George L. Johnson, said to be one of the shrewdest loggers ever to walk the hillsides of New Hampshire, made his entrance into the Pemigewasset Valley in 1901. Constructing a sawmill in North Lincoln that could produce a peak of 65 thousand board feet of lumber daily, he purchased large areas of timber land which included the Lost River area. He soon had two sawmills in operation.
Gordon Pond Railroad, Johnson Lumber Co. 1905-1918
Click on map for larger image
The Gordon Pond Railroad was built 1905-07 through the hillsides in the western portion of Lincoln and Woodstock. The motive power was entirely Shay geared locomotives, apparently four of them. Three of them were quite small, ranging from 23 to 28 tons, and were said to be limited to pushing only three or four empty cars on the trip out. An extension of the rails to Elbow Pond in 1908 increased the track mileage on the west side of the Pemigewasset River to 13 ½ miles and there was an additional 1 ½ miles built on the east side of the Pemigewasset which went up to the base of Hardwood Ridge.
A hardwood flooring plant was built on the railroad in 1909-10, and hardwood logs were delivered on the Gordon Pond Railroad.
Click here for photos of the Gordon Pond Railroad, Johnson's mills and town, and the Matson Flooring Co.
George Johnson built a town with a number of buildings and a post office. He called it Johnson and although abandoned by about 1916, it continued to appear on maps of the area for several more years.
Click here for more information on the town of Johnson and the Matson Flooring Company.
Bill Gove's Composite Logging Railroad Map