the above photo. In addition, he appeared to be carrying a few interesting items, so I thought I'd go in for a closer view. It turns out that he is carrying what appears to be a tripod in his right hand and a camera in his left! Perhaps too well dressed for a road construction supervisor, but not overly dressed for a hip photographer out in Saline Valley trying to make a name for himself?

*****Enter professional trucker Charles Wesley (C. W.) Hayes: George Russell initially contracted with trucker C. W. Hayes (of Bakersfield) to move the first bagged loads of salt out of Saline Valley. The initial photos of this effort show trucks with the name "C. W. Hayes" stenciled above the driver and passenger door of his innovative 6-wheel Moreland Motor Trucks. Later photos of Moreland Motor Trucks used to move the salt give no indication that they were owned or operated by Mr. Hayes. That is, there are no drivers that look like C. W. and no Moreland Motor Trucks that are marked with the C. W. Hayes name in the later photos.
Above: photo from Bob D. of Bakersfield, showing Charles Wesley Hayes at Moreland Motor Truck Factory Showroom in Bakersfield California. The truck shown in the photo does not appear to be a new truck - among other things, the name C. W. Hayes is stenciled above the door, and it appears to be somewhat worn. Since C. W.'s trucking business was in Bakersfield, as was this Moreland showroom and service center, it is likely that C. W. was there to have his truck serviced or to pick up parts.

*****Tough Moreland Motor Trucks: After having hiked most of the rugged and steep San Lucas Canyon road, we could not figure out how the heavily loaded Moreland trucks could possible make it up the canyon grade with such a heavy load. Remember, they were hauling the salt up and out of Saline Valley, then were driving the trucks downhill (light and empty) to go back for more. From some of the Moreland truck photos, it was clear that they were not 4 wheel drive - or more specifically, that the front axles did not have a differential. We would later learn from Bob D. that the Moreland trucks had an ingenious 4 wheel drive system that drove both of the rear axles. Back in the 1920's when Moreland invented his Model S-X 6-wheel trucks, many freight auto roads were still dirt, and traction was still an issue. Take a close look at the rear axle of the truck from the Moreland brochure below.
Above: Illustration of the Moreland S-X truck and its unique 4 wheel drive system that drove both rear axles. Image courtesy of Bob D. of Bakersfield, Calif.
Above: White Smith (standing on the street at left - all suited up) with pioneer trucker C. W. Hayes (standing on the street on right); person at left on top of sacks of salt is believed to be Charles Hulin Hayes (son of C. W. Hayes), and person on right at top of sacks of salt is believed to be Cyril G. Hayes (son of C. W. Hayes).  Photo shows the first load of salt trucked out of Saline Valley on board a Moreland Motor Truck. Photo courtesy Eastern California Museum, Independence, California. Note the C. W. Hayes name above the passenger cab. Liz Babcock of the Maturango Museum in Ridgecrest, Calif. identifies this photo as being taken in front of the infamous Watterson Bank building in Bishop, Calif. on the corner of Main and Academy streets, (thanks, Liz!).  It was later demolished in an unspecified year.
Above: How did these Moreland trucks haul 10-ton loads of salt up the impossibly rugged San Lucas Canyon road? They didn't have driven front axles, but they did have driven twin rear axles with solid rubber wheels to get them up these crazy steep grades like the one above. Photo courtesy Eastern California Museum, Independence, California. Note that the historic photos of the Moreland trucks shown driving along the San Lucas Canyon narrows do not have the C. W. Hayes named painted on them.

*****Many thanks to Bob D. of  Bakersfield, California for finding this Salt Tram website and contacting us. Bob's wife's great grandfather was none other than pioneer trucker C. W. Hayes. Yes, the same C. W. Hayes whose name is stenciled on the side of the truck that moved that first load of salt out of Saline over the San Lucas Canyon Road. The same C. W. Hayes who is standing next to Saline Valley Salt Company founder White Smith in Lone Pine after he drove the first salt load out. Bob pointed out which person in the photos was C. W. Hayes.
Above: Image of a Moreland Motor Truck loaded with grain (not Salt!). However, the text indicates that C. W. used the Moreland trucks to haul salt out of Saline Valley on grades as steep as 15%. C. W. considered the Moreland 10-ton (20,000 pound load capacity) 4 wheel drive truck to be a "wonder truck" and the best truck that he ever operated. Photo by the Dorman Brothers Photography.

*****A Brief History of Moreland Motor Truck Company: 
The Moreland Motor Truck Company of Burbank, California was originally located in Los Angeles. The Moreland trucks were sold worldwide. In 1917 Watt L. Moreland was planning to move his business to Alhambra, California. When Burbank city officials heard about this news they offered Moreland 25 acres of land for free, located on the corner of San Fernando Blvd. and Alameda Ave. The city of Burbank raised $25,000 to pay for the land, buildings were constructed and the truck company moved in. The factory was still surrounded by acres of farms at that time. 

