Friday, November 26, 2021

CPRR ticket from El Paso to San Francisco, 1884

From: "Richard Webber"

Central Pacific Railroad ticket from El Paso, Texas to San Francisco, California from 1884.

CPRR ticket from El Paso to San Francisco, 1884
Courtesy of Richard Webber.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 21, 2021

Longest rail line prior to 1869?

From: "Fredric London"

Prior to completion of the first transcontinental railroad in 1869, what was the longest rail line? ...

—Fredric M. London

Monday, September 06, 2021

USGS topographic map resource - geological atlas folios

USGS topographic map resource - geological atlas folios:

USGS links to all the folios

Here are three of the folios showing the route of the Central Pacific Railroad in California:

Sacramento folio, California, 1887-88
Folios of the Geologic Atlas 5
By: Waldemar Lindgren

Colfax folio, California, 1885-87
Folios of the Geologic Atlas 66
By: Waldemar Lindgren

Truckee folio, California, 1889
Folios of the Geologic Atlas 39
By: Waldemar Lindgren

Courtesy of Dennis Hogan, from the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society Internet Message List digest.

Truckee USGS folio, 1889
Truckee USGS folio, contour map, 1889, detail
showing the Central Pacific/Southern Pacific Railway Line
across the Sierra Nevada Mountains and Donner Lake.

Saturday, September 04, 2021

New biography about 19th century rail manufacturer

From: "Saundra Middleton"

I have enjoyed perusing your CPRR Museum website. You have included so much information and many links to investigate. What an awesome resource.

I have recently published a biography about Peter Kirk, a rail manufacturer who supplied rails to Central Pacific Railroad in the 1880’s. You have two pictures of Moss Bay rails displayed. This book titled The Pioneering Life of Peter Kirk — From Derbyshire to the Pacific Northwest will definitely add to the story of those rails, their production, Kirk’s 15 patented inventions that went into his rail products and machinery. It is available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, etc. I think it would be a good fit for your patrons’ list of resources about railroading during the 19th century.

I would also be interested in knowing of any other places where Moss Bay Steel rails are located, either in the ground or a museum, or if CPRR Museum is aware of any more records that list Moss Bay rails as being laid on their lines like in the 1887 US Report of the Pacific Railroad Commission. ...

—Saundra Middleton

Moss Bay Steel 1887 56 lbs
Moss Bay Steel Rail, 1887, 56 lbs

Pioneering Life of Peter Kirk
Pioneering Life of Peter Kirk

US 325,094 Kirk

US 326,874 Kirk

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Transcontinental Rail travel, 1911

From: "Heather Stivison"

I am a former museum director, now completing a grant-funded biography of the little-known female artist, Eloise Roorbach.

She traveled from New York City to San Francisco in August 1911.

I cannot find anything describing the likely routes, the probable duration of such a journey, or even the most basic description of what the experience would have been like.

She was supporting herself entirely through her magazine illustrations, so it is unlikely that she would have had the means to travel first class.

I have tried using The Official Guide of the Railways and Steam Navigation Lines of the United States, Porto Rico, Canada Mexico and Cuba [1910], also contacted the reference desk for the New York Public Library, to no avail.

I would be extremely grateful for ANY information or guidance you could give me. ...

—Heather Stivison, South Dartmouth, MA 02748

Wednesday, July 07, 2021

Track worker housing, 1870's Central Pacific Railroad

From: "Michael Polk"

I am currently researching 1870's Central Pacfic Railroad track worker housing at section stations along the line in Utah (as well as Nevada and California). I know about and have a copy of the 1869 inventory of Central Pacific structures from the National Archives. That is useful, but that document only includes housing for foremen, not the Chinese and other track workers. I have found nothing regarding housing for them, only for 1880 onward.

Without such information, my fallback position is that they continued to use dugouts and ramshackle buildings from construction days as well as Section cars, perhaps set off on detached tracks. In 1880-81 Southern Pacific constructed a hundred or more new bunkhouses and some cookhouses for the workers, but I have no information about how they were housed between the end of railroad construction in 1869 and the end of the 1870's.

Does anyone have information about this 1870's decade or a lead for me on this subject? ...

Mike Polk, Aspen Ridge Consultants

'Stories of Old Nevada: Wells'

"Stories of Old Nevada: Wells" by Dennis Cassinelli, © Elko Daily, July 5, 2021. (History Article)

" ... Wells was founded in 1869 by the Central Pacific Railroad as a water station due to the town's strategic location at the headwaters of the Humboldt River. Water use from wells by travelers and area residents dates back thousands of years to the Western Shoshone who still live in a colony overlooking the town. Shoshone, Hudson Bay trappers, mountain men, and westbound wagon trains all replenished at the Humboldt Wells. ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]

Saturday, July 03, 2021

'A Horrible Death to Die' - The murder of Jane Lathrop Stanford

"'A Horrible Death to Die.' Behind the origin myth of Stanford University lies a century-old murder. The victim: the school’s chief founder and benefactor." by Julia Flynn Siler, © Alta Online and the Summer 2021 issue of Alta Journal, July 1, 2021. (True Crime History Article)

" ... On February 28, 1905 ... at around 11:15 p.m., she called out for help. ... Jane was clinging to the doorframe, barely able to stand. Within minutes, her body writhed in contortions. Her fists clenched, her jaw tightened ... Jane knew that she had been poisoned—for a second time. 'This is a horrible death to die!' she cried. Shortly before midnight, one of the United States’ leading philanthropists was dead. ... " [More]

Webinar Registration: Author Julia Flynn Siler sits down ... to examine the circumstances and the suspects of this century-old whodunit. ... July 7, 2021 12:30PM in Pacific Time.

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]

Jane Lathrop Stanford
Jane Lathrop Stanford, detail

Courtesy of the Stanford Univerity Libraries.

Thursday, July 01, 2021

Fruit Crate Labels

Fruit Crate Labels

"Beginning in the 1880's, the Transcontinental Railroad made coast-to-coast shipments of produce possible. As a result, a form of advertising art known as fruit crate labels came to be. These vibrant collectible works of art were created from a wide range of iconographic images in order to entice the public to buy the produce. Fruit Crate Labels were intended to be pasted onto the ends of crates ... " [More]

Also see, the Crate Label Museum.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Men with white overcoats


Just wondering who were the men in the [Andrew J.] Russell Railroad photos wearing the White Overcoats? Looks like there were several of them, like security or Pinkertons, etc?


white overcoats

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Architect Oliver Greene Traphagen (1854–1932)

From: "Blake Romenesko"

I came across this article about an architect [Oliver Greene Traphagen (1854–1932)] I am particularly interested in and it mentions building a large CPRR office building in Oakland. Do you have any more information on this or photographs of the building?

