Tuesday, May 20, 2008

San Pablo and Tulare Railroad, 1868

From: "Carol Jensen" Historian@ByronHotSprings.com

Can you refer me to a route map of the Tulare and San Pablo railroad system developed by the Western Development Company, please.  It went through Byron, CA  in 1878, I believe going from Tulare via Banta , Byron, Brentwood, Antioch, and on to San Pablo via Port Costa  It was merged into the Central Pacific and later into the Southern Pacific.  I am looking for a little history on the Railroad and specifically am looking for the name ( first and last preferably) of the original or first Station master for the Byron Depot, Byron, Contra Costa County.  I do not believe the Byron Hot Springs had an official  station master, although it was an official Depot with regular stops.  This railroad was key to moving  wheat and grain from the upper San Joaquin Valley to the British grain ships awaiting cargo at the Califonria Wharf and Warehouse facility, owned by Balfour Guthrie & Co, at Port Costa

Local legend has it that the Byron depot was named after the son of the first Byron Depot master.  I do not believe it. Still. ...

—Carol Jensen, Historian, Byron Hot Springs

9 Comments:

Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Larry Mullaly" lmullaly@jeffnet.org

... The route map should be identical or very close to the current Union Pacific line connecting Tracy with Martinez.

The first listed station master for 1879 was W.J. Casselman. Casselman held this position at least through 1885 and probably longer.

The 1880 US Census shows that William J. Casselman, 30 year old Road Agent at Bryon was born in Canada, was married to Oregon-born Ida, age 17, and had a daughter and mother-in-law living with him.

Somehow, I assume, they all crammed into the upstairs living quarters of the station house, a “Combination No. 2” depot, similar to the one that still exists at Lovelock, Nevada (built about this same time).

It would have been a busy place. After the line was built mainline traffic from Sacramento and San Joaquin Valley was routed along this water-level line to Oakland, avoiding the Livermore Pass. Although the railroad had a separate corporate existence from the Central Pacific, it was managed by the Central Pacific Superintendent A.D. Wilder, headquartered on the Oakland Wharf. All trains running on this line were dispatched from Oakland.

The line seems to have a kind of “pre-existence” having been graded in the early 1870’s but not built at that time. Beginning at Tracy it ran 47 miles to Martinez where it made a junction with the Stanford group’s Northern Railway. ["Grading" means that the roadbed was built up or leveled with tracks and other accoutrements added later]

The railroad was built, as you point out, by the Stanford group’s Western Development Company and went into service on September 8, 1878. ...

—Larry Mullaly

5/20/2008 5:48 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

You might want to check the Encyclopedia of Western Railroad History by Donald B. Robertson, Wayne Cornell (Editor), Volume 4.

5/20/2008 5:58 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: wem@onetel.com

I would think that if such map exists, it would be at the California State Archives.

—John Snyder

5/21/2008 10:36 AM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: historian@byronhotsprings.com

Thank you very much for the lead.

—Carol Jensen, Historian, Byron Hot Springs

5/21/2008 12:19 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

Begin forwarded message:

From: ldfarrar81@comcast.net

I have to edit several parts of this message. First, the correct official name is "San Pablo and Tulare Rail Road Company." (I know, picky, picky) It was incorporated July 19, 1871 in Cal. and built from near Martinez, Cal. to Tracy, Cal., about 46.51 miles in 1876-1878. It was operated by Central Pacific Railroad Company from September 8, 1878 (date road opened to traffic) to until April 1, 1885. By Southern Pacific Company from April 1, 1885 to May 14, 1888 (date of consolidation).

May 1, 1888 this company consolidated with the Southern Pacific Railroad Companmy, San Pablo Extension Railroad Company, and fifteen other companies to form the Southern Pacific Railroad Company (of 1888) to which the railroad and property passed by virtue thereof. In 1872 the roadbed from Tracy to Antioch was graded, but L. L. Robinson, who owned the New York Rancho, refused to let the contractor, Western Development Company, cross his property, probably in retaliation for other disputes with the Big Four.

The San Pablo and Tulare Extension Railroad Company was incorporated in Cal. February 7, 1887. It was to construct, own, maintain and operate a standard gauge of steam railroad, from the terminus of the San Pablo and Tulare Railroad [sic] Company at Tracy, Cal. to Pampa, Cal. in Kern County, Cal. Estimated length 260 miles. As near as can be ascertained, this company, prior to May 14, 1888 (date of consolidation), had acquired the right-of-way, with some exceptions, from Tracy to a point about one mile north of Los Banos, CA., about 56 miles, and the grade had been completed over all, if not a greater part of this distance.On July 1, 1888 (about one and one-half months after consolidation) 37.1 miles of the line, from Tracy to Newman, California, was opened for traffic.

Most of the above has been taken directly from the Corporate History of the Southern Pacific Railroad Company as of June 30, 1916. ...

—Lynn Farrar

5/27/2008 10:20 AM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Wendell Huffman" wwhuffma@clan.lib.nv.us

Lester L. Robinson sure made things interesting.

—Wendell

5/27/2008 3:16 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: historian@byronhotsprings.com

Fabulous information on my favorite Railroad.

Now if we could just figure out who the station at Byron was named after. Perhaps the station manager had a son "Byron" who died and he named the station after him? ...

The early maps prior to the railroad call the area "Salt Springs." That is before 1878.


Carol Jensen
Historian
Byron Hot Springs
Please reply to: Historian@ByronHotSprings.com
Website: www.ByronHotSprings.com

5/28/2008 10:40 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: historian@byronhotsprings.com

Have you any images of anything from the San Pablo and Tulare? This is pretty early on. But it is always worth a question. Perhaps a "Sutterly and Dart," photographic image. They were the local itinerant photographers in the area and took a lot of outdoor scenes of domestic life. Dart actually lived in "Banta," near Tracy, for a while along the route of the railroad so there is a chance.

Thank you

Carol Jensen
Historian
Byron Hot Springs
Please reply to: Historian@ByronHotSprings.com
Website: www.ByronHotSprings.com

5/28/2008 10:40 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: ldfarrar81@comcast.net
Subject: Agents at Byron, CA

Recently there has been a number of messages concerning historical material in the Byron, CA area. One question asked was the full name of the first station master at Byron. I got out my station books which begin with Central Pacific Railroad Company #3 dated March 1, 1879 and go forward to the last station book on the Southern Pacific Transportation Company in 1973. The station books from 1879 to that of October 1, 1985 show the names of the "Agents" for each station. After 1985 only the telegraph call letters are shown. From 1879 through 1985 a W. J. Casselman is shown as the Agent at Byron on the San Pablo & Tulare R. R. The stations on the SP&T are as follows, with the various changes made between 1879 and 1885.

6/01/2008 1:10 PM  

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