The McGiffert Log Loader was a rail hauled, log loading machine invented in 1901 by John R. McGiffert. Several hundred of these machines were built for use in North America, alone. Today, only 5 or 6 exist in the US, and one in Canada. These machines, like the Clyde Log Skidders, were built by the Clyde Iron Works of Duluth, MN. Here at the Museum, we have two of those that remain. In front of the machine shop, volunteers are restoring McGiffert #1229 while loader # 1230 rests behind the shop.
The various Crowell lumber companies may have had as many as 7 of these machines between 1902 and 1954. Clyde Iron Works records were destroyed in a fire in 1908, so while we know that the Alexandria Lumber Co. purchased one of these machines, prior to that date, we have no formal record. It is also safe to assume that Crowell and Spencer also purchased a machine in that same time frame. After 1908, Crowell and Spencer purchased McGifferts # 1002 and 1230, while the Meridian Lumber Co. purchased unit #1222. Also, Alexandria Lumber Co. purchased a second hand loader, #1036, from the McNary Lumber Co, in 1923 for use at Alco. The machine here, #1229, was purchased by the Powell Lumber Co. of Reeves, LA and was shipped from Duluth on April, 25, 1919, 14 days before the Crowell and Spencer unit #1230, which is the machine behind the shop. Crowell and Spencer purchased #1229 from Powell Lumber Co, in the 1930's, for use out of Hutton. Both 1229 and 1230 were brought to Long Leaf after 1944 for use east of Meridian.