—Blake Romenesko

Architect Oliver G. Traphagen

Thursday, April 08, 2021

"Colfax's historic markers: Take a walk through history in a California railroad town"

"Colfax's historic markers: Take a walk through history in a California railroad town" by Pamela Biery, © Gold Country Media, April 7, 2021. (News Article)

"Colfax is home to an early station on America’s Transcontinental Railroad. Just a minute off Interstate 80, find a series of historic markers that tell the story of this mid-1800s town. Take an easy, level stroll through Colfax’s historic downtown to understand more about how towns throughout the Gold Rush country of the Sierras were shaped by gold and the coming rail transport. ... 14. Freight Depot (7 N. Main): Built circa 1880 by Central Pacific Railroad Company. Constructed of wood using standard S.P. design known as Freight House #2, exhibiting the Victorian-era stick style. This building is the only freight depot of this type remaining in Placer County. 15. First Transcontinental Railroad marker: ... The first train rode through Illinoistown (as Colfax was once known) in September 1865. The railroad became a vital link for traders, commerce and travel that joined the eastern and western halves of the United States. ... 18. Schuyler Colfax statue and marker ... 19. Colfax Amtrak Passenger Depot ... 20. Cape Horn and Blue Star Highway marker ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]

"Artist chosen for new Golden Spike sculpture"

"Artist chosen for new Golden Spike sculpture." © Box Elder News Journal, April 7, 2021. (News Article)

"The National Park Service (NPS) and Golden Spike Foundation/ Spike 150 announced on Friday that Ilan Averbuch has been selected to design a new commemorative work that will be donated to Golden Spike National Historical Park. According to a press release, the purpose of the piece, titled 'Monument to Their Memory,' will honor all the railroad workers from many different cultures and backgrounds whose backbreaking efforts were crucial in the construction of the nation’s first transcontinental railroad. ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]

Thursday, April 01, 2021

List of competing contract and monies from the US Government between CPRR and UPRR

From: "Celeste Wolfe"

Can you direct me to a resource where I can find the list of government contracts and monies that the CPRR and UPRR were competing for during the years of 1867-1869?

I wanted to know what CPRR was dealing with financially in the overall picture with their U.S. government subsidies being possibly snatched up and taken by UPRR’s Credit Mobilier price gouging manipulation. Can you give me a list of what those subsidies were called that both companies were competing for during 1867-1869?

If there is a resource you can direct me to, I would be very grateful. Both government sources and CPRR books for that time on what contracts they received and then how they spent that money for those last two years.

I needed to the specifics of the economic context and pressures the Big Four were laboring under and how C.P. Huntington was dealing with competing against UPRR in DC. ...

—Celeste Wolfe

Saturday, March 20, 2021

"Legacy"– a tribute to Chinese railroad workers of the CPRR (U.S. Forest Serice Video)

"Legacy"– a tribute to Chinese railroad workers of the CPRR (U.S. Forest Serice Video)

From: Dennis Hogan [Courtesy of the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society Internet Message List.]

The U.S. Forest service has produced an impressive documentary on the contributions of Chinese laborers in building the Central Pacific RR.

I learned quite a bit from it. How did I miss hearing about the "China Wall" in the Sierras? ...

Film: Legacy

U.S. Forest Service [Tahoe National Forest] wrote: "Over 150 years ago, Chinese Railroad Workers blasted and chiseled their way through the rugged Sierra Nevada Mountains near Donner Summit on the Tahoe National Forest in California while completing the Transcontinental Railroad. Despite this monumental achievement, the Chinese Railroad Workers’ contribution was excluded, ignored and forgotten from history. Today, grassroots groups including the USDA Forest Service are working together to retell this story."

a) "Chinese workers, Jamaica"
[Caution: NOT Central Pacific Railroad]

b) Donner Lake

c) China Wall

d) China Wall

e) China Wall

f) China Wall

g) Sierra Summit

h) Summit Tunnel CPRR

i) Chinese workers building the Loma Prieta Lumber Company's railroad, California, c. 1885
[Caution: NOT Central Pacific Railroad]

j) Summit Tunnel CPRR

k) Promontory Summit, Utah, May 10, 1869
Joining of the Rails

l) Continent Stereoscopic Co. Large mount stereoview #28 "Chinamen going to work in California."
[Caution: Probably NOT Central Pacific Railroad]

m) Golden Spike 50th Anniversary Celebration:
Chinese laborers Wong Fook, Lee Chao, Ging Cui, 1919

n) "1950 watercolor by artist Jake Lee [detail]
depicts Chinese laborers laying the transcontinental railroad track
through the Sierra Nevada mountains.
[Caution: NOT depicted with historical accurate]
Images courtesy of the United States Forest Service.

Newspaper article:
Nevada County The Union:
"U.S. Forest Service honors Chinese railroad workers’ in movie."

[Additional links and captions added]

Saturday, March 13, 2021

CPRR box car plate, 1865

From: "Steven Craig Alvord"

How many of those 1865 box car plates have been found?

CPL Iron Plate

CPL Iron Plate, verso
Photo's of the front and back of the unknown.

Compare with the real deal:

CPRR Baggage Car Plate, 1865.  Courtesy of the G. J. Graves Collection.
CPRR Baggage Car Plate, 1865.
Courtesy of the G. J. Graves Collection.

Friday, March 05, 2021

"Laying the Rails to History: The Arrival of the Transcontinenal Railroad in Alameda and Oakland"

"Laying the Rails to History: The Arrival of the Transcontinenal Railroad in Alameda and Oakland" by Dennis Evanosky, © Alameda Sun, March 3, 2021. (Six part History Article)

"When A. A. Cohen moved to Alameda in 1857, he had no idea that, 12 years later, he would be riding on his train with Leland Stanford as the railroad and ferry line that he created fastened the Central Pacific’s Railroad’s final link to the West Coast. ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]

Thursday, February 11, 2021

Central Pacific - Union Pacific Map Around Great Salt Lake

From: "Gordon Rowe"

I am doing research regarding the location of the Central Pacific and/or Union Pacific Railroad lines around the Northern extent of the Great Salt Lake in Utah. Specifically, I am looking for the map of definite location that was apparently filed by the railroad with the Secretary of Interior in 1917 pursuant to the 1864 Railroad Act. However, I've had trouble finding any map of the showing where the railroad ran prior to its abandonment. ...

—Gordon Rowe, Assistant Attorney General, Utah Office of the Attorney General, Natural Resources Division

ALTCounty and Township Map of Utah and Nevada
from Mitchell's New General Atlas, 1882, detail

Friday, January 22, 2021

Portable tie treatment plant at Chestnut, California, Southern Pacific Railroad, 1895

From: "Jim Hansen"

If you have not seen this article it describes the 1895 portable tie [wood] treatment plant at Chestnut, California.

William G. Curtis, an SP assistant general manager and John D. Isaacs patented this operation in 1895.

The USPTO only has a one page text version of the process.
See patent 545,222.

Railroad Gazette pages 80-82 and 89, .PDF scans 92,93,94 and 101, February 8, 1895.


Friday, January 01, 2021

CPRR Discussion Group

Welcome to the CPRR Discussion Group at the Central Pacific Railroad Photographic History Museum.

