Saturday, December 31, 2005

New Book: "Frank Norris: A Life," biography by Joseph R. McElrath Jr. and Jesse S. Crisler

New Book: 'Frank Norris: A Life,' biography by Joseph R. McElrath Jr. and Jesse S. Crisler

"Zola in San Francisco" Book Review by VICTOR DAVIS HANSON © New York Times, Jan. 1, 2006.

"About 15 miles from my farm in the central San Joaquin Valley of California, near the Kings River at the dry creek bed of Mussel Slough, on May 11, 1880, a group of farmers shot it out with railroad men, a United States marshal and some local toughs. Homesteaders had purchased mostly worthless railroad land for $2.50 an acre, improved it, and then discovered nearly a decade later that the railroad had retained title all along. Smelling profit, rail executives sought to sell the enhanced farms out from under the farmers for $25 to $35 an acre. Seven died - six of them settlers - during the failed eviction. The Southern Pacific Railroad may have had the money, the lawyers and the courts and so convicted the farmers, but they immediately became California folk icons and served only abbreviated sentences. Eventually most of the farmers got their land back. ... " [More]

Frank Norris, the subject of this new biography was the author of the muckraking book about the Southern Pacific Railroad, "The Octopus."

Friday, December 30, 2005

Model live Steam Engine Construction

From: "nc-schneiwo7"

I am a model construction amateur from Cologne in Germany. I am very interested at live steam because probably be my father and grandfather was a steam engine driver. I am also taken with on shorter distance (was not permitted). I would like to build a R.C. steered live steam locomotive. As help for build I am searching an American Locomotive 4-4-0 either the CP 60 Jupiter (1195) of the CENTRAL PACIFIC RAILROAD with the classical smoke stack for wood burning, or the AMERICAN STANDARD NR. 119 of the Union Pacific from the time of the development of the wild west. The locomotive is to drive on a scale 1:32 trace 1 track width 45 mm of Maerklin (or 1:22,5 trace G 45 mm LGB) by our garden. Unfortunately I could not find closer information up to few pictures of other 4-4-0 locomotives. Perhaps drawings or plans and pictures with the original masses last very helpfully for this.
How were steam cylinders steered?
On pictures I cannot see steam control to the cylinders.
Does it lie in the drive assembly?
Are there contact or Links to Model railroading in America?

—Wolfgang Schneider

CP Freight cars

From: "Todd@Ickler"

Is there a place in your archives where there are detailed drawings or photographs specifically and only of Central Pacific rolling stock and locomotives? Photos and drawings one could use to build an accurate model? Correct lettering of freight cars, colors used, types of cabooses (if used at that time) types of trucks, couplers and running gear. I would have interest in rolling stock unique to building the transcontinental railroad, maintenance of way equipment, specialized locomotives and rollingstock unique to the CP.


Thursday, December 29, 2005


From: "Lou Henkel"

I am reading Stephen Ambrose's book Nothing Like in the World and several questions come to mind:

a. Is the original [route] still being used for the most part? For example the original Summit Tunnel.

b. Is it possible to drive, within reasonable proximity, then walk to most of the primary points of interest of the original [route]? (Primary points of interest I would include are tunnels, major cuts, and major river crossings.) Can such be found on a map dedicated to this topic?

c. Does anyone offer a tour, with stops, of most of the way from a historical perspective? The part I am most interested in seeing is that which includes those areas described in the previous question.

If I were to visit 3-5 railroad museums wishing to see exhibits having to do with the original railroad, which would you suggest?

Thank you for such a comprehensive web site. The amount of material is almost overwhelming. I suspect that my questions were answered in the material IF only I knew where. ...

—Lou Henkel (son of a man who worked over 30 years for the Ann Arbor RR and grandson of a man who was an express messenger for the Nickel Platte RR for 40 years between Toledo and St. Louis.)

New Book: Capitol Life, Sacramento, California 1868-1876

19th Century Locomotive Engineer Autobiographies

What detailed 19th century memoirs or autobiographies by American locomotive engineers (any railroad) exist to describe first hand their personal experiences and what operating a steam engine/train was really like in those early days? Are there any?

