Wednesday, July 27, 2005


From: "Chris Graves"

All of the following are from The Placer Herald, Auburn, Cal.

January 23, 1864—A New Telegraph Line—While on the line of the work of the Pacific Railroad Co. last week, we noticed new telegraph posts were being erected along the line of the road from Sacramento to Auburn. This work has since been completed, and the wire is now being adjusted to the poles. In a few days we shall be in direct communication with Sacramento, and will not have to send our messages by the roundabout way of Placerville as before.

February 27, 1864—On last Monday work was commenced by the contractor, with a force of some thirty men, on the deep through cut on the Pacific Railroad, one mile south-west of Auburn. The point is known as Bloomer Gap. The cut will be about one thousand feet long, and the deepest cutting sixty-two feet, and the amount of material to be removed nearly 40,000 cubic yards. The material is found to be boulders imbedded in cement, and of course difficult of excavation. It is proposed, however, whenever a sufficient face is obtained on the bank, to try the mining plan of bank blasting, which will expedite the work materially.

April 16, 1864—Horrible accident—Yesterday on the deep cut of the Pacific Railroad, near town, some of the workmen under the superintendence of Mr. (sic) Trowbridge, attempted to set off a blast containing about 50 pounds of powder. From some cause it failed, when Mr. (sic) T., and two of the hands—a Portuguese and a Frenchman—commenced using a crowbar or drill upon the hole, when the blast went off suddenly, mutilating them in a horrible manner, especially the Portugese who is not expected to recover; but Mr. (sic) Trowbridge will, probably the loss of his (sic) left eye. The Frenchman was cut in the chin and his lip slit, he was less hurt than the other two. (Note: James Harvey Strobridge lost his right eye in this accident, however he reported to work the following day, less his right eye)

May 21, 1864—Passenger trains on the Pacific Railroad are now running to near the Indian House, six miles below town.

June 4, 1864—Pacific Railroad—The track of this railroad, being now laid to Newcastle, in a few days the company will be prepared to receive freight at the commodious depot at that point, and we may soon expect to see considerable freight going forward to Washoe as the new wagon roads above Dutch Flat are about ready for business.

July 30, 1864—Incorrect—The statement of the Sacramento Union, that there are 300 men at work on the Pacific Railroad at Bloomer Hill is incorrect. The number does not exceed 40; and that is all that can be worked to advantage. The whole number of men now at work on the road—upon the grading and culverts, above Newcastle are not more than 60.

November 5, 1864—About one hundred laborers are at work on the Pacific Railroad in the vicinity of town, where there are some tolerably heavy cuts and fills. They are making good progress. The force will be increased soon, and a new camp established above town, to continue the grading toward the head of Auburn Ravine.

March 18, 1865—Railroad Progress—The Pacific Railroad Co. are working from six to seven hundred white and Chinese laborers, from Newcastle to a distance of three miles above Auburn, and with the present fine weather are making rapid headway. The heaviest portion of the work in the immediate vicinity of Auburn is done, and cuts, fills and trestle work near Newcastle are well advanced.........Yet a little while and the iron horse will be snorting at our doors.

April 22, 1865—The grading upon the Pacific Railroad between Newcastle and Auburn is nearly finished, and will be entirely so on or about the first of the coming month. A very large force is also at work along the line to a distance of twelve miles above town, and it will not be long before several miles are in order for ties and rails. By the first of June the road will be in running order to this place.

May 13, 1865—The early passenger train of the Central Pacific Railroad will run for the first time to Auburn this morning. The stage stock of the California Stage Co. was removed from Newcastle to this place yesterday, preparatory to the above change.

Please note: The brass plaque at Bloomer Cut has two errors—"The eigth wonder" is mis spelled; further, we know from the above news paper articles, as well as Congressional testimony, that no Chinese workers were involved in the Cut. Payroll records of the Central Pacific Railroad reflect the first Chinese workers being employed in the second week of March, 1865, in the area ABOVE Auburn near Clipper Gap.