See HOW TO POST to the CPRR Discussion Group.

© 2021 Use of this Web site constitutes acceptance of the User Agreement which permits personal use web viewing only; no copying; arbitration; no warranty. Only send content intended for publication. Links are not merchant endorsements – caveat emptor. If you are under 13 years of age you may read this message board, but you may not participate.

CPRR Museum Category Tags:

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Central Pacific Railroad Photographic History Museum.
Copyright © 2021,

Friday, December 11, 2020

Joshua Lionel Cohen

"Electric Trains and the Electric Flash Lamp" by Mike Johnston, © The Online Photographer, December 10, 2020. (Blog Post)

" ... In 1899, a man named Joshua Cohen invented a product for photographers called the Electric Flash Lamp ... to ignite flammable magnesium powder used as flash for lighting photographs. ... A year later, Cohen, who later spelled his name Cowen, used the profits from his invention to start another company, one that made toy trains. He named that company using his middle name: Lionel. Lionel Corporation went on to dominate the market for electric trains, becoming the largest toy manufacturer in the world in 1953. ... " [More]

Thursday, October 15, 2020

How does a steam locomotive work?

Here is a nice short video, apparently translated into English, that explains "How does a Locomotive Steam Engine Work?"

It shows a hot fire in a firebox, which can be fueled by wood, coal, or oil. That heats a boiler by piping the hot gases and smoke though water. That heats water to its boiling point, turning it into steam, and collects the steam which is piped back through the boiler and superheated under pressure. The very hot steam goes through a pipe and through valves which direct the steam alternately to one side of a cylinder and then the other to push a piston in the cylinder back and forth. The back and forth motion of the piston is converted into rotation of the wheels with the motion of a piston rod.

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

What are the names of some workers of the Central Pacific Railroad?

What are the names of some workers of the Central Pacific Railroad?

Great grandfathers

Lewis Metzler Clement (1837-1914)

Civil Engineers

Locomotive engineers

CPRR locomotive engineer Arthur H. Real

Famous engineers

Chinese labor


CPRR payroll records

New Castle Trestle: Construction Payroll #94 (Charles Crocker, Contractor, CPRR, February, 1865)

"Payroll No. 102 dated March 1865 for Chinese workers employed during the construction of the transcontinental railroad. The [California State Railroad Museum] Library has approximately 300 payrolls for the period 1864 to 1866. The payrolls list the construction division for which the individuals worked, rates of pay and total pay received."

Chinese who laid the last rail: Ging Cui, Wong Fook, Lee Shao three of the eight Chinese men who brought up the last rail

Joining of the rails (Russell Photograph)

Ten mile day: Eight Irish workers

"Nameless Builders of the Transcontinental Railroad" by William F. Chew (see appendix) , Chapter 4

Builders of the Central Pacific Railroad

Theodore Judah

Railroad Construction

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Pricing data for railroad tickets, Los Angeles, 1880


My name is Domenico Fabrizi and I am a UCLA Economics PhD student. I am very interested in railroads and I thought you could help me!

In particular I am looking at how railroads helped the development of Los Angeles in 1880. I am looking at pricing data for tickets in the LA area of the two main players at that time, namely Southern Pacific Railway and the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway. Do you have tickets' price data for 1880? Do you have any idea where I can find such data? I would be interested in any piece of information that could store such data ...

I saw, for example, that you have some detailed information about fares. What I am looking for is something similar for the period 1880-1890 (at least for 1887) from Kansas (and other main US cities) to LA.

There was an interesting price war at the time that I would like to study. ...

—Dom, UCLA, Economics

Saturday, September 26, 2020

"In Memoriam Dr. Denny Anspach, MD 1934 - 2020"

"In Memoriam Dr. Denny Anspach, MD, 1934 - 2020" by California State Railroad Museum, September 25, 2020. (Obituary)

"Dr. Denny Anspach, MD, a highly esteemed member of the California State Railroad Museum Foundation Board of Directors, passed away on Sunday, September 20, 2020 at the age of 86 after a long battle with cancer. A passionate rail enthusiast, Dr. Anspach was instrumental in the vision for and creation of the California State Railroad Museum that opened in 1981. Born in Chicago in 1934, Dr. Anspach was a graduate of Stanford University medical school, a retired radiologist in Sacramento ... " [More]

[Courtesy Railway & Locomotive Historical Society Internet Message List.]

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Search boxes not working (+workaround)

HOW TO FIX: Some of the search boxes on the website, unfortunately, have stopped working, falsely reporting "No results found"

This is a search engine bug related to the search being of both the CPRR Museum website (at and the CPRR discussion group (at

For example if you search for "railroad" the search box generates the following search, using a comma:
which no longer works.

To correct the search, so that it correctly returns results, all you have to do is to change the search to:
"railroad OR"
(instead of using a comma and without the quotes) and resubmit the search.

Of course, instead of railroad, use the search term(s) that you actually want to find.

What's really weird is that this new bug affects multiple search engines: DuckDuckGo, Google, and Bing.
Has the syntax for multiple site searches changed? If so, why haven't the search engines updated their handling of site search boxes so that searches will still work?

Can anyone explain what is going on, or have a better workaround???

Can anyone suggest how to modify the webpage code URL that DuckDuckGo generates for the sitesearch box,, CPRR Museum
so that it generates the correct "OR site:" syntax, instead of the broken "," syntax?

Friday, June 19, 2020

Search for a citation - "discover, open up, and make accessible the American West"

From: "Ron Tyler"

I have read your article, Eastward to Promontory, on the CPRR web page, and a quotation caught my eye that has turned up in some other sources as well, such as the web page of CSU-Northridge. I have been trying to locate the phrase — "discover, open up, and make accessible the American West." — and cannot find it in the introduction to the volume you are discussing in your essay. I have read much of the article and searched on two different scans of that volume (volume one) with no luck. At least two sources credit Frank Schubert, Vanguard of Expansion, but I cannot find it in his book either. If you could please tell me where you found the quote I would be most grateful. I am working on a book and would also like to use it. ...

—Ron Tyler, Retired Professor
Museum Director. Amon Carter Museum of American Art
Western Art, Western History: Collected Essays
The Art of Texas: 250 Years

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

"Gasconade Bridge Disaster: The Immediate Aftermath"

"Gasconade Bridge Disaster: The Immediate Aftermath Nov. 1, 1855 - Nov. 5, 1855" by Ray Ham, © Hermann Advertiser Courier, June 16, 2020. (Newspaper Article)

"While commendable actions occurred in the aftermath of the Gasconade Bridge Disaster, there was also the reprehensible. In the weeks following this tragic event, newspapers reported stories of a dark nature. ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]

Wednesday, May 20, 2020

Novel 'Barons' by J.E. Dyer

From: "Joshua Dyer"

I have an historical fiction novel, Barons, that follows the Associates and the construction of the First transcontinental railroad. ... It's currently available in ebook and paperback formats with an audiobook in production. ...