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Emigrant trains

From: "Ken Kramer"

I am hoping you can help me find more information about [emigrant trains].

I am researching my husband's family, and according to a 1906 obituary they first came to Washington State in 1873. The obituary simply said they came across the country in 1873 first to San Francisco and then immediately on to Washington. They came from Iowa. I recently read a very short article that talked about the emigrant trains and I think the Davolt family probably traveled west on the train.

So far I have found just bits and pieces talking about these trains. I have become quite interested in finding out more about the history of this form of traveling west. We are so use to hearing about the wagon trains but I have never before heard of families coming west by train. Do you know where I can find more information on the emigrant trains?

—Sandy Kramer, Longview, Washington

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Question: Wayne Station WP

I'm looking for information on a site near San Jose on the old W.P.R.R. (1860'S) by the name of WAYNE STATION....? anything on this old WP-CP, SPCo would be most helpfull...


Monday, December 26, 2005

Letter to the Editor in today's AUBURN JOURNAL

From: "chris graves"

The Auburn Journal printed a letter to the Editor today (December 26, 2005) headlined thus: "PROBING LOCAL RAILROAD STORIES LED TO ADVENTURE:"

The story reads:

It was with great interest I read your article concerning the Myth of Cape Horn, Journal, December 13. During the time I was a young boy growing up in Martinez, Cal. our family took the train to Utah at least once a year, which caused me to be very interested in the story of the Central Pacific. I read anything I could get my hands on, including "A Work of Giants", mentioned in your article. I am not sure if that was my first exposure tothe story of Chinese being lowered in baskets to carve out the right of way at Cape Horn, but whatever the source I was determined to find the spot where this had taken place.

Alas, I could never find an area that I felt qualified. I began to wonder about the truth of this story, but I was just a kid. What did I know? Since then I have heard the basket story repeated many time, including the Railroad Museum in Sacramento.

Thanks be to you, Mr. Strobridge, Mr. Duncan, and the Auburn Journal for devoting the time and space to the truth of the Cape Horn basket case.

This sort of thing can't help but make you wonder about accepted "facts" of history.

(The letter then goes on to describe in detail a walk the writer took thru Tunnel #6.)

(The letter is signed) GRANT SHAW, Auburn, Cal.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Great rail barons came from New York State

"On a larger scale, New York State really was the rail center of a growing nation in the last century. New York changed the rail industry and was changed by it. The great rail barons of this country (Vanderbilt, Gould, Harriman, Stanford, Crocker, Huntington, Hopkins and others) all came from New York. In fact, of the "Big Four" that built the Central Pacific Railroad, the western end of the Transcontinental Railroad, Leland Stanford was a native of Watervliet, Charles Crocker came from Troy, Collis P. Huntington came from Oneonta and Mark Hopkins came from near Watertown. Thomas Durant, Vice President of the Union Pacific Railroad and one of the men who drove the "Golden Spike" at Promontory, Utah on May 10, 1869, was an 1849 graduate of the Albany Medical College; he chose to make his fortune in railroads rather than to take his chances with medicine. ..."

From Albany Area Railroads.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Question: Piece of Rail (?1888)

From: CNFarrow@Cox.Net

... I have a piece of track 11" long where the two holes are for connecting two rails. I was told it was rail from the original line. To the right of the holes is what looks like 888. I thought that the one hole removed the 1 as if it was 1888, but the hole isn't in line, and is a little smaller and probably would show some of the #1 on the outside of the hole.

The rail is 3 1/4" high, the foot is 3 1/4" wide, top of rail is 1 3/4" wide. I'm into model RR and have a golden spike laying on it as a display, but I make no claims.

Thanks for any information you can give. ...

—Richard L. Baumer

Question: Golden Spike Ceremony paintings [other than Thomas Hill's]

From: "Peter J. McClosky"

I understand that there were (at least) 4 major paintings done of the Golden Spike Ceremony. I know one ... but [what about] the others?

