Thunder Lake Lumber Company No. 5

Also known as: Old Five Spot
Pioneer Park / Rhinelander Logging Museum



No. 5 is located in Pioneer Park in Rhinelander as part of the Rhinelander Logging Museum. It is parked outside the restored Soo Line depot that was moved here several years ago.

Photo taken by Dampf Eisenbahn




This 2-8-0 narrow guage oil burner was built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1925 for the Brown Robbins Lumber Company. The Robbins company was later purchased by the Thunder Lake Lumber Company, who operated the line as a log hauler and a common carrier, until logging operations ended in Vilas County in 1941.

The narrow guage line was built because the Pine Lake Creek was too shallow to boom logs, so logs were hauled on the railroad to the Brown mill in Rhinelander. Eventually, the line was extended to Sugar Camp, Three Lakes and southern Vilas County. The Robbins Lumber Company was bought out by the Thunder Lake Lumber Company, and continued operations until 1941. After the line ceased operation in 1941, No. 5 was sold to a Mexican mining company. It served the mine until is was donated to the Colorado Railroad Museum in 1972, and a year later, it came home to Rhinelander as part of a trade.

Update Log 

  • June 17, 2012: New photos from J.R. Manning
  • May 31, 2011: Added by Dampf Eisenbahn


  • Dampf Eisenbahn
  • J.R. Manning - Lugnuts969 [at] gmail [dot] com