Above: Photo of rear axles of Moreland 10-ton 6-wheel truck, including unique single spring pack to service the 2 rear axles.

At the opening of the new factory in 1920 Watt Moreland wrote:
"As I look back to the little old shack where the first Morelands were built, all the way it has been a story of co-operation and I want with all the strength and emphasis possible express my appreciation and thanks to all those who, by their encouragement, their faithful work and interest, have helped to put this organisation where it now stands."
Above:  Interior of the Moreland machine shop. 250 employees worked in the machine shop. 10 x 8 inch black and white photograph. Photo Courtesy Burbank Historical Society.

Moreland had branches in Los Angeles, San Diego, Bakersfield, Stockland, Oakland, Portland, Santa Ana, Fresno, El Centro, Sacramento, San Francisco, Spokane and Salt Lake City. The company slogan was "Built in the West -- for Western Work". 
Above: Moreland Motor Truck factory after the operation was moved from Los Angeles to Burbank in 1924. Photos show that at that time it was still surrounded only by farms and ranches.

Due to wartime shortages the plant had to close in 1940. Virtually unknown today outside of the small fraternity of antique truck enthusiasts, the Moreland Motor Truck Company of Burbank, California was a technical innovator along with West Coast truck firms Fageol, Kenworth and Kleiber in the first half of the last century. The big Moreland TX6 featured a twin axle bogey rear suspension (nice name!). The system was originally developed in 1924 for a massive 60 passenger double-decker bus and, although one prototype was built, it proved too expensive for frugal bus company operators and never reached production. 
Above: Details of the 10-ton Moreland Truck rear suspension, from “Automotive Industries”, February 19, 1925.

The design was not abandoned, and it worked great in the trucks used to haul out salt through San Lucas Canyon. The double-decker bus design was adopted to the heavyweight 1925 TX6. Moreland claimed to be the first in the industry to design, build and sell 3 axles, 6 wheel, 4 wheel drive trucks. The details of their system were certainly unique, but fellow Golden State manufacturer Fageol began producing a similar three axle truck at about the same time.
Above: Moreland sales brochures explain one aspect of the operation of the rear axles - when running over a fixed object, such as a rock, the frame of the truck only rises half as high as if it only had a single rear wheel. This was a convenient feature for trucks that often moved goods over rocky dirt roads.

*****Hayes Family geneology: Charles Wesley Hayes (born May 7, 1885, died October 4, 1977) had a son named Charles Hulin Hayes, who was also a truck driver. Both father and son  have since passed, but Charles Hulin's 2 sons, Bob and Bill Hayes, are still walking the planet, as well as his daughter Cleo. More details: My research shows that Charles Hulin has 2 sons and a daughter: son Charles W. (William? Bill?) Hayes of Denver, Colorado, son and daughter-in-law, Robert H. (Bob?) and Dora Hayes of San Antonio, Texas;  and daughter and son-in-law, Cleo A. and Warren Brackett of Bakersfield.
Above: Memorial for Bakersfield trucking Pioneer Charles W. Hayes. Courtesy of Bob D. of Bakersfield.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

New Stock Certificate Found - Dated Sept. 25, 1914!

The 2nd known Saline Valley Salt Company Stock Certificate was found in April 2013. Unfortunately, it is in very poor condition. It was owned by a man in Calhoun, Georgia. He acquired it recently (within the last year) in payment of a debt of the previous certificate owner. Ironically, the previous owner contacted me about buying it, but then his cell phone number became disconnected before we could agree upon a price. 

Upon acquisition of the certificate by the Calhoun man, he found our web page and contacted me - just like the person he purchased it from! We negotiated a reasonable price, and we acquired the stock certificate. We donated it to the Eastern California Museum in Independence, California in June of 2013. The Eastern California Museum also has the first stock certificate that we obtained and donated to them. Before going on, let's take a look at this one!
Above (Click to enlarge): I scanned the front of the 1914 stock certificate before donating it to the Eastern California Museum in June of 2013. 

The artwork for the 1914 stock certificate is dramatically different from the 1920 certificate. The main differences include:

1) Gold Corporate Seal (see below) which incorporates the same basic art as the embossed seal from the 1920 stock certificate.

2) Has original Saline Valley salt harvesting art in the oval in the upper left hand corner.

3) The paper and the print/ink quality on the 1914 stock certificate is of much lower quality than the 1920 certificate. This does not really make sense, as I would expect the initial stock certificates to be of better material quality, to go along with the original Salt Lake art. Not only is the 1914 paper of low quality, but the ink used to print it is faded and has ink drop outs in it.