—Joshua (J. E.) Dyer

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Want Eder, California info & photo

From: "Thomas Viano"

... I'm trying to locate information on Eder, [California] located above Donner Lake between Andover and the Summit Tunnel.

I'm writing a short article. I'm trying to find out what was there and if there are any photos of it. I haven't found any, but I've only been able to look at internet sites. ...

—Thomas Viano

How did the railroad companies acquire the rights of way?

From: "Thomas Walsh"

How did the railroad companies acquire the rights of way for their trackage? Eminent Domain? Government program? Did they survey and record their rights of way?

—Tom Walsh

Traveling from San Francisco to New York City

From: "Alexander Duncan"

I am writing a short story. The lead character in my story is a young man who is traveling with his uncle from San Francisco to New York City.

What would this trip look like?

Is it a direct trip? If not -- what stops are made along the way?

How long did the trip take?

What did it cost? My characters are wealthy and traveled first class. ...


Monday, March 30, 2020


"Beautiful Allegory of Western Expansion"

" ... [American Expansion]: CHASE & BACHELDER'S AMERICAN MUSEUM OF ART. Nottingham, England: Stafford & Co., [n.d., but ca. 1880s]. Color woodblock poster, approximately 37 x 27 inches. ... image of westward expansion as a metaphor for inexorable American progress. The print is based on an 1872 painting by John Gast, called American Progress. Gast created the painting at the commission of the western travel guide publisher, George Crofutt, who produced a chromolithographic print of Gast's painting for subscribers to his guidebooks. This poster was likely created from Crofutt's print. The lower two-thirds of the poster consists of the allegorical scene, dominated by a lady liberty figure soaring above an expansive western landscape. Wearing flowing robes and with the star of American empire in her hair, she flies westward, holding a schoolbook in her right hand and stringing a telegraph wire with her left. A glowing sun rises in the east above a city along a river, and the snow-capped Rocky Mountains are seen in the background. Along the Plains below her we are shown wagon trains moving westward (leaving cities behind but bringing civilization with them), railroad lines, buffalo herds, retreating Indians, prospectors, hunters, a farmer with a plow, and western animals. The reason for the creation of this print is somewhat mysterious. It is undated, and was printed in Nottingham, England, publicizing an enterprise called Chase & Bachelder's American Museum of Art, which may not have actually existed. OCLC locates only a single copy of this print, at the Autry Museum. There is also a copy at the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth. ... "

"OCLC 77662600. Patricia Hills, Picturing Progress in the Era of Westward Expansion in William H. Truettner (editor), The West as America: Reinterpreting Images of the Frontier, 1820-1920, pp.134-36, 354. Brian W. Dippie, The Moving Finger Writes: Western Art and the Dynamics of Change in Jules David Prown, et al, Discovered Lands Invented Pasts: Transforming Visions of the American West, pp.96-97. ... "

Courtesy William Reese Company
409 Temple Street, New Haven, CT 06511
(203) 789-8081,

From their Catalogue #367, 'Broadsides & Broadsheets.'
© William Reese Company, 2020.

Saturday, March 07, 2020

"At the Throttle: Does anybody really know what time it is?"

"At the Throttle: Does anybody really know what time it is?" by Mark Bassett, © The Ely Times, March 6, 2020. (Article)

" ... with no time standards in place, the time the last spike was driven was reported in accordance with local time across the country: 12:45 p.m. at Promontory, 12:30 p.m. in Virginia City, both 11:44 and 11:46 a.m. in San Francisco, and 2:47 p.m. in Washington D.C. ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]

Tuesday, February 25, 2020


From: "Barb Weismann"

... Do you have any photos of oxen being used on either end of the Transcontinental railroad? There are very few references, yet Laura Ingalls Wilder painted a picture of them [Ox] being used extensively, if I remember right, in the Silver Creek book. I have not gone back to search this book and they say she never saw this in person. I research the Alta California cattle industry. Thousands of oxen were used up to 1849 for traction. ...

—Barb Weismann

Friday, February 07, 2020

Movie memorabilia? - from Cecil B. Demille's Paramount Picture, 'Union Pacific'

From: "Brenda Williams"

I inherited the below picture that is mounted on a thick cardboard. It is a Cecil B. Demille's Union Pacific picture of Driving the Golden Spike, but not one that would have been to advertise at movie theaters. I don't think. I would like to know more about it. ... it measures about 18" high x 23" wide. ... I've been very interested in your site. Good job! Very interesting. Thank you. I'm going to send a connection to the site to my daughter and daughter in law who both do home school and one of my grandchildren is doing a joint enrollment in American history, so she will find it interesting. And this picture has been sitting around our house since I got it on 2008. Fun. ...

—Brenda Williams


Wednesday, February 05, 2020

Helen Hunt Jackson and how she caused the first tourism boom to California

Helen Hunt Jackson and how she caused the first tourism boom to California.

The television program Great American Railroad Journeys, in the Monterey to Los Angeles episode, explains who travel writer, Helen Hunt Jackson was and how she caused the first tourism boom to California.

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

CSRM Completion Grotto with the Model of the Jupiter

From: "Arthur Fluter"

In the [California State Railroad] Museum, just past Gov Stanford, on the far site of the grotto, the display is of a tunnel portal with the date of "1910" on the keystone.

What is the significance of this date?

One Docent said it was the start of Harriman era for the SP but doesn't seem relevant to me.

The tunnel list I could find is missing many completion dates. It looks like tunnel numbers in the high tens or low candidates but I can't tell.

Anyone know the significance of a 1910 tunnel portal? ...

—Art Fluter

Sunday, January 26, 2020

"Following the Footsteps of the Central Pacific Surveyors"

"Following the Footsteps of the Central Pacific Surveyors" by C. Barton Crattie, LS, CFS, CFM, © American Surveyor (Spatial Media, LLC), 1/25/2020. (Article)

"The Survey—it was a charmed life for the time
Anna Ferona Pierce Judah penned these words in a recollection of her husband, Theodore Dehone Judah, some 26 years after his death. ... Don’t forget Ted Judah and Abe Lincoln were both surveyors. ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]

"From T.D. Judah’s Practical Plan
(January, 1857) (edited)

The engineer in charge of the survey goes over the country upon which it is proposed to construct a line, and carefully examines the ground with reference to the proposed location. He notes its character, water-courses, ravines, undulations of the ground, crossing points for rivers and decides the general course of the line. This done, he organizes a party, composed of what is usually termed a transit and leveling party.

The business of the transit party is to run a line over the route indicated, measuring distances with a chain, and taking courses or direction of the line by compass or goneometer (a transit with two telescopes mounted above one and the other on the same axis to enable measuring the angle twice for a check), leaving stakes every one hundred feet ... as guides for the leveling party. The results are put on paper and gives ... a correct representation of the line, showing curves, tangents, the crossing of roads, rivers, farms, townships, names of land owners and all points of interest along the line.