Peter J. McClosky

Friday, December 23, 2005

Question: UPRR operating rules

From: "Sammie Long"

Do you know where I might get a copy of the UPRR code of operating rules?


Thursday, December 22, 2005

Interactive Mapping of US Railroad Attractions

From: "cynthia jett"

I just want to let railroad enthusiasts know about a new website which maps railroad attractions across the US. Relevant information is given for each location. The site is

Lots of other interests (everything from Civil War battles to wineries to hotels) can be mapped as well. Take a look at our site, and let us know what you think (suggestions are very welcome).

—Cindy Jett,

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Photographs of Grenville Dodge and his little brother Nathan


The company I work for [NP Dodge Real Estate] was co-founded by Grenville Dodge and his little brother Nathan (NP) in 1855. At the time both were budding surveyors. I'm looking for historic photographs ...

—Nathan P. Dodge III, Omaha, Nebraska

Monday, December 19, 2005

George W. Smith locomotive

From: "Warrick, Clifford"

I am trying to locate a picture of the George W. Smith locomotive. It was built by the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railroad (GH&SA - later became a subsidiary of the Southern Pacific Railroad Co.) and honored honored Smith in 1870 by christening a new locomotive George W. Smith.

George W. Smith is one of my ancestors and I am trying to locate a ... photograph of the locomotive. ... —Cliff Warrick

WP Boxed Engines

From: "Larry Mullaly"

I am seeking information on the boxed Western Pacific engines reportedly stored at the SF&SJ shops in San Francisco until shipped to Sacramento for setup in Winter of 1867-1867. The background to these engines seems to be as follows:

Grading on the Western Pacific between Milpitas and San Jose began in January 1865. Wendell Huffman reports that an unnamed WP locomotive reached San Francisco in October of that year and a SF & SJ Minute Book entry of Nov. 21, 1865 indicates that the SF & SJ would "hold a locomotive of the Western Pacific, a turntable, and the carstock at its shops." Gerald Best indicates that both the Merced and the Wm. Penn were involved in constructing the 17 miles of track completed in Fall 1866.

Purchase orders for eight other locomotives were placed in 1866, several of which engines were not completed until Fall of that year. Sent to San Francisco by ship, the last of these engines would have arrived in Winter or Spring of 67, by which time the WP and/or its contractors were bankrupt. About the end of that year, all ten locomotives were transferred to Sacramento to be used on the WP when work resumed on that end of the line.

Any additional help on this topic would be appreciated.

—Larry Mullaly

Friday, December 16, 2005

Question: Canadian Pacific Locomotive #4744 [also SP corporate organization, taxes, credit mobilier, robber barons, Ames tools, panic of 1873]

From: "Clifford Harwood"

I have a question about the final disposition of Central Pacific [sic] #4744, a Montreal Locomotive Works, M640, diesel locomotive, built in February of 1971.

Rated at 4000 HP, I believe this was a Canadian version of an ALCo. My list does not distinguish between Central Pacific and Canadian Pacific.

If it was, in fact, Canadian Pacific, then my hunt will go on.

If I am barking up the wrong tree, let me know. ...

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Thomas Allen

From: "Rebecca Smith"

My name is Rebecca Smith and I am president of the Pittsfield MA historical commission and a board member of the Berkshire Historical Society.  

As I am certain you know, Thomas Allen … of the Central Pacific Railroad [sic] ... was the grandson of Pittsfield’s first pastor, Thomas Allen, known as the famous "fighting parson" as he kept a musket under the alter at the congregational church in our historic Park Square during the Revolutionary War.   His grandson Thomas headed west to St. Louis, owned a granite quarry, became a state senator and then retired back in Pittsfield where he donated the city’s first library, the arch at the Pittsfield Cemetery and other philanthropic works.   

His son, William Russell Allen, built a grand mansion in the center of town.  When he died, the house was willed to St. Luke’s Hospital ... then acquired by the state of Massachusetts and now lies boarded up.  Thomas’s gravesite is marked by a fabulous piece of Missouri polished granite.  It took a special rail car to bring it to the city … dragged 1,000 feet per day through town to the cemetery … famous event for the city.  

