The Belvedere-Tiburon Landmarks Board would like to ask for your financial support to help us relocate the historic Railroad Gallows Wheels to a proper home next to the Railroad & Ferry Depot Museum.
As you might know, in 2005 the Town of Tiburon approved a new location for the wheels, which are currently in front of the Tiburon Library. We have until mid-2015 to complete the project, so we are actively working on the final implementation. We are happy to announce we have recently received building permits from the Town of Tiburon and have selected a contractor to complete this significant endeavor.
The final construction phase includes sandblasting the wheels; adding a preservative coating; creating a paved display pad; and landscaping and irrigation – all of which will cost nearly $35,000. Landmarks needs financial help to complete this important job.
NWP Gallows Frame Wheels
The San Francisco and North Pacific Railroad (incorporated as the Northwestern Pacific Railroad in 1907) established its southernmost terminal in Tiburon in 1884. To improve freight handling facilities, the SF&NP built the ferryboat Ukiah, launched in May of 1890. This ship had rail tracks for standard and narrow gauge rail cars but needed a special slip to load these cars. In 1891, the SF&NP built a slip in Tiburon with an apron that could be raised and lowered with the use of two very large and four smaller wheels carrying cables to support the apron. The first construction had the wheels completely enclosed with two towers. As the slip was updated over the years, the wheels to operate the apron were exposed to the elements in an open framework called a “gallows.” When the slip was removed in 1974, the wheels were saved as an artifact of railroad history in Tiburon. These wheels are displayed to show their size and mass. In their operational state, they were suspended on their framework some thirty feet above the tracks.