In the coastal forests near the mouth of the Russian River in Northern California, Alexander Duncan operated a redwood logging mill on the south side of the river. As he owned tracts of heavily forested land on both sides of the river, he came into an agreement to move his mill to the north side of the river if the Northwestern Pacific Railroad would build a railroad bridge from Moscow Mills, located on the south side of the river to reach his properties. In the agreement he was to provide acreage in a large flat meadow where the NWP could build a depot, turntable, two stall engine house and a site for a town and post office. The first train chugged into the new town of Duncan Mills in 1877, and the depot became the northernmost terminus on the line.


This postcard view shows a temporary depot at Duncan Mills using a NWP 36’ ventilated truss rod box car as the station agent’s office, and an ex Oregon & Eureka 58 seat, open platform wooden “duckbilled” coach is now wearing NWP number 2 and serving as a passenger shelter and waiting room. Notice the stack of baggage sitting next to the coach covered with a tarp for protection from the rain.

After sixty years of service, trains stopped running to Duncan Mills in 1935.




Duncan’s Mills Depot – The Northwestern Pacific Railroad