Tuesday, April 18, 2006

CP in Sacramento in Early 1868

From: "Larry Mullaly" lmullaly@jeffnet.org

I am working on an account of the California State legislature, December-March, 1868. The legislature at that time met at the Sacramento County courthouse on the northwest corner of 7th and I streets. I am trying to get a sense of the physical presence of the Central Pacific in the capital during this period.

The article on the Sacramento Shops by Bob Pecotich that appeared in the SP Trainline, Fall 2003, indicates that at this time the CP shops were limited to a 20' x 150' wood car construction building at 6th and “I” reached by a "levee-top" track running from the river. This would seem to put this structure on the adjacent block to the legislature. I am assuming that Folsom was still the primary location of the railroads locomotive shops.

Some questions: where are CP's mainline tracks to the wharf/depot area located at this time? Were there other CP facilities in the city at this time, apart from the K Street offices, and the relatively modest shop building listed above? How intensive were the fill operations during the winter of 1868?

Overall, the physical presence of the CP in Sacramento, apart from the railroad extensive wharves, seems surprisingly limited.


1202 Sacramento City - China Slough - Lib of Congress 3a08746r
Houseworth stereoview #1202 Sacramento City - China Slough.

1203 Sacramento City, Central Pacific RR Works, at China Slough - Lib of Congress 3a27703r
Houseworth stereoview #1203 Sacramento City, Central Pacific RR Works, at China Slough.

Courtesy of the Library of Congress and Kyle Wyatt.


Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: kylewyatt@aol.com

[The above] are two Houseworth photos ... were taken from the flour mill by the Sacramento River, and I believe they were taken in December 1867 or January 1868. Houseworth 1203 shows the future CP Shops site – note the land being filed in. The back wall of the roundhouse is under construction – completed in late 1868. Beyond it is a wooden car shop that remained as a storage warehouse into the 1920s. Houseworth 1202 looks a bit further south, towards downtown Sacramento, and across the site of the present depot (completed in 1926).

I believe Houseworth 1201-1215 were all taken at the same time, including a series from the top of the under-construction capitol that gives a panorama of Sacramento.

Cleaner copies are available from the Society of California Pioneers. Unfortunately these don't seem to be in stereo card number order, and don't seem to have the card numbers attached.

The Society of California Pioneers images are also on the Online Archive of California, and these do have the stereo card numbers. I note that their dating (1870) is clearly in error. I think the images are spread from about 1865 through 1870 or so.

There were several CP shop buildings along 6th Street in the 1860s, including I think a small roundhouse.

The CP passenger depot on Front Street that has been reconstructed by State Parks was originally built in 1867, although expanded somewhat in the early 1870s.

By July 1867 the mainline, which originally went out I Street to 6th, then over to the levee, was switched to the originally planned line that curved around the north side of the main shops location, and connected with the levee at 6th street.


4/12/2007 3:18 PM  

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