Saturday, February 26, 2005

English Iron on the Sacramento Valley in 1868

The following excerpt from the Huntington correspondence microfilm records provides further information on the use of English iron by the Central Pacific and its affiliate roads. At the time the letter was written, the associates had not yet decided to obtain control of the Southern Pacific. ... Items in brackets are my own ... interpolations. The reference to Valley Railroad should refer to the Sacramento Valley Railroad as contrasted with the San Joaquin Valley railroad just incorporated about this same time.

Larry Mullaly

Sacramento, January 8, 1868. E.B. Crocker to C.P. Huntington

"Friend Huntington,

...Tevis and Carpentier have taken hold of the Southern Pacific R. R. and intend to build it. They want us to take hold with them. We decline because we have enough on hand. The San Jose Co. have signed with Santa Clara Co. to build a R. R. from San Jose to Gilroy 30 miles right off. This is treading on the S.P. R.R. ground. Both parties have been to us to get iron to lay the rails. The Southern Pacific must use American Iron and we own all there is on the coast. The San Jose Co. can use English [iron] and all there is of that here belongs or was shipped to the [Sacramento] Valley Co. I cannot say whether that can be got or not. Both are earnest [to] commence laying track right off. We could sell the W. Pacific light chair joint iron to good advantage now and if we felt sure that we could replace it with fish joint iron before running short we would let them have it and buy fish joint in its place. It seems to me we can replace it in time. If the others think so, we may sell. I advised that a compromise would be made with the San Jose Co. in some way. It seems the owners of that road are anxious to sell out and prefer to do it rather than build more road but they say their salvation depends upon extending beyond San Jose to reach the grain of the upper part of the valley."