Friday, April 20, 2007

Robert Louis Stevenson in 1879


A friend recently gave me a request. As many of you know, Robert Louis Stevenson crossed the country by train in 1879, and wrote of his experiences in The Amateur Emigrant.

From the East Coast Stevenson appears to have ridden a mixture of regular trains, riding in coach, and emigrant trains. In Omaha he boarded a UP emigrant car, transferring to a new CP emigrant sleeper at Ogden.

My friend (who is not on the internet) is interested in a dated chronology of the trip and its stops, copies of schedules that show the trains, and locating photos and other pictures of stops along the way. For starters, I think illustrations from Leslie's trip of two years earlier should provide some good info and pictures.

Anybody interested in taking it on? It would seem a fine addition to the CPRR web site as well.


Promontory Hotel order for Beer.
Order for Beer:
Office of T.G. Brown, Dealer in Groceries, Cigars and Tobacco, Boots and Shoes. Proprietor Promontory Railroad Hotel, 1876.
Courtesy G.J. Graves Collection.


Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Chris Graves"

When Mr. Stevenson reached Promontory Summit, the train stopped for lunch at the Golden Spike Hotel. There, he drank Budweiser Beer, this we know as I own a receipt from the proprietor to Budweiser, wherein a great quantity of beer was ordered. ... I suppose the passengers had to have their wheels oiled, too.


4/20/2007 8:51 AM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Chris Graves"
Subject: Beer at Promontory

[Above] is the bill I spoke of – seems they enjoyed Beckers, too.


4/21/2007 7:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My great-grandfather bought the Golden Spike Hotel from T.G. Brown. It was a fascinating place with a lot of history.

If you want any other info. my email is

4/04/2011 11:27 AM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Aaron Nelson"

... I've found a lot of good photographs, accounts, and interviews from my mother and other relatives. ...

I do know this – Robert Louis Stevenson wasn't the only famous celebrity to eat [at the Golden Spike Hotel]. My school principal once told me that his father and Tennessee Williams once got really drunk there. I also know that John Ford stayed there while filming his first major film. I'm positive there are countless others.

I'm surprised that there aren't more photographs. The only ones I've ever seen in history books are ones where the [Golden Spike Hotel] building was abandoned and dilapidated. My mother has a few when it was in pristine condition. ...

I also have a picture of my grandmother standing in front of the Golden Spike Obelisk that stands in front of the visitor's center. It had to have been one of the first pictures of the obelisk when they put it up because it was erected in 1916 – and grandma was four at the time.

... if you have any other questions, I will surely answer them.

—Aaron Nelson

4/06/2011 1:43 AM  

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