In 1899, the Sibley, Lake Bistineau & Southern Railway was built by the Long-Bell Lumber Company of Kansas City to connect their saw mill at Yellow Pine with their timber lands to the south and with the big railroads at Sibley. The SLB&S ran south from Sibley 28 miles to Camp Long, just about a mile past Hall Summit. It also ran passenger service, leaving Yellow Pine at 6:15 and arriving at Sibley at 7:00. Then it left Sibley at 7:45 and arrived at Camp Long at 10:40, left Camp Long at 11:00 arriving back at Yellow Pine at noon. The railroad was operated daily between the forests of fine timber and the mill, where the logs were manufactured into lumber that was sent to all parts of the world.
Yellow Pine became a noisy and bustling town of about two thousand population. It was located just south of Sibley and on the eastern area of Lake Bistineau. It had a full compliment of of employees, with a ratio of whites to blacks about 2 to 1. As with most saw mill towns, it had a large commissary that furnished most any general supplies the employees as well as the surrounding farmers needed. There were many private homes provided for employees as well as hotels. Equipment needed to support the large saw mill operations was kept on hand.
The Mill Superintendent was Mr. J.W. Martin, noted for his good judgement. Mr. H.C. Walters held position as Timber-man, a very important position in the organization as was Mr. Charles Riddle and others. The well health and physical well being of this large collection of peoples was attended to by Dr. Longino, Prince, Buffington, and Crawford. These men were kept busy repairing the cuts and bruises and broken bones associated with saw mill operations. Schools and Churches were also provided to educate the children and supply the spiritual needs of all. The Union Church bell rang every Sunday morning calling the inhabitants of Yellow Pine to prayer and worship services.
By 1942 the timber that was once so abundant, was depleted and the once bustling saw mill town of Yellow Pine was no more. The SLB&S Railroad rails were ripped up as the railroad was no longer needed to bring timber in or haul lumber out. As with the saw mill towns of the time most everything and everybody in the immediate community depended on the saw mill for existence. The commissary or general stores were mostly owned and operated by the company as was the railroad. With the closing of the mills, so came the closing of the stores that supplied the people their needs and the end of the railroad meant the end of transportation. Obvious to this happening was the demise of the community as a whole and soon only memories remained to those that once lived and grew there. Some markers of the Yellow Pine Community could probably be found if one looked hard enough. But anyone looking will find the beautiful Yellow Pine Church standing prestigiously as a reminder of the community long past.
See more about the Yellow Pine community on page 1 of History in 1899
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