Our two historical groups, working with the city and the state, are intending to restore the house and open it as a museum of the guilded age.   Our society is based at Arrowhead … Melville’s home, where he wrote Moby Dick ... but we have extensive collections which cannot be displayed until we find another museum.  

I own the mansion built by Thomas Allen’s childhood friend, Thaddeus Clapp.   Thaddeus and the Rev. Todd of the Pittsfield both attended the ceremony.  

We would very much like to work with your museum in commemorating the railroad as there is such a connection.  I don’t even know the approach yet, but would greatly appreciate any thought.   What information, memorabilia, etc., do you have on Thomas Allen? ... photographs?  

Again, we would appreciate any ideas or information ...  

—Rebecca Smith  

The Thaddeus Clapp House
... an elegant bed & breakfast in the Berkshires
74 Wendell Avenue
Pittsfield, MA 01201
Phone Toll Free: 1.888.499.6840

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Question: Wanting BOX HEADLIGHT info

From: "Jon Williams"

... I am most interested in learning about the box-type headlights on the locomotives of the Golden Spike era. I assume that the reflector was of polished tin and that the burner was oil-fueled with a wick. Is this correct? Were any of them kerosene-fueled in the 1860-70s? Please clarify if you can. How well did the headlight illuminate the way at night? Was it effective enough so that the engineer could see the the track ahead and perhaps some countryside to the left and right? Was it considered more risky to operate a locomotive at night in these times? How vigilant was the engineer during long stretches, particularly at night? Would he be on constant lookout? Would the train stop if it hit a large animal (say a bison or elk)? Would it even 'sense' the impact? ...

—J. Williams

Thursday, December 08, 2005

List of CPRR Tunnels

From: "Chris Graves"
Subject: Central Pacific Railroad Tunnels, c. 1870 and 1984

Tunnels on TRACK #1:

Tunnel #0 – Driven in 1873 as part of the line change to eliminate Deep Gulch trestle. This tunnel is East of Clipper Gap, abandoned in 1942. It is horse-shoe shaped, lined with granite from the Rocklin quarries. Following its abandonment, it was used for a while as a growing garden for mushrooms, however that venture was not successful financially. West of the tunnel face 100 yards was found a rail chair in 2002, as well as several original construction spikes.

Tunnel #1 – Driven in 1866 as a single track at Grizzly Hill, widened for the second track during double tracking work of 1913. 514.70 feet long, concrete lined.

Tunnel #2 – Driven in 1866 about one mile East of the settlement of Emigrant Gap, to further locate it was about 200 yards East of the trestle over Emigrant Gap, now (2005) filled in. This tunnel was driven through the West end of Smart Ridge. It was daylighted for the second track alignment, Emigrant Gap to Andover, in 1923-1924. Original length was 271 feet. An interesting feature can be found about one mile East of this daylighted tunnel: A stone wall was built in 1866 to stop avalanches from taking out the grade, the stone wall is still in place (2005).

Tunnel #3 – East of Cisco at Mile Post 180.7, on a 9 degree curve, unlined. Originally 280 feet long, in 1984 it measured 269 feet. Please note: As you stand on the West Portal of this tunnel, trains are coming at you, DOWN THE HILL. It is impossible to see or hear a train until it exits the tunnel; a dangerous place to be, in the extreme. [Tunnel 3 was one of those worked partly by nitroglycerine. In consequence of using nitroglycerine about 20% of the men working on the tunnel struck and were not replaced. Thus only 2 shifts worked tunnel 3 but by using nitroglycerine they kept up with the work in the headings. Gillis goes on to say 'It will be seen (in Appendix E) that, after allowing for the smaller force employed, about twice as much work was done per man, with nitro-glycerine as with powder.']

Tunnel #4 – East of Cisco, at Mile Post 181, it is curved on a 8 degree curve. Originally 92 feet in length, in 1984 it measured 85 feet. Both Tunnel #3 and Tunnel #4 were driven thru solid ['Trap Rock' called 'ironstone' by the builders, described by Gillis in his 1870's reports as 'black limestone' and 'dark blue quartzite.']

