Monday, February 12, 2007

Sacramento Valley at R Street - and CP Leaving Town


Have you ever found much about Sacramento Valley shop facilities in Sacramento (I assume around R Street). I do have the map reprinted in the Western Railroader in a Sacramento Valley Railroad article, but that is for planned facilities, not already constructed. And when did they pull out from here and focus on Folsom for the shops?

I'm gathering info on early Sacramento Shops.

Another point – in the Sacramento County Historical Society's Golden Notes of Nov 1973 (Vol 19, No 4), pg 15 bottom, the claim is made that the CP trains leaving the depot continued to run out I Street to 6th, thence to the B Street levee until Feb. 26, 1870. This is supposedly based on Steve Helmich research that contradicts traditional lore. We all know this is the original route of the Central Pacific Railroad out of town, but 1870 seems VERY late for them to still be using that track for passenger service instead of the curve around the shops. The article has work starting on the route around the shops on Oct 16, 1866, which seems reasonable. Feb 26, 1867 might even be a reasonable completion date. But 1870??!! the line is clearly in place when the Houseworth photos are taken showing the shop fill being built and the back wall of the roundhouse under construction. I've tentatively dated this photo as Dec 1867 or Jan 1868 – plus or minus. Also, the map the CP prepared when trying to prevent the California Pacific Railroad from entering the City shows the I Street track cut at the Front Street end, but still connected at the B Street levee end at 6th. This map must date from late 1869, when the Cal P was building their new bridge (which is shown on the CP map). Have you come across anything?

I also note that Dave Joslyn puts the Goss & Lombard foundry on the northEAST corner of I and 2nd Streets, this seemingly copied by all articles since then. But their ad lists them as being on I Street between Front and 2nd, which would be the north WEST corner – the site occupied now by the entrance to the California State Railroad Museum. How appropriate that the Governor Stanford locomotive, which was originally put together and set up for operations by Goss & Lombard, now sits where their shop used to be.



Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Chris Graves"

I recall reading in the Sacto Union that the City had refused to let the rail road lay permanent rails or run locomotives between the river and 6th St., so, any facilities would have had to have been above 6th St. I have thumped around in that area, chatting with crews digging for new foundations, etc., no one ever reported finding rail or spikes. But then, I was a late comer to that effort, and the good stuff may have already been found and removed.


2/12/2007 10:33 AM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Wendell Huffman"

The SVRR had only limited "shop" facilities in Sacramento—"temporary" buildings—an engine house and car shed built in 1856, and a 40-foot extension to one of those buildings added in 1859. There was a long wood (fuel) shed, apparently located just where the wood shed is portrayed on that plan of the proposed facilities—which suggests that the plan was taken seriously when prepared. Bricks for the roundhouse were stacked up on the site in March 1856. That wood shed lasted well into the 20th century and there is a photo of it at SAMCC. There was also a turntable, and because of the wood shed’s hint at confirmation of that plan, I wouldn’t be surprised if the turntable was just where the plan places it—southwest of the intersection of Front and R.
The original Folsom turntable was used until replaced in 1867. By that date the SVRR was regauged and connected to the CPRR in Sacramento, so there was no reason to replace the Sacramento turntable. SVRR locomotives merely used the CPRR facility. I’m sure the original SVRR turntable was just abandoned. Was the table bridge (doubtless a deep-pit/deck structure as at Folsom) dismantled? Or was it simply buried when the pit was filled in?  I am unaware of any structure being built where that SVRR turntable was apparently located and I have often wondered whether the turntable may still be there. That area later was used as a lumber yard. Love to spend some time there with a metal detector and a back hoe.
Chris is correct that there was a prohibition against the SVRR building permanent tracks west of 6th street. This prohibition was generally ignored (they built to Front and K in 1858) and finally discounted in court in May 1864. I believe the primary reason the company did not built permanent shops in Sacramento was the city’s property tax.
The SVRR had a turntable and engine house in Folsom from the beginning. The brick shop buildings at Folsom was built in 1862. I’ve been disappointed that there wasn’t more archeological work done at Folsom. I see no reason not to expect foundations of those buildings not to remain there. We do not really know the dimensions of those buildings. Same with the roundhouse, though it was frame and may not have had much foundation. There should still be evidence of pits, however. There are still many questions.

2/13/2007 12:05 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Chris Graves"

You may be interested to find that bull dozers are working today on the Railroad Block in Folsom, some English spikes have been found, as well as an 1853 dime and foundations.


2/13/2007 12:06 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Bill Anderson"

Chris is correct. Construction of the parking facility at Historic Folsom Station formerly known as the Railroad Block, began last week. PAR Environmental Services, Inc.has been on site since the beginning. Among other artifacts found, were a broken locomotive wheel and the brick foundation of the Perkins Building. ...

—Bill Anderson

2/13/2007 4:19 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

A roll-around ground penetrating radar such as used for forensic or archeological purposes might be a useful adjunct to a metal detector for surveying the site.

2/15/2007 10:23 PM  

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