The leveling party follows the transit party, and runs, with the utmost accuracy, a line of levels, touching upon each stake, taking observations of the undulation of the ground. ... This plotted gives what is called a profile ...

A topographer is also furnished, whose business will be to sketch topography, taking notes of every feature presenting itself.

Another leveling party is provided for the purpose of running a test level. The consequences of an error ... on so long a line of surveys would be so annoying ...

... the Engineer ... knows that ... this will be over level, open country, offering no obstacles, and that an ordinary party, on preliminary surveys, will make three miles per day without difficulty ...

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Salt Lake Division Bridge Inspection Books

From: "Michael Polk",

I am an archaeologist who has been doing archaeology and historical research on the Promontory Branch of the Central Pacific for 30 years. The bridge inspection books for the Salt Lake Division are one source that is exceedingly useful, but my search for them has been limited. I found one 1920 book at a warehouse of the UP in Omaha in 1998 and was told that the remainder resided at two small warehouses, one in Mountain View, California, known as “File Safe” and another in San Francisco. This was during the time that UP was consolidating SP into their system, so I have no idea if they are still there or moved to Omaha or elsewhere and how I might access them.

Does anyone here know where the bulk of the Salt Lake Division Bridge Inspection Books may reside now? I would really appreciate any suggestions. ...

—Mike Polk

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Location of Anna Judah’s paintings?

From: "Arthur Fluter"

In the books describing Theodore Judah’s route research, mention is made that Anna Judah painted landscapes to help describe the route. I think some of the paintings were exhibited in Judah’s office in Washington DC.

Is there a collection of her paintings or at least some included in the reports and publications here?

It seems like Anna’s contribution to the transcontinental Railroad are long overdue for acknowledgement and praise.

—Art Fluter, CSRM Docent, Class 66

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

"A Railroad to the Pacific." Nantucket, The Inquirer, 1849

The Inquirer, Nantucket, Massachusetts, May 30, 1849 [Newspaper]

A RAILROAD TO THE PACIFIC — the acquisition of California, the discovery of gold there in almost unprecedented abundance, the consequent rush of emigration to the valley of the Sacramento, and the certainty that within a very short time the American possessions on the Pacific will be the home of a large, active and thriving population, have drawn the attention of the people of the whole country, to the subject of a connection by railroad of the Atlantic States with the shores of the Pacific. It is felt and admitted, that if California and Oregon are to continue parts of the Union, it is not only desirable, but vitally important, that some generally practicable way of getting there should be provided, other than that round Cape Horn, or across the Isthmus through the territory of another government.

The construction of a road from some point or in the neighborhood of the Mississippi to the Pacific, would necessarily be a work of time. Before it could be located, extensive surveys would have to be made, to determine the most eligible route; and the progress of the work, both of surveying and building, through the heart of an entire wilderness, would necessarily be slow. The cost, too, would be very great. We have, to be sure, seen it estimated—from Lake Michigan to the Pacific—at only $60,000,000; but this can be little better then guess-work—the road might cost twice that sum. But let the time and money needed for the completion of the work be ever so great, the road has got to be built; and the sooner it has begun, the sooner it will be finished.

Mr. Benton, in a late letter to the committee of the citizens of St. Louis, speaking of "this American road to India," says—"Forward is the word! Let the thing be done, and done quickly!" "All is ready. The knowledge is acquired; the means are at hand; the spirit of the people is up. All that is lacking is the action of the government; and that, as always, needs stimulating. It is of the nature of our government that it should follow the lead, or wait the stimulus of the people. It is of the nature of our government that it should follow the lead, or wait the stimulus of the people. In this case the people have been leading long enough. They have literally led the government, and that through the wilderness to Oregon and California; it is time now that the government should give them a road to the empire which they have added to the republic. The central highway is the grand national object, and the first month of the next session of Congress is the time to try the question of its location and construction. So far as my efforts can go this question shall then be decided; but to enable me to work with hope and heart, I must have health and backing; I must be seconded by the movement and backed by the ‘Power of the people" "The massive of rock is not split nor the royal oak felled by one lick. Still less is Congress moved by one voice. To gain attention for the central highway there, the central continent must send forth its voice from all its recesses, from the borders of Missouri to the shores of the Atlantic."

Courtesy of Stephen A. Goldman Historical Newspapers.

Sunday, November 03, 2019

"No first-person memoirs of the Chinese experience in nineteenth-century California are known to survive." -Library of Congress

"No first-person memoirs of the Chinese experience in nineteenth-century California are known to survive."
Library of Congress

From: "John Shubert"
Subject: Gold Mountain Chinese Workers 金山中国铁路工人

You have a wonderful site and I commend your work!

However, I was dumfounded by these quotes:
1. “Alas (and strangely), the events were not recorded by the Chinese at the time, so the details and their perspective consequently are likely long since lost to history
2. “It's too bad that there are no known writings by Chinese memorializing their experiences in building the Central Pacific Railroad.

May I courteously say: Someone has clearly overlooked that any number of worker’s memories exist in the Chinese language. It’s an elementary mistake to say “none of them wrote a book in English we can read”.

The careful researcher (or historian) would say “the reason we don’t have first-person accounts from Chinese workers is because we haven’t researched original Chinese sources that exist in China”.

These workers surely told everyone back home (in China) and elsewhere (in the USA) about their experiences in their own language: Chinese. A few minutes of research using Google translate confirms there is a whole other world out there of Chinese knowledge about the ‘Gold Mountain Chinese railroad workers’ 金山中国铁路工人‘Jīnshān zhōngguó tiělù gōngrén’.

For instance, this 20min video contains information and some pictures which may surprise you. ...

John Shubert PE, Lake Forest, CA

Photographs of Leland Stanford with railroads

From: "Marc Shaffer"

... I'm making a documentary film on Eadweard Muybridge. I’m wondering ... have you ever encountered a photograph of Leland Stanford with railroads? The only image I've seen is the painting of the last spike.

If you’re interested in keeping up with our film – please visit the website from time to time and check the news tab – Spread the word.

It's a film about Muybridge and his time – and so of course there’s some discussion of the emergence of steam trains along with other world-changing technologies (including the camera).

Marc Shaffer
Director, Exposing Muybridge

Kyle Wyatt comment attachments:

356 – The Last Rail is Laid – Scene at Promontory Point, May 10th, 1869 – Stanford
356 – The Last Rail is Laid – Scene at Promontory Point, May 10th, 1869 – Stanford

356 Last rail, last tie – Spikes and Hammers marked
356 Last rail, last tie – Spikes and Hammers marked

Monday, October 21, 2019

Central Pacific Railway Uniform?


Could you help me determine the age and use of this uniform. The buttons were made by C.A. Brophy of Aurora, Illinois. The coat by Nelson & Berglund (cannot find reference for this maker – most of tag is torn off). The Custom Tailors union tag indicates 1883 or later. Almost identical Custom Tailor tag found on Internet had 1916 date on makers label.

