Tuesday, July 21, 2015

"Alameda in History: Failed railroad led to thriving ferry service"

"Alameda in History: Failed railroad led to thriving ferry service" by Dennis Evanosky, © The Alamedan, July 17, 2015. (News Article)

"In December 1862, Timothy Dame, Peter Donahue and Charles McLaughlin formed the Western Pacific Railroad. These men were already busy building the San Francisco & San Jose Railroad, which began running between San Francisco and Menlo Park in October 1863; the line initiated service to San Jose in January 1864. Ten months later, the Central Pacific Railroad gave the Western Pacific the rights to build a railroad that connected Sacramento with San Jose. ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Central Pacific 1866 (Letter)

From: "Sue Agnew" sue.agnew@gmail.com

I am researching a man who traveled the Central Pacific from Sacramento to its terminus around October 18-22, 1866. Do I assume correctly that the end of the line at that time was at Alta? His destination was Sierraville. Would he have taken a stage the remainder of the trip?

In a letter to family back in Michigan, this man wrote that "The train on the Central Pacific R.R. proceeding to climb the Sierra Nevada mountains ran off the track on a sheer precipice, but the coaches and passengers did not follow the engine 90 feet down the abyss." I am skeptical about this account, since it seems to me that if the engine went down into the abyss then the other cars would have followed. Certainly they wouldn't have come loose very easily. Am I correct about my assumption or would the cars have remained on the track?

Also, if what he says is accurate, then there would have to be another engine brought in to take the cars along their way. I would also assume this would have been newsworthy, but I cannot find any account of such an incident reported in the area newspapers of that time.

I would appreciate knowing your assessment of this man's account, since your organization would be much more familiar with the CPRR of that era than I. If you feel it is possibly a true account, do you have any suggestions as to sources that I could use to document this incident? ...

—Sue Agnew, Tahlequah, Oklahoma​




"During the trip up the Sacramento river the Crysopolis narrowly escaped collision with a returning craft. The train on the Central Pacific R.R. proceeding to climb the Sierra Nevada mountains ran off the track on a sheer precipice, but the coaches and passengers did not follow the engine 90 feet down the abyss."


Letter to Charley Lemmon, 1866Letter to Charley Lemmon, 1866.

Insurance policy from The Locomotive Engineers Mutual Life and Accident Insurance Association

From: "Jeanne Strausz" jstrausz@hotmail.com

I am fascinated by the history I read on your site. My father worked on the rails in Cleveland in the 1940's. I have a policy from The Locomotive Engineers Mutual Life and Accident Insurance Association from July 1, 1970. It matured July 1, 2013. Do you know where I could cash this policy? Did the company change names. It was interesting that I have a piece of history in my hands. ... It was a retirement policy for me for $1,064.00. That would have been a lot of money in 1948 when I was born and when I was 17 years old. That is when the policy was started. ...

Jeanne O. Strausz MSRN, CSN
Adjunct professor
Tabor College Wichita

Number plate (Unknown)

From: "Jim Gajderowicz" jgajderowicz@comcast.net

I am looking for some information regarding this number plate I bought from a railroad collection. It is 13 inches across the top and 9 inches across the bottom and 10 inches top to bottom, with scribed edges on the back sides. ...

—Jim Gajderowicz


Number plate

Saturday, July 04, 2015

J.B. Silvis Exhibit - RIHA Archives Collection

From: "Bob Riha" bobriha@verizon.net

As a longtime rail fan, I love your website and all the historical, informative information on CPRR — especially on early Western photographers that did work with rail companies. I'm a 21st Century Photographer!

Over the years I've collected and have (42) J.B. Silvis cdv photographs and (1) JB Silvis Stereoview, the 'sister image' that author Barry Swackhamer images published (Winnemucca chiefs daughter with horse and other riders & rail car) — who wrote about J.B. Silvis on your website. (Journal of the West, Vol. 33, April, 1994) ...

