The Steam Donkey Pays Tribute to our History
The Steam Donkey Restaurant gives tribute to the loggers before us. In the early days of the Pickering Lumber and Soap Creek Lumber companies, the hard-working “steam donkey” used to haul logs in the High sierras to waiting railroad cars. Logging was the industry in Tuolumne County and Pinecrest was the heart of this activity being in the middle of the world’s largest forest of Sugar Pine and Ponderosa Pine.
The terrain of the Stanislaus National Forest brought added challenge, the donkey engines brought some relief. “Logging is done entirely by means of donkey engines and chutes. The steepness of the slopes and the rough character of the topography encountered throughout the company’s operations, and which likewise prevailed through the proposed sale areas, which made it essential to use large donkey engines to insure profitable logging.” (United States Forest Service description of logging, 1920)
When the Soap Creek Lumber Company was dismantled the original lumber became part of the rustic new Steam Donkey Restaurant and Bar. Step up to the bar and you’ll see the pecky cedar that came from the old dynamite shack. Loggers tools, saws and souvenirs are located throughout the restaurant.