It seems the collar is most unusual. The coat has fixtures for a badge.

Purchased in Arizona thrift store, no provenance.

Is it a 1900 +/-15 years CP railroad police uniform?

Is the collar original or a later embellishment?

Looks very Navy/Marine like ... Maybe Great War era???

The collar sewing looks original but very uncomfortable ... may explain why the collar hooks are quite worn. ...

Central Pacific Railway Uniform?

Central Pacific Railway Uniform?

Central Pacific Railway Uniform?

Monday, September 09, 2019

"10 Ways the Transcontinental Railroad Changed America"

"10 Ways the Transcontinental Railroad Changed America" by Patrick J. Kiger, ©, September 4, 2019. (History Stories)

" ... 1. It made the Western U.S. more important.
2. It made commerce possible on a vast scale.
3. It made travel more affordable.
4. It changed where Americans lived.
5. It altered Americans’ concept of reality.
6. It helped create the Victorian version of Amazon.
7. It took a heavy toll on the environment.
8. It increased racial conflicts.
9. It pioneered government-financed capitalism.
10. It instilled national confidence. ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]

Saturday, July 20, 2019

Exhibition: "Forgotten Workers: Chinese Migrants and the Building of the Transcontinental Railroad"

"Forgotten Workers: Chinese Migrants and the Building of the Transcontinental Railroad" Smithsonian. (Exhibition)

"National Museum of American History, 14th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC. May 10, 2019 – Spring 2020." [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Transcontinental Railroad Commemorative U.S. Stamps

You can now purchase online the Transcontinental Railroad 150th Anniversary Commemorative U.S. "forever" Stamps from the United States Post Office.

There are three stamps in the series, one showing the CPRR Jupiter locomotive, another showing the UPRR 119 locomotive, and a golden spike stamp.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Western Americana ... RAILROADS - 1875 AND BEFORE

From: "Buckingham Books"

... Listed below are items on RAILROADS - 1875 and BEFORE from our collection. ...

4. DAVIS, JEFFERSON [SECRETARY OF WAR]. REPORTS OF EXPLORATIONS AND SURVEYS, TO ASCERTAIN THE MOST PRACTICABLE AND ECONOMICAL ROUTE FOR A RAILROAD FROM THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER TO THE PACIFIC OCEAN. MADE UNDER THE DIRECTION OF THE SECRETARY OF WAR, IN 1853-4, ACCORDING TO ACTS OF CONGRESS OF MARCH 3, 1853, MAY 31, 1854, AND AUGUST 5, 1854. Washington: A. O. P. Nicholson, Printer, 1855 - 1861. ... Howes P3 says, "... it was the best cartographical work on the West up to its time and some copies were colored." Wagner/Camp says, "Despite their flaws, these volumes contain a monumental collection of scientific information, geographical, zoological, botanical, geological, of the still mysterious American West. Upon first examination, the volumes seem forbiddingly disorganized; reports clearly were printed as they were received; there is no overall system or arrangement, nor are there general indices to the volumes, and, as Camp has pointed out, there is the usual duplication of printing and lithography by both houses of Congress. However, these faults are amply compensated by the richness of the material within." ... $15000.00 (26611)
HOWES P3. WAGNER/CAMP 262-267. WHEAT 822, 823, 936. MOFFAT 35, 36, 49.

7. WHITNEY, A. MEMORIAL OF A. WHITNEY, PRAYING A GRANT OF PUBLIC LAND TO ENABLE HIM TO CONSTRUCT A RAILROAD FROM LAKE MICHIGAN TO THE PACIFIC OCEAN. Washington: Ritchie & Heiss, Printers, 1846. First edition. 8vo. Senate document 161, 29th Congress, 1st Session, February 24, 1846. ... 10 pp., large folding map of the proposal at the rear. Whitney is requesting a grant of land sixty miles in width from Lake Michigan to the Pacific Ocean,"to be held and set apart expressly to furnish, by sale and settlement, means to construct a railroad to communicate with the two points; and after the full and perfect completion of said work, should there be any lands remaining, your memorialist asked them for himself, his heirs, and assigns, as a reward for the work." The folding map is a map of the United States that shows railroads finished, railroads unfinished, and proposed railroads. Asa Whitney (1797-1872) was in the mercantile business in New York City and "recognized the necessity of a railroad to the Pacific, and was the first to suggest its feasibility, and from 1846 till 1850 urged it upon congress, the legislature of several states, and the public, by personal influence and his writings. He was finally instrumental in securing appropriations in 1853 for the first surveys of the northern, southern, and middle routes, and lived to see communication opened from sea to sea in 1869." ... Appleton's Cyclopaedia of American Biography. ... $595.00 (35788)

20. DEGRAND, P. P. F. PROCEEDINGS OF THE FRIENDS OF A RAIL-ROAD TO SAN FRANCISCO, AT THEIR PUBLIC MEETING, HELD AT THE U. S. HOTEL, IN BOSTON, APRIL 19, 1849. INCLUDING AN ADDRESS TO THE PEOPLE OF THE U. STATES; SHOWING THAT, P. P. F. DEGRAND'S PLAN IS THE ONLY ONE, AS YET PROPOSED, WHICH WILL SECURE PROMPTLY AND CERTAINLY, AND BY A SINGLE ACT OF LEGISLATION, THE CONSTRUCTION OF A RAIL-ROAD TO CALIFORNIA, IN THE SHORTEST TIME ALLOWED BY ITS PHYSICAL OBSTACLES. Boston: Dutton and Wentworth, Printers, 1849. Second edition. 8vo. ... 24 pp. P. P. F. Degrand puts forth a convincing proposal for a transcontinental railroad that would travel between St. Louis and San Francisco. He offers comparisons to travel by sea route versus a transcontinental railroad and the amount of dollars realized by traveling by rail. He expresses that the route can be built in five years and the resultant prosperity to all will be tremendous. A convincing proposal and one of the earliest for a transcontinental railroad. ... $1,250.00 (44034)
COWAN p. 183. EBERSTADT 114: 641, 123: 51, 134: 550.

22. LAND DEPARTMENT, UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD COMPANY. GUIDE TO THE UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD LANDS. 12,000,000 ACRES. BEST FARMING AND MINERAL LANDS IN AMERICA, FOR SALE BY THE UNION PACIFIC RAILROAD COMPANY, IN TRACTS TO SUIT PURCHASERS AND AT LOW PRICES. Omaha: Land Department Union Pacific Railroad Company, 1870. First edition. 8vo. 8 3/4" X 5 3/4" printed wrappers with map on back cover, 44 pp., introduction, illustrated, maps. The rear cover features a map of portions of Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri, and Iowa. States where land grant bonds are available from the Union Pacific Railroad Company. The frontispiece is a map of the United States that shows the Union Pacific Railroad and its connections. A third map shows counties in Nebraska in 1870, and the Union Pacific Railroad lands, first 200 miles, grants of 1862-64. A description of the Nebraska lands are provided county by county. The available lands are contained in alternate sections of one square mile each, within a breadth of twenty miles on either side of the railroad and extend along the entire line. They extend through central Nebraska, southern Wyoming, and northern Colorado and Utah, and include within their limits the splendid agricultural lands of the Platte Valley, the great natural pastures of the Laramie Plains and the valleys of Lodge Pole Creek and Bear River, and the rich iron and coal fields between the Black Hills and the Wahsatch Mountains. Description, advantages, water resources, climate, soil, live stock raising, farming, markets, timber, minerals, information about homesteads, advantages of living in colonies, etc. Both Adams' Herd and Graff list similar titles but different years and claim their listings to be "rare." ... $2,250.00 (44035) ...