Included in my collection is the 'sister image' of Winnemucca Family by Barry Swackhamer. There are also two images of a young boy by Silvis – two views – during same photo session, which is cool to see that Silvis didn't just take one image on a subject and then leave! He worked the subject or took multiple images during their photo session. ...

Also included is my email conversation with Barry Swackhamer. ...

I've read that J.B. Silvis images are extremely rare and that your CPRR Museum [shows only] a handful. I have (43) JB Silvis images - mostly portraits he did of children, men and women of the West. See [images below] ...

Bob Riha Jr., RIHA Photo, Long Beach, CA



J.B. Silvis Exhibit - RIHA Archives Collection

J.B. Silvis Exhibit - RIHA Archives Collection

J.B. Silvis Exhibit - RIHA Archives Collection

J.B. Silvis Exhibit - RIHA Archives Collection

J.B. Silvis Exhibit - RIHA Archives Collection

J.B. Silvis Exhibit - RIHA Archives Collection

J.B. Silvis Exhibit - RIHA Archives Collection

J.B. Silvis Exhibit - RIHA Archives Collection

J.B. Silvis Exhibit - RIHA Archives Collection

J.B. Silvis Exhibit - RIHA Archives Collection

J.B. Silvis Exhibit - RIHA Archives Collection

J.B. Silvis Exhibit - RIHA Archives Collection

J.B. Silvis Exhibit - RIHA Archives Collection

J.B. Silvis Exhibit - RIHA Archives Collection

J.B. Silvis Exhibit - RIHA Archives Collection

J.B. Silvis Exhibit - RIHA Archives Collection

J.B. Silvis Exhibit - RIHA Archives Collection

J.B. Silvis Exhibit - RIHA Archives Collection

J.B. Silvis Exhibit - RIHA Archives Collection

J.B. Silvis Exhibit - RIHA Archives Collection

J.B. Silvis Exhibit - RIHA Archives Collection

J.B. Silvis Exhibit - RIHA Archives Collection

J.B. Silvis Exhibit - RIHA Archives Collection

J.B. Silvis Exhibit - RIHA Archives Collection

J.B. Silvis Exhibit - RIHA Archives Collection

J.B. Silvis Exhibit - RIHA Archives Collection

J.B. Silvis Exhibit - RIHA Archives Collection

J.B. Silvis Exhibit - RIHA Archives Collection


Images courtesy of Bob Riha, Jr. / RIHA Archives © 2015

Friday, July 03, 2015

Chinese railroad worker unknown photograph

From: "Jennifer Perelli" research@thegammaproject.com
Subject: Urgent TV Request - Canadian Pacific Images for "Around the World by Train."

Hello,

My name is Jennifer Perelli and I work for a television company in the UK called The Gamma Project.

We are producing a railway series called Around the World by Train and our final episode our series tells the extraordinary story of railway building on the American railway. We are now editing the show and are in need of some archive material. We are really hoping to feature the below image in our final show and we were wondering (and really hoping) that you could shed some light as to the origin of the image and if you could [locate] a high-resolution copy of the image.

Chinese railroad worker unknown photograph

Any help/information would be fantastic. Thanks again!

Best wishes,

—Jennifer Perelli, Assistant Producer, The Gamma Project, London, UK

Wednesday, July 01, 2015

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Monday, June 22, 2015

"How the West was built: Project seeks stories of Chinese workers"

"How the West was built: Project seeks stories of Chinese workers" by JULIE MAKINEN, © Los Angeles Times, June 21, 2015. (News Article)

" ... Stanford University ... [has] launched the Chinese Railroad Workers in North America Project, endeavoring to collect the most complete record of these [Chinese Central Pacific Railroad worker] migrants' journey to the American frontier and their subsequent experiences. ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Ernie Kiesel Collection of Southern Pacific Railroad Photographs

From: "‪Ed Gibson - SP Coast Division" sprr.coast@gmail.com


I have just begun a project for History San Jose to identify SP Coast Division (and "Coast-Side" of the later Western Division) railroaders in hundreds of circa 1900-1970 photographs that once were displayed on the Engineers Room wall of San Francisco's Seventh St. Diesel Shop, and at Mission Bay Roundhouse before that.