Tunnel #5 – Located East of Cisco at Mile Post 185, at a spot called Crocker's Spur, built on an 8 degree curve, unlined, originally 128 feet in length, daylighted about 1895.

Tunnel #6 – Known also as Summit Tunnel. Unlined, originally 1,659 in length, in 1984 it measured 1,653.4 feet. All original tunnel were enlarged in the 1960's by having their ceiling raised some 2 feet, except Tunnel #6, which had it's floor lowered some 2 feet.

Tunnel #7 – Located at Mile Post 194.1, length was 100 feet, it was was daylighted, and then a concrete roof was constructed, replacing the removed stone roof. It was unlined, now out of service.

Tunnel #8 – Located at Black Point, at Mile Post 194.3, original length was 375 feet, it measured 361 feet in 1984. Now out of service.

Tunnel #9 – Located at Mile Post 194.9, original length was 216 feet, in 1984 it measured 205 feet. Now out of service.

Tunnel #10 – Located at Cement Ridge, at Mile Post 195.1, original length was 509 feet. Now out of service.

Tunnel #11 – At Spur, Mile Post 195.4, original length was 577 feet, now out of service.

Tunnel #12 – At Spur, Mile Post 195.7, original length was 342 feet, in 1984 it measured 328.50 feet. Out of service.

Tunnel #13 – At Lakeridge (Andover), Mile Post 200.1. Original length 870 feet, in 1984 it measured 865.8 feet.

Tunnel #14 – At Alder Creek, Mile Post 222. Length was 200, abandoned in 1913 due to line change of double tracking.

Tunnel #15 – At Quartz Spur, Mile Post 225, original length was 96, daylighted about 1895, abandoned 1913 due to line change of double tracking.

Mile Post noted are on the West Portal, Tunnel #14 and #15 Mile Post as noted in this report are not exact.

Tunnels on TRACK #2:

Tunnel #15 – Do not confuse this with the Tunnel #15 on Track #1. The Tunnel #15 on Track #1 was daylighted in 1895, and then abandoned in 1913 — Tunnel #15 (the Second) is located at Mile Post 114.20 East of Rocklin, alongside what is today (2005) Sierra College Blvd. Built in 1912, its length is 1,904.76 feet, concrete lined.

Tunnel #16 – Located East of Rocklin, at Mile Post 114.7. Length is 777.65 feet, concrete lined. This tunnel runs alongside of what is today (2005) Sierra College Blvd.

Tunnel #17 – Located at Mile Post 117.3. Length is 1,648.16, of which 1,259.16 feet is concrete lined, gunite only covers 189 feet, timber posts between concrete ribs 200 feet. Built in 1912.

Tunnel #18 – Double tracked with Track #1, at Mile Post 120.5, just East of the Village of NewCastle. Length is 1000 feet, concrete lined, built in 1912.

Tunnel #19 – Located at Mile Post 122.7, West of the Nevada Street Station in Auburn, length was 377.37, driven in 1912, daylighted between January 1, 1974 and January 1, 1976. In a book by Stephen Ambrose, printed in 2001, entitled Nothing Like it in the World, Mr. Ambrose mistakenly said this tunnel was still in existence, and took the place of Bloomer Cut. In fact, Bloomer Cut is still on Track #1, and is in use today (2005), while the tunnel is no longer in existence.

Tunnel #20 – Located West of Auburn Station on Nevada Street, and West of the bridge over I-80, at Mile Post 123.1. Length is 1,248.33 feet, of which 112.33 feet is concrete portals, 276 feet gunited with steel bents, the balance is gunited with no steel bents. Built in 1912.

Tunnel #21 – At Mile Post 124.60 on the 1912 line, East of Auburn Station at Nevada Street, length is 1,210.66 feet, of which 531 feet is lined with concrete portals, 428 feet of gunite with steel bents, 43 feet is gunite only, and 208.66 feet with timber posts between concrete ribs.