Copyright © 2016 Buckingham Books, All rights reserved.

Nancy Anderson
Buckingham Books, ABAA, ILAB, IOBA
8058 Stone Bridge Road
Greencastle, PA 17225
(717) 597-5657

Saturday, May 18, 2019

"150th anniversary of Transcontinental Railroad kicks off in Truckee"

"150th anniversary of Transcontinental Railroad kicks off in Truckee" by Hannah Jones, ©, May 17, 2019. (News Article)

"A summer-long celebration of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad kicked off with a ribbon-cutting ceremony last week, along with a soft opening of a new Truckee History Railroad Museum at the Truckee Train Depot. 'Visitors to this museum will have a new appreciation for Truckee, the people who lived here, and a newfound pride in this delightful and extraordinary community,' said Katie Holley, president of the Truckee Donner Historical Society. ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]

Sunday, May 12, 2019

"Old Sacramento Celebrates 150th Anniversary Of The Transcontinental Railroad"

"Old Sacramento Celebrates 150th Anniversary Of The Transcontinental Railroad." © CBS Sacramento 13, May 8, 2019. (News Video)

"We talk with the great great great great nephew of Theodore Judah, the engineer of the Central Pacific Railroad." [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]

"Historic telegrams tell the story of how the Transcontinental Railroad ushered in new era"

"Historic telegrams tell the story of how the Transcontinental Railroad ushered in new era" by The Associated Press, © The Salt Lake Tribune, May 9, 2019. (Article)

" ... The Baltimore Sun, relying on telegraphed dispatches by other cities and The Associated Press, published the following article on the event and how it was celebrated across the U.S. It first appeared on May 11, 1869. The AP is reprinting it in honor of the Transcontinental Railroad’s 150th anniversary.
... The AP Corporate Archives contributed to this report." [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]

Completion of the Pacific Railroad

Official Announcement — Telegraphing the Hammer Strokes — Rejoicing and Congratulation — Ringing of Bells and Other Demonstrations.

Promontory Summit, Utah, May 10, noon. — To the Associated Press: The last rail is laid. The last spike is driven. The Pacific railroad is completed. The point of junction is 1,086 miles west of the Missouri river, and 690 miles east of Sacramento.

LELAND STANFORD, Central Pacific Railroad

The news received in New York

New York, May 10. — The last spike in the Pacific railroad was driven today at five minutes past 3 o’clock P.M., New York time. San Francisco, Chicago, St. Louis, New Orleans, New York, Boston, Philadelphia and Plaister Cove, the end of the cable, were connected with Promontory Point by telegraph, and the hammer strokes on the last spike were duly transmitted according to arrangement.

When the news was received in New York a hundred guns were fired in the City Hall Park, and Mayor Hall forwarded a congratulatory message to the Mayor of San Francisco. A commemorative celebration had previously been held in Trinity Church, at which a telegram forwarded by the Chamber of Commerce to the Chamber in San Francisco was read, and an address delivered by Rev. Dr. Vinton.

After prayer and reading of portions of the Episcopal service, the organ pealed and chimes rung as the large congregation left the church. Flags on the city hall and on many public and private buildings were displayed all day in honor of the great event.

Free trade and the Pacific Railroad

A meeting of the American Free Trade League of New York was held at Cooper Institute tonight at which many of the prominent members of the organization were present. David Dudley Field called the assemblage to order, and Howard Potter presided. Addresses were delivered by William Cullen Bryant and Edward Atkinson, and the following resolution was adopted:

"Resolved, That in the opening of the great Pacific railroad today, connecting New York and San Francisco, we recognize a pledge, not only for one country, one constitution and one destiny, but with a due regard to the revenue, for the freest sort of trade with all countries and all continents."
Ringing the bells in Philadelphia

Philadelphia, May 10. — At 2:30 o'clock P.M. precisely, Philadelphia time, the news was received of the driving of the last spike of the Pacific railroad. Word was sent to the mayor, and in a few minutes the bells in Independence Hall and the various fire stations were rung, drawing crowds into the streets under the impression that a general alarm of fire was being rung. The people soon ascertained the reason of the ringing of the bells, and flags were immediately displayed everywhere. A large number of steam fire engines ranged in front of Independence Hall with screaming whistles and hose carriage bells ringing. Joy was expressed in every face at the completion of this great work of country. The sudden flocking of the people to the State House reminded one of the reception of the news of the surrender of Lee's army, when a similar scene was enacted.

The Rejoicing at Chicago

Chicago, May 10. — The celebration of the completion of the great inter-ocean railroad connection today was the most successful affair of the kind that ever took place in Chicago, and probably in the West. It is entirely impromptu, and therefore almost every man, woman and child in the city did their part toward making it a success. The procession was unique in appearance and immense in length, the lowest estimate putting it down at seven miles. During the moving of the procession, Vice President Colfax received the following dispatch:

"Promontory Summit, Utah, May 10. — Hon. Schuyler Colfax, Vice President: The rails were connected today. The prophecy of Benton is today a fact. This is the way to India.





This evening Vice President Colfax, Lieut. Governor Bross and others addressed large audiences at Liberty Hall, in which they spoke eloquently of the great era which this day marks in the history of our country. During the evening there was general indulgence in fireworks, bonfires, illumination, &c.
The celebration elsewhere

There was great rejoicing over the event at Scranton, Pennsylvania, where cannon, bells and whistles of locomotives were employed to give eclat to the occasion.

In Buffalo, New York, a large gong was attached to the telegraph wire, and at 2:41 P.M. by the time of that city began to ring out the hammer strokes. The crowd sung the Star-Spangled Banner, and jubilee speeches were made by the orators.

Omaha dispatches say that telegrams from Echo City report that the troubles of the railroad laborers near Piedmont were amicably settled.

"150 years of railroad snow removal in the Sierra"

"150 years of railroad snow removal in the Sierra" by Jerry Blackwill , © Sierra Sun, May 9, 2019. (News Article)

" ... The first surveyors of the transcontinental railroad thought the snows could be handled with the equipment of the day. They planned to use 'Bucker' snowplows almost 20-feet tall pushed by six to nine wood-burning locomotives. ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]

"150 Years Ago, America Was United By Train"

"150 Years Ago, America Was United By Train: Railroads were America's first big business and still help to build U.S. industry" by Thomas Black
and Marisa Gertz , ©, May 9, 2019.