The trouble is, the majority of the people in the Ernie Kiesel Collection of Southern Pacific Railroad Photographs are lacking identification, as well as – importantly – biographic data. We anticipate that, in the future, the collection will become an important historical and genealogical reference pertaining to ALL Coast railroaders (employees and management alike), not only those depicted in the photos.

I have the honor of hosting the identification project on my personal website. A representative sample of 25 photographs is online now, with the balance of the collection scheduled to begin appearing in mid-summer, once cataloging and scanning is complete.

In particular to the CPRR Discussion Group, I'm hoping that, in the process of your pursuits, you might forward photos, biographic material, or links / pointers thereto of Coast people of any era as you run across them. These contributions will appear under the appropriate photo, and/or be added to the collection's Biographic & Subject index of all Coast railroaders.

I would greatly appreciate your help, if only in spreading the word!

Ed Gibson

Friday, June 05, 2015

John Insley Blair

From: "Christine Beegle" c.beegle@hotmail.com

My name is Christine Beegle of the Blairstown Historic Preservation Committee. I am trying to find out if the CPRR might have any records regarding whether railroad baron John I. Blair, namesake of our town, attended the ceremony of the joining of the Central Pacific Rail Road and the Union Pacific Railroad in May 1869.

It is stated ... that he received one of the seven watch fob spike souvenirs. However, we are trying to determine if he actually attended the ceremony. He would have traveled a great distance from his home state of New Jersey to Utah for the ceremony. He was an avid train traveler, but the [Promontory Summit, Utah, May 10, 1869 Golden Spike] ceremony was about 3 months after the death of his eldest daughter. So far we haven't been able to find any record by newspaper report and when calling the NPS Golden Spike National Historic Site, they stated that they did not have his name on record as a dignitary in attendance.

John I. Blair was instrumental in completing the Iowa portion of the Chicago Iowa & Nebraska Rail Road among many other railroad ventures. ...

—Christine Beegle, Chairperson, Blairstown Historic Preservation Committee

Monday, June 01, 2015

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

What river does The Transcontinental Railroad cross 31 times?

From: "Charlie Kirk"

What river does The Transcontinental Railroad cross 31 times?

This was referred to in a The Transcontinental Railroad Almanac:

It took six years and two armies totaling 20,000 men. Many of the workers were immigrants from China and Ireland who sweated long hours for one or two dollars a day. They laid tracks across hundreds of miles of prairie and scorching desert. They pushed over heights of 8,000 feet and tunneled their way through hard mountain ridges, sometimes at a rate of only a few inches per day. They bridged stream after stream. The tracks crossed one river alone thirty-one times. ...

—Charlie Kirk

"China comes to Sacramento to celebrate countrymen who built transcontinental railroad"

"China comes to Sacramento to celebrate countrymen who built transcontinental railroad" by Stephen Magagnini, © Sacramento Bee, May 23, 2015. (News Article)

"China came to Sacramento earlier this month for a gala celebrating the 150th anniversary of a feat that many said couldn’t be done – the building of the transcontinental railroad over the Sierra Nevada. At the May 15 gathering at the California State Railroad Museum, several hundred of the region’s leading Chinese Americans joined Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson in welcoming a delegation from the Chinese consulate general in San Francisco to see an extensive photo display featuring murals, figurines and sculptures depicting Chinese railroad workers. The exhibit – including 122 sequential photos depicting laborers, work camps, stores and tunnels blasted through the hardest granite – is open to the public for free at the Sacramento County Administration Center, 700 H St., Monday through Friday from 8 a.m to 5 p.m. through June 19[, 2015]. ... " [More]

Friday, May 15, 2015

Railroad worker clothing

From: "Nicole Fernandez" nicolef.castro@hotmail.com

I'm doing a project on the transcontinental railroad. So I was wondering what were the causal clothes the people wore (not the Chinese)?