4) The 1914 certificate was signed by White Smith, at the time the President of the Saline Valley Salt Company and also by Fred R. Smith, the Secretary and Treasurer of the Saline Valley Salt Company and White Smith's brother. This is the first known signature of White Smith and Fred R. Smith - a huge find! We believe that these are the actual Smith brothers signatures, because the 2 Smith signatures use different handwriting. There is also a 3rd type of handwriting used by the person that was dating the stock, the number of shares, and the name of the person the stock was issued to.

Above (click to enlarge): The back of the 1914 Stock Certificate. 

The back indicates that 500 shares were issued to Geo. Abington on September 25, 1914 (same name as on the front, and in the same handwriting as the front). We know that most or all of the major investors were from Tennessee, as was White Smith and his siblings. 

There is a George Abington who lived in Shelby, Tennessee in census years 1910 and 1920, and was born somewhere between 1869 and 1884, making him 41 years old in 1910 and 51 years old in 1920; he appears to have had a wife named Mary. George Abington is a fairly UNcommon name, so I am about 80% confident that it is the person named on the stock certificate. It would also appear that Geo. Abington signed the stock certificate on the back (vertical signature on the left side of the certificate above), bringing a total of 4 different handwriting samples on this 1914 stock certificate (both front and back). 

Let's take a look at the corporate logo that is embossed in gold on this certificate (below).
This artwork appears to be almost identical to the embossed stamp from the 1920 stock certificate. The main difference is that Inyo Mountains in the background are faded in the gold 1914 stock certificate seal.

This art was used to create the Saline Valley Salt Company T-shrts (which are for sale for $16 plus shipping - just email us at!). That artwork is reproduced below, and is the 4 color art on the BACK of the t-shirts (Art by Laura Waag at Sidedoor Studio in Southern California):
Condition of the Stock Certificate: Unfortunately, the condition of this stock certificate, as mentioned above is POOR. It is torn on the standard vertical tri-fold (and repaired with glossy clear tape), as well as having 3 additional horizontal folds that have torn (and been repaired with taped as well). It is also somewhat worn and faded, and has a few tiny spots where the paper is missing along the folds. However, given that it is the only one known to exist, we are not complaining. 

Thanks as always for the support from Roberta Harlan and Jon Klusmire at the Eastern California Museum! Also, thanks to those who have offered to chip in some cash to purchase the certificate. This time, the price was very reasonable, so I just made the purchase myself. Keep that cash ready however, should a more expensive Saline Valley Salt Company artifact become available.

            ********************click to go to Salt Tram Home********************

Frederick Clifton Patterson Passes Away January 5, 2013

January 9, 2013 - Inyo

Born in Bishop on June 12, 1924, Fred passed away Jan. 5, 2013. 

[Tim's Note: Fred Patterson was the son of Henry Clifton Patterson, who was a Salt Tram builder and left a diary that documented his work on the tramway for all time. We met Fred in on 11/15/2009 at his home in Bishop, Calif., and he kindly let us spend 3 hours in his home scanning the diary of his deceased father, Henry. Thanks also to Nancy Patterson for her hospitality and graciousness in supporting our efforts at finding out more about the Salt Tram. Below is a photo of Fred at his home on the day that we scanned the diary. May he R.I.P.] - click photo to enlarge.

Mr. Patterson was a veteran of World War II and served in the Rhineland, Central Europe, where his troops liberated much of Germany, including Dachau Concentration Camp. For 25 years, Mr. Patterson was the principal of Line Street and Elm Street Schools (1959–1984). Fred served as a deacon and elder of the First Presbyterian Church in Bishop where he also taught the high school Sunday school class for many years.

Fred was preceded in death by his loving wife of 52 years, Pat. Fred loved his best friend and savior, Jesus Christ and was serving Him at the very moment the Lord decided He needed Fred more than we did. Fred was a family man and it was evident in the dedication, sacrifices and love he gave his family.

He is survived by his wife, Nancy of Bishop; sister, Annabelle of Fountain Valley; daughter and son-in-law, Linda and Doug Hayward of Fountain Valley and their children Brooke, Davia and Dustin; son and daughter-in-law, Brent and Suzie Patterson of Bakersfield and their children Noah, Noelle and Luke; son, Byron Patterson of Sacramento and his children Heather and Kyle; son and daughter-in-law, Scott and Angelica Patterson of Bishop and their daughter Abigail; daughter and son-in-law, Leslie and David Apple of Fountain Valley and their children Amanda and Michael; Debbie (Sonke) Jensen and husband, Kent of Idaho and their children Amy, Cassie and John; Dave and Sheri Sonke of Bishop and their children LeAnn, Staci and Scott; and six great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 12 at the First Presbyterian Church. Pastor Peter Thomsen will officiate. Interment will follow at the East Line Street Cemetery in Bishop with a celebration of life to follow at the Patterson home.

The family would appreciate that any donations in Fred’s memory be given to the First Presbyterian Church Deacon’s Benevolence Fund (for the less fortunate).