Tunnel #22 – At Mile Post 131.2, near Clipper Gap, built on the 1912 line. Length is 984.69 feet, of which 116 feet is concrete lined portals, 188 feet is gunite with steel bents, 680.89 feet is gunite only.

Tunnel #23 – At Mile Post 132.7 on the 1912 line, immediately next to the abandoned Tunnel 0, but a few feet lower in elevation. length is 843.66 feet, concrete lined.

Tunnel #24 – At Mile Post 132.9 on the 1912 line. Length is 300.66 feet, concrete lined.

Tunnel #25 – At Mile Post 133.1 on the 1912 line, length is 771.66 feet, concrete lined.

Tunnel #26 – At Mile Post 133.3 on the 1912 line, length is 149.82 feet, concrete lined.

Tunnel #27 – At Mile Post 133.8, on the 1912 line, West of East Applegate. Original length was 855.49 feet, then shortened to 686.91 prior to 1984. Partially daylighted between 1959 and 1968; leaving 351.91 of concrete lined tunnel, 335 feet of timber posts between concrete ribs, and 55 feet of concrete barrel at the East end. The East Portal was left in place.

Tunnel #28 – At Mile Post 134.8 on the 1912 line, it is West of East Applegate. Length is 3,208.86 feet, concrete lined.

Tunnel #29 – At Mile Post 135.9 on the 1912 line, it is West of East Applegate. Length is 1,009 feet, of which 405 feet is concrete lined, 604 feet is timber posts between concrete ribs.

Tunnel #30 – At Mile Post 138.7, on the 1912 line West of Colfax. Length is 780.33 feet, of which 720.33 is concrete lined, 60 feet gunite only.

Tunnel #31 – At Mile Post 139.2, on the 1912 line West of Colfax. Length is 443.66 feet, of which 109.50 feet is concrete lined, 334.16 gunite lined with steel bents.

Tunnel #32 – At Mile Post 139.4, length is 769.33 feet, concrete lined.

Tunnel #33 – At Mile Post 144.9, built as double track in 1913. Now used only as Westbound. Length is 1331 feet. East Bound rails go around Cape Horn.

Tunnel #34 – At Mile Post 145.1, built as double track in 1913; now only used as Westbound. Length 410 feet, concrete lined.

Tunnel #35 – At Mile Post 176.6, built on the double tracking line of 1924 West of Shed 10. Length is 737.66 feet, of which 263.66 is concrete lined, 474 feet is unlined. NOTE: In the double tracking of 1913, Colfax to Blue Canyon, Tunnel No. 1 was initially called Tunnel #35, but was renumbered to Tunnel #1 (See Track #1 Schedule, above).

Tunnel #36 – At Mile Post 176.9 on the 1924/1925 line, double tracking West of Shed 10. Length is 325.66 feet, concrete lined.

Tunnel #37 – At Mile Post 177.8 on the 1924/1925 double tracking line, West of Shed 10. Length is 410.66 feet, of which 340.66 feet are concrete lined, 70 feet unlined.

Tunnel #38 – At Mile Post 180.5 on the 1924/1925 line East of Cisco. Length is 920.66 feet, of which 543.66 is concrete lined, 377 feet unlined.

Tunnel #39 – At Mile Post 180.9, on the 1924/1925 line. Length is 279.66 feet, concrete lined.

Tunnel #40 – At Mile Post 185.3, on the 1924/1925 double tracking line, West of Troy. Length is 315.66 feet; 183.66 is concrete lined, 132 feet unlined. This tunnel was daylighted between January 1, 1976 and January 1, 1978.

Tunnel #41 – At Mile Post 193.3 on the 1924/1925 double tracking line East of Norden. Length is 10,325.66 feet, of which 6,171.66 feet is concrete lined, and 4,154 is unlined. This tunnel is known as THE BIG HOLE. This Tunnel is now used in place of the Tunnels and Snow Sheds visible from I-80 between Truckee and the Summit.

Tunnel #42 – At Mile Post 200.1 on the 1924/1925 double tracking near Andover. Length is 892.83 feet, concrete lined.