" ... Railroads were the nation’s first big business, spawning fortunes for entrepreneurs including Cornelius Vanderbilt and Jay Gould and spurring financial markets. J. Pierpont Morgan, a major financier and railroad shareholder, helped bring stability to an industry plagued by overcapacity and price wars. The most famous agreement, the 'Corsair Compact,' was named for Morgan’s yacht after the banker invited Vanderbilt and Gould aboard in July 1885 and insisted on sailing until the two feuding magnates struck a deal. The result -- which eventually led to price fixing and sharing customers -- triggered a Congressional crackdown, including passage of the Sherman Antitrust Act in 1890. ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]

"Building the Transcontinental Railroad: How 20,000 Chinese Immigrants Made It Happen"

"Building the Transcontinental Railroad: How 20,000 Chinese Immigrants Made It Happen" by Lesley Kennedy, ©, May 10, 2019. (News Article)

" ... At first railroad companies were reluctant to hire Chinese workers, but the immigrants soon proved to be vital. ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]

CPRR subsidy bonds, 1887

"Thousands gather to reclaim Chinese railroad workers' place in history"

"Thousands gather to reclaim Chinese railroad workers' place in history" by Chris Fuchs, ©, May 10, 2019. (News Article)

" ... Friday’s commemoration, which officials said drew an estimated 20,000, contrasted from the one held in Promontory in 1969 for the 100th anniversary celebration, when nothing more than a 'passing mention of the Chinese' was made. ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]

Saturday, May 11, 2019

"Celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Transcontinental Railroad by Sleeping in a Train Car"

"Celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the Transcontinental Railroad by Sleeping in a Train Car" by Jennifer Billock , ©, May 7, 2019. (Caboose Motels)

" ... these authentic cabooses, mail cars and train cars from U.S. railways have been converted to sleeping quarters for train fanatics ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]

Friday, May 10, 2019

150th Anniversary of the transcontinental railroad.

150th Anniversary of the joining of the rails of the first transcontinental railroad!

May 10, 1869 - May 10, 2019

Central Pacific Railroad and Union Pacific Railroad joined at Promontory Summit, Utah.

Congratulations to our ancestor, Lewis Metzler Clement (the engineer in charge of CPRR construction over the Sierra Nevada mountains of California), and to all the brave pioneers, including the entrepreneurs, engineers, and workers who toiled with him to build the greatest engineering project of the 19th century, entirely with manual labor.

Promontory, Courtesy National Archives and Records Administration
Joining the Rails at Promontory Summit, Utah, May 10, 1869.
Courtesy National Archives and Records Administration.

Thursday, May 09, 2019

"Stanford scans storied Judah railroad map"

"Stanford scans storied Judah railroad map" by Kathleen Sullivan, © Stanford News, May 8, 2019. (News Article)

"Stanford Libraries has scanned an 1861 map depicting a proposed route for the railroad that eventually connected California with the rest of the country, making the one-of-a-kind map available for online viewing by people around the world. The Central Pacific Railroad Proposed Alignment Map, which is 66 feet long and 2.5 feet wide, comprises four maps on one continuous roll. Each map is titled: Barmore Station to Clipper Gap; Rattlesnake Bluffs to the summit of the Sierra Nevada; from the summit to the Truckee River; and Dutch Flat to Rattlesnake Bluffs. [The four maps are out of geographical sequence, with map 4 belonging between map 1 and map 2.] The map is often referred to simply as 'The Judah Map' after its maker, Theodore Judah (1826-1863) ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]

Also see,

"California State Archives ‘First Complete Rail Map of the Sierras’ Available Digitally, On Public Display for the First Time"

"Click here to view the digitized Theodore Judah Map on Google Arts and Culture"

Other transcontinental railroad maps

Wednesday, May 08, 2019

"Telling 'The Epic Story Of The Chinese Who Built The Transcontinental Railroad'"

"Telling 'The Epic Story Of The Chinese Who Built The Transcontinental Railroad'" by Meghna Chakrabarti, ©, May 7, 2019. (Audio interviews)

On Point, NPR Podcast


Gordon H. Chang, author of Ghosts of Gold Mountain: The Epic Story of the Chinese Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad. Co-director of the Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project. Professor of American history at Stanford University. Director of the Center for East Asian Studies. (@Stanford)

Lisa See, great-great granddaughter of Fong Dun Shung, who worked on the transcontinental railroad as an herbalist. Author of On Gold Mountain: The One-Hundred-Year Odyssey of My Chinese-American Family. Participated in the Chinese Railroad Workers in North America oral history project. (@Lisa_See)" [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]

"Building the Transcontinental Railroad: Stanford historian's book shines light on Chinese workers in California ... "

"Building the Transcontinental Railroad: Stanford historian's book shines light on Chinese workers in California ... " by Erin Baldassari, © The Mercury News, May 6, 2019. (News Article)

" ... Now, in preparation for the 150th anniversary of the completion of the historic railroad, a new book by Stanford professor Gordon H. Chang, Ghosts of Gold Mountain, takes one of the most comprehensive looks to date at Chinese railroad workers' lives during that time, pulling from extensive public and private archives, oral histories, and other sources. ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]

Two plays put Chinese American workers center stage in Golden Spike 150 celebration

"Two plays put Chinese American workers center stage in Golden Spike 150 celebration" by Kaitlin Hoelzer, © Deseret News, May 5, 2019. (News Article)

" ... Richard Chang and David Henry Hwang, two Asian American playwrights, are now giving Utah theatergoers the chance to learn the history that they didn't learn growing up. Chang's work Citizen Wong and Hwang's play The Dance and the Railroad are being featured as part of Utah's Golden Spike 150 celebration, which commemorates the 150th anniversary of the transcontinental railroad's completion. ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]

"Transcontinental Railroad artifacts set to display together for first time in Utah"

"Transcontinental Railroad artifacts set to display together for first time in Utah" by Hunter Geisel, ©, May 4th 2019. (News Article)

" ... For the first time, seven significant artifacts from Transcontinental Railroad will be on display together in one place as part of Utah's 150th anniversary of the driving of the Golden Spike ... From May 3 to June 24, people can go to the State Capitol's "peoples' house" to see the free exhibit that showcases the seven artifacts from the Transcontinental Railroad. In the State Capitol's Gold Room, visitors can see the Hewes Gold, Nevada and Arizona Spikes, which were the last three out of four spikes used in the completion of the railroad at Promontory Point on May 10, 1869. Visitors will also see Central Pacific Railroad's former President Leland Stanford's ceremonial mallet, which was used to drive in the spikes, an inscribed piece of the last iron rail installed at Promontory Summit and the 1862 Pacific Railway Act signed by then President Abraham Lincoln. A model 1866 Lever Action Winchester Rifle owned and used by Union Pacific Chief Engineer Grenville Dodge will also be on display. ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]