Sunday, June 19, 2005

SP 19th Century Roundhouses

For reference it's probably worthwhile citing 19th century CP/SP roundhouse photos that have been published.

First the message that got me thinking of published views:

In a message dated 6/19/2005 3:25:04 P.M. Pacific Standard Time, writes:
Los Angles roundhouse on pg. 15 of "The Southern Pacific in Los Angeles" there is an interruption in the tracks due to what is apparently a little park to the right of the roundhouse. This park can also be seen in the photo of the LA roundhouse on the bottom of pg. 50 of Signor's Tehachapi book (a photo possibly taken in the 1880s).
[I'd place it in the 1890s, based on the general style and appearance of the locomotives. —KKW]

Signor's Tehachapi book also includes:
Pg 24 – identified as Sumner (Bakersfield) – either a 9 or 10 stall wood roundhouse – note small trees planted. Also I think the loco closest to the roundhouse is El Gobernador.
Pg 25 shows the turntable – but can't tell if it is a Sellers cast iron table or not (my guess it that it is).
Pg 46 shows a very work SP 9 stall wooden roundhouse at Mojave.
Pg 66 shows Bakersfield shops and back side of roundhouse – turn of the century at a guess. Note brick building in middle.

In Signor's Beaumont Hill:
Pg 16 – Colton – 3-stall structure
Pg 35 – Beaumont – 3-stall structure, no turntable
Pg 39 – Yuma

In Signor's Donner Pass:
Pg 28 – Truckee wood roundhouse with separate cover turntable
Pg 29 – Truckee stone roundhouse, built 1883
Pg 33 – Reno - 4-stall, in background, ca. 1876 by C. E. Watkins
Pg 83 – Rocklin (shortly before move to Roseville)
Pg 129, foldout facing 130 – Truckee

Beebe in CP & SP Railroads:
Frontpiece – Truckee stone roundhouse shortly after built
Pg 33 – Truckee, different early view
Pg 46 – Sacramento, ca 1870s
Pg 59 – Truckee, with wood sheds
Pg 165 – Rocklin, 2 views, mislabeled as Carlin - photos by A. J. Russell in summer 1869
Pg 462 – Sacramento
Pg 454 – Tucson, ca 1880s (with A. J. Stevens feed water purifier, patent #331,917, Dec. 8, 1885) ...

A few references from Best's Iron Horses to Promontory:
Pg 19 – Rocklin stone roundhouse with wood A-frame turntable, ca 1867-68. Hart #241.
Pg 26 – Cisco 2-stall enginehouse in ca 1867-68. Hart #185.
Pg 33 – Cisco 2-stall enginehouse in ca 1867-68. Hart un#.
Pg 36 – Truckee wood enginehouse with separate covered turntable. (Actually Truckee at this time had three long 2-stall engine houses radiating around the turntable.)
Pg 42 – At Carlin, perhaps the roundhouse in background on top right. Hart #345.
Pg 43 – Sacramento roundhouse, probably in 1880s based on trees.
Pg 48 – Wood roundhouse at unknown location in Nevada.
Pgs 72-73 – Truckee stone roundhouse, including view in balloon track.
Pg 74 – Terrace wooden roundhouse ca 1870.
Pg 82 – CP/Stevens 4-6-0 #177 on Sacramento turntable (a cast iron Sellers) with roundhouse in background.
Pg 86 – El Gobernador on the Sumner (Bakersfield) turntable, a cast iron Sellers design.

Kyle K. Wyatt
Curator of History & Technology
California State Railroad Museum
111 "I" Street
Sacramento, CA 95814

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Wheat and sawdust

From: "Wendell Huffman"

... On that same thumbnail index is a great picture an an early wheat combine (combination cutter and thresher) – which relates to that discussion about bag or bulk wheat. Talk about a hot and dirty beast to manage!

And, having mentioned bag vs bulk wheat– over on the 4L discussion group there has been some discussion of shipment of sawdust/wood shavings in the 19th century. There seems to be agreement that there was a market for such (saloon floors, insulation – either in buildings or in the shipment of ice – packing grapes). However, I suspect most (if not all) was obtained from local sources (local planing mills, box factories, furniture or wagon makers, or – in the case of the Truckee ice plants – local sawmills) and did not require rail shipment. Have any of you run across mention of shipping sawdust/shavings that would suggest how it was shipped (bulk, sacked, barrels)???

I mentioned that the market was probably small and local from the experience of the American River Land & Lumber Co's mill at Folsom. That mill was (reportedly) the world's first all-electric sawmill, and it failed primarily because it became plugged up with its own waste. Without boilers to burn its waste, and prohibited from dumping the waste into the American River by the fish and game commissioner (apparently the first intent), and UNABLE TO FIND A MARKET for its waste, the mill was soon moved to Pino Grande and converted to steam. I suspect everyone in Sacramento who needed sawdust could find all the needed in the many wood-related factories in Sacramento.


Re: Tulare vs. LA Roundhouse - 1880's


The LA Roundhouse was wood, so it is not to be ruled out. Enclosed is a piece that summarizes the SP roundhouses from which to choose. But we also need to include Lathrop. The picture could be Tulare, but the tell-tale trees make me think we are looking at LA.

Tulare, California SPRR Roundhouse
Courtesy Tulare Public Library and the Merv Fulton Collection.