Sunday, May 10, 2015

National Train Day - May 10th

Friday, May 01, 2015

"Alameda in history: The Cohen estate"

"Alameda in history: The Cohen estate" by Michele Ellson/Dennis Evanosky, © SFGATE, April 24, 2015. (News Article)

" ... In September 1869, the transcontinental railroad was set to arrive at San Francisco Bay. ... the San Francisco & Oakland Railroad’s wharf at Gibbons Point was not yet ready to accommodate the trains. ... the history-making train would travel arrive not in Oakland, but in Alameda on ... the Cohen line. Cohen ... built the San Francisco & Alameda Railroad (SF&A) in 1864. By 1868, Cohen had also acquired interest in the Oakland Railroad and Ferry Company. He sold both to the Central Pacific ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]

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Sunday, April 26, 2015

Importance of ranching to the completion of the transcontinental RR

From: "Charlie Saba" charliesaba@hotmail.com

I am creating a documentary about ranching for the Amazing Earthfest, an annual event in Kanab, Utah. I am interested in your opinion of the importance of ranching to the completion of the transcontinental RR, and "manifest destiny". ...

—Charlie Saba

Friday, April 17, 2015

Identification of unknown piece of hardware

From: kawich@aol.com

Attached are images of a brass item found along the old CPRR grade by a friend of mine.

It's brass; about 2 3/8" x 4 3/4".

My thoughts are that it is part of an oiler or a water level indicator.

Any ideas on what it is? ...

—Dan Getts


Brass Unknown

Brass Unknown

Brass Unknown

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Train movie recommendations, please.

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

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Wednesday, March 04, 2015

Railway's use of telegraph

From: kathy@kbowenmysteries.com

I'm writing a work of fiction set aboard a train that's traveling between Chicago and San Francisco in the summer of 1898. If there was an emergency aboard the train that necessitated alerting the police at the next major station, were they capable of sending a telegram while still en route, or would they have to wait until the train reached the closest station with a telegraph? ...

Kathy Owen

Monday, March 02, 2015

When Pullman cars took over?

From: "Al Donnelly" railandrunway@gmail.com

There seems to be disagreement over when Pullman cars took over and displaced Silver Palace cars. All accounts seem to trace back to claim that Gerald Best placed the date in the 1887 era, however, an Espee [Southern Pacific railroad] employee claimed in his autobiography that only Wagner cars ran on the route through the 1890's. The take-over of the Oregon & California in the late 1880's should have brought with it an existing Pullman contract for that road which was leased to the Central Pacific, but is there any real evidence of a contract for the Overland Route. If so, why did Pullman not construct service facilities in the East Bay until after 1900, leaving Sacramento's shops active in car building at least until there was a great fire at those facilities?

Sunday, March 01, 2015

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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

"Golden Spike Ceremony Lego Set Needs Support"

From: "Jack Little" jackdude101@hotmail.com

Hello,
My name is Jack little, and I recently created a brand-new Lego concept of the Golden Spike Ceremony.

I am contacting the Central Pacific Railroad Photographic History Museum in the hope that I can get you guys to vote for my Lego set, which will potentially be made and sold worldwide by Lego. Before that can happen, I need 10,000 votes within one year to prove that it will be popular enough to sell well. Most of the other Lego model submissions that are getting lots of votes tend to be sci-fi/fantasy stuff. Those are fun, but kids aren't going to learn anything from them. This one I made will potentially get kids excited about learning about history and railroads (two of my favorite subjects) and may even get their parents interested in these topics, too. Any votes that you, your friends, or your co-workers can provide will be very helpful. Clicking those little Facebook/Twitter share buttons below the support button on my model's webpage will help, also. ...