Above information from Southern Pacific Transportation Company Tunnel Data dated June 1, 1984, and John R. Gillis, CPRR Civil Engineer, paper read to the ASCE on January 5, 1870.

Credit: List of CPRR Tunnels based on notes provided by Lynn D. Farrar.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Sierra Grade

I've just been looking through the set of photographs of the summit tunnel, the Chinese wall etc. ... fascinating.

Why was the line eventually shut down? It seems strange that it remained in use until 1993, surely if it was unsuitable for modern railway vehicles it would have been shut down alot earlier.

Those other photo's showing where the line used to run are very atmospheric as well.

Are the snowsheds you show in a few photographs modern?

—John van den Akker.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Public Domain

I teach at The Columbus College of Art & Design and I wanted to use ... images in a lecture ... I'm a bit confused. I thought that anything over 75 years past the publication date, or the death of the artist, fell into the public domain. I don't understand how engravings from the Nineteenth Century can be copywritten by your museum. Please advise.

—Brian M. Kane

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Hand Held Stereoscope


We have a hand held stereoscope, it is a Sun Sculpture Trademark. The Manufacturers are Underwood & Underwood in New York. We also have some original photographs. We would like to know the history on these. We only have what our Sweet Beloved Mother has told us. —Debbie

WP and SF&SJ inclusion in Pacific Railway Legislation

From: "Larry Mullaly"

Two questions:

1) The original Pacific Railway Act of 1862 did include transfer of rights from the CP to the [Western Pacific Railroad] to build a connector line between Sacramento to San Francisco. Was there subsequent legislation that allowed the Western Pacific to be awarded federal lands?

2) Although the Department of Interior appointed Commissioners to examine the San Francisco & San Jose in 1866, I do not see that the road was ever awarded government assistance. Why did the inspection take place if there were no benefits attached?

Any assistance would be appreciated.

—Larry Mullaly

Great Grandfather, Benjamin Daniel Hayes

From: "Loni Hayes-Mazzocco"

Will you help me?  With your extensive research with the transcontinental railroad workers, I'm hoping you can direct me to web sites or railroad companies with phone numbers that could possibly have the records I need.  

I am looking for the railroad line, the exact dates of employment and any other information on my Great Grandfather, Benjamin Daniel Hayes.  He worked on the railroad in security.  He would travel on the train to protect the railroad's payroll being delivered.  I actually have the pistol he used, which has seven knotches in the wood of the handle representing the number of men he killed in this line of duty.  

He was born 1859 in Shelbrock County, Iowa and died 1933 in Council Bluffs, Iowa.  Therefore, I assume it is a rail line in that area that was active during that time frame.   

From what I can gather in the Net, railroad lines in that time changed companys and renamed several times.  It's all confusing to me and I have no idea where to look.  Is there one major list of railroad employees during that time I can check that will specifiy what company he worked for?   

Is it also possible the my Great Grandfather worked for a security company that was hired by the railroad line and I'm not looking in the right direction at all?  If there were such companies, what are their names or how can I find them?  

Any information you can provide me would be tremendously and greatly appreciated.  

—Loni Hayes

Charles W. Fox, leader of a CPRR Chinese work gang

From: "Linda Moorhouse"

... Are there any documents still in existence that would list the personnel that were involved with the building of the Transcontinental Railroad. I am researching my family, and my Great-Grandfather always told us that he was a gang leader for a Chinese work gang and was present during the driving of the Golden Spike. His name was Charles W. Fox originally of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania.

Any information or direction you could give me would be greatly appreciated.

Linda H. Moorhouse
Operations Manager
Jencons Scientific
Bridgeville Pennsylvania

What happened to the last tie?

From: Linda Bridges

I've found out where the Golden Spike from the Transcontinental Railroad is, but I'm curious about the final tie. Is it still in existence? If so, where is it housed? Thanks for your help.

Linda Bridges
Effingham County Children's Librarian
a branch of Live Oak Public Libraries
Savannah, GA

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