The Oldest Baldwin in Georgia in 1922?
The J.N. Bray & Sons Lumber Co. # 2
Unknown Baldwin built in 1856 or before.
Bray Lumber Co 2

This old gal was working for the J.N. Bray & Sons Lumber Co  as a logging road locomotive circa 1915-1922. Baldwin had heard about her and sent their photographer to document this wonderful old engine.Unfortunately on April 22nd, 1922 she was lost in a mill fire, as reported in the April 29th edition of the Southern Lumberman:

"Valdosta, Ga, April22- When the sawmill of the J.N. Bray Lumber Company burned recently, a famous locomotive was included in the loss. This locomotive was believed to have been built by the Baldwin Locomotive Works in or prior to 1856 and was a companion to the famous W&A locomotive "The General", which has a place in the South's wartime history. This locomotive has been in service of the Bray organization for many years. Prior to the San Francisco Exposition, the Baldwin Company learned of the whereabouts of the locomotive and negotiated with the Bray Company for its purchase for exhibition at the exposition. Mr. Bray however will not sell the engine and preferred to keep not only as a historic relic, but because of the continued value as motive power. The locomotive, except at such time as it has been up for overhauling, has been in constant service and has been owned by Mr. Bray for a number of years."

If only Mr. bray had sold the engine to Baldwin, she might still be around! What a loss. As for ex W&A, there were several engines purchased from Baldwin in 1856 or earlier. I can not find any evidence that Baldwin knew what serial number she carried, but usually they were alerted to such finds by extra boiler orders, which needs a serial number.  I do have a list of boiler purchases, but unfortuantely the oldest engine on the list is from 1864. This photo is listed as being taken in 1923 in Baldwin's negative list, but the engine was ofcourse deystroyed in April of 1922. The only expo held in San Francisco before 1922 was the Panama-Pacific International Exposition (PPIE) that was a world's fair held in San Francisco, California between February 20 and December 4 in 1915, so this photograph could have been taken before 1915.

J.N. Bray started out in Cecil, Berrien County, Ga around 1890, where he operated a 15 mile long logging railroad to feed his 40,000 feet a day mill. Bray (as J.N. Bray & Son) moved to Valdosta in 1908, where he built a 30,000 feet a day mill on East Hill Avenue and operated a 10 mile long logging railroad into the sticks. Please let me know what you think , contact me here by emai1.

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