Jack E. Little, III



Lego Golden Spike Ceremony

Lego Golden Spike Ceremony

Lego Golden Spike Ceremony

Sunday, February 01, 2015

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Saturday, January 17, 2015

How many daily transcontinental freight trains?

From: "G Boss" kingofthirdrock@gmail.com

I was wondering how many freight trains crossed the United States everyday, in todays numbers? That's the only question I have. Please and thank you for reading this.

Looking for a railroad map between Red Bluff and Redding, California, c. 1871

From: "Dennis Young" denmaryoung@att.net

I live in Red Bluff, CA and I am doing some history search of the Railroad between Red Bluff, CA and Redding, CA. I would like to know if you have a detailed map of the railroad when it was surveyed or just after the tracks were laid in about 1871ish. This would be very helpful to me as I would like to write an article showing the "California Oregon Road" between the two cities. There are so many pages of places to look [for maps] on your site that after 2 hours of looking, I have given up. ...

—Dennis Young

P.P.F. Degrand and railroads

From: "Bruno Indekeu" bi@ifnot.be

I'm writing an article upon PPF Degrand (1785-1855) from Boston.

One of the aspects will be his interest in railroads.

I managed to download some texts (attached) that will probably be of some interest ...

Also interesting– An Address by Peter Paul Francis Degrand: On the Advantages of Low Fares, and Low ...

—Bruno Indekeu, Belgium

Thursday, January 01, 2015

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Friday, December 19, 2014

Central Pacific Section Station Bunkhouses

Begin forwarded message:

From: "Mike Polk" mpolk@sagebrushconsultants.com

I am carrying out research on railroad operations on the Central Pacific ca. 1870's and 1880's. Specifically, I am putting together a paper regarding Chinese maintenance crews on the railroad during this time. I have researched information on all of the stations between western Nevada and Ogden and found most stations were spaced about 10-12 miles apart and had bunkhouses and, often, cook houses for the maintenance crews. I am interested to know how many men might have been housed in each of those bunkhouses. My research shows that most buildings were single story, gable roof structures, measuring 16 x 24 ft in size. Another common size was 16 x 22 ft, and others, in smaller numbers, measured 18 x 20, 18 x 22, and 12 x 16. There were some other sizes, but the largest number were 16 x 24.

So, does anyone know how many would be expected to live in a building of this size and whether the number housed in the same buildings may have changed as Chinese crews were replaced by Japanese or Anglo crews in the early 20th Century?

Several assumptions are implicit in my question:

1. I assume that the structures were built to accommodate a particular sized maintenance crew or crews, though I'm sure these numbers may have varied over time and by station;

2. I don't know, but suspect that depending upon the ethnic group making up the crews, more or less persons may have been housed in these buildings. That could certainly skew the estimate for crew size. Nevertheless, there should be some way to estimate some approximate number. ...

—Mike Polk, Ogden, Utah



Sunday, December 14, 2014

Overland travel before the transcontinental railroad

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Cost of rolling stock

From: "David England" davide21@comcast.net

I'm looking for the costs of rolling stock during the Civil War. Pullman Palace Car? Dinning Car? Livestock Car? Boxcar? Etc.



UPRR Stockholder Report, 1880, page 15.UPRR Stockholder Report, 1880, page 15.

Monday, December 01, 2014

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Monday, November 10, 2014

Southern Pacific Hospital Sign

From: "Gary S" jedistitch@sbcglobal.net

I picked this sign up at an antique shop in San Pedro yesterday. I was told, that there was no Southern Pacific Hospital. But that the painters in the sign shop made this one and hung it in the shop, as a joke, owing to a number of accidents happening in a short time. It is certainly old, and hand painted. Can anyone give credence to the origin of this sign, as it was told to me, or otherwise. Or perhaps it may appear in an old photo of one of the shops. Also, your web site is amazing. The amount of information on a single page is almost overwhelming. I can't wait to find the time to look at it in depth. Thanks for any info you may have on the sign. ...

—Gary


Southern Pacific Hospital Sign
Southern Pacific Hospital Visiting Hours

Monday, November 03, 2014

Were there advertisements in China for railroad workers for the Central Pacific Railroad?

From: "Margit McGuire" MMCGUIRE@seattleu.edu

I’m writing a curriculum for middle schoolers and trying to determine if there were advertisements or other ways in which Chinese RR workers found out about opportunities on the railroad. Or did information come to them once they arrived in the US? Thanks for your assistance.

Margit E. McGuire, PhD, Professor
Seattle University, Seattle, WA

Saturday, November 01, 2014

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Saturday, October 25, 2014

NO MORE LICENSING FOR PUBLICATION USE

Notice: LICENSING FOR PUBLICATION USE HAS BEEN SUSPENDED (October 25, 2014).

This means that, regrettably, no more requests to use images can be processed or accepted.
Very sorry - pictures can no longer be made available upon request, so you will need to look elsewhere.


So, please don't send us any more requests to use pictures. All requests for license for still images under the CPRR.org User Agreement must be declined.

After 15 years, the CPRR Museum continues to remain open for educational online viewing, but, unfortunately, our licensing program doesn't respond well to abuse and threats and consequently will no longer be able to offer images or other content for licensed publication. About half the time our limited resources were being completely wasted when requested images were not used after we spent hours or days on subsidized artwork to fulfill licensing requests. Our artwork is also frequently plagiarised.

But, receiving the messages shown below was the last straw. Very sorry that such unconscionable behavior has spoiled it for us and everyone.

We have long gone to extraordinary lengths to explain what we needed to make the licensing program viable, what it would cost, and required that anyone requesting permission to license image(s) accept that:
I AGREE — e-mail to place an order
for a license to reproduce still images
ORDERS ONLY! — ALL ORDERS FINAL!
As the User Agreement also explains, it is impossible to view any image on the CPRR Museum website without your first sending us the message string "I_ACCEPT_the_User_Agreement" as part of the internet address for each and every image.

This situation has become intolerable and has now necessitated dissolution of the licensing entity, so regrettably there will be no opportunity for exceptions, no one to respond to licensing requests, and those needing licensed images will need to look elsewhere.

Note: Although, regrettably, new licenses will no longer be available, existing image licenses provide for reuse with a 75% reuse fee, which, if applicable, should simply be remitted by clicking on the PayPal button, prior to such reuse.

Here is the unsolicited order that lead to this suspension of licensing:


"RE: Request for CPRR image for use in a documentary"

" ... We are looking to clear for World All Media (excluding theatrical and commercials) 10 years ...



" ... We would also want DVD clearance (multiple languages) – And multiple language in the initial licensing as well ... "


"Having taken legal advice on this matter I have been informed that I have no legal obligation and as such I will not be paying your invoice."



"Dear Sir or Madame,

We write in response to your email ... invoicing us for use of certain of your images. We maintain that we have no obligation to pay any sum to you ...

We are aware of your website and the existence of your terms of conditions ...

[Our request to you by] email was merely an invitation to you to make an offer to us to license images. No actual such offer was made and therefore, in contract law terms, no contract could have been formed as there was no offer ... to accept. ...

We do not accept that we are bound by the terms and conditions on your site as we have undertaken no action to confirm our acceptance of them. You cannot unilaterally impose contractual terms upon us.

... claiming that we are in breach of our contractual obligation to make payment to you. This is untrue ... Such false allegations are potentially defamatory and if you continue to make such allegations ... we will be forced to consider formal legal action which may result in damages being claimed against you. We will also seek to recover any legal costs we incur and interest on sums due. ... "

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

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