Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Boston to Los Angeles by Rail in 1886?

From: "Benjamin Marcus"

... I am writing a book about Malibu history and at this point I am detailing the life and movements of Frederick Hastings Rindge, who inherited $3 million in 1883 and came west, with his wife, to settle in Santa Monica.

I am pretty sure he took the train, and pretty sure he caught the Central Pacific from Omaha to Sacramento, where he caught the Southern Pacific to Los Angeles.

What I wonder is, what railway lines would he have taken from Boston to Omaha?

I have a Central Pacific map which shows a couple of railway lines going into Omaha from Chicago.

I wonder which line he would have been most likely to take from Chicago to Omaha, and also which line from Boston?

He was very wealthy, if that could have effected his decision.

For all I know he had his own private car, because $3 million in 1883 was the equivalent of $60 million now. ...

—Ben Marcus


Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Benjamin Marcus"

I think I have found something of interest.

I was poking around online, trying to figure out how F.H Rindge and his wife would have traveled from Boston to Los Angeles in 1887.

A query ... to the history website for the Central Pacific Railway got an immediate response, which lead me to ... a page about the Boston Board of Trade Trans-Continental Excursion of 1870.

This was the first-ever charter of a trans-continental train, 130 Boston Brahmins riding in an eight-train car specially made by the Pullman Company.

I was just looking to see what railway lines connected Boston to Omaha, Nebraska, and the start of the Union Pacific.

But the more I read about this special trip, I had a sneaking suspicion the Rindges would have been on this trip.

One of the travelers printed a special edition of a newspaper during the trip.

I read a few pages, looking for a list of the travelers and found this:

And there they were: S.B. Rindge and wife. and Master F.H. Rindge.

History is fun, no?

—Ben Marcus

8/27/2008 7:53 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

You may also want to consult the Official Rail Guide for the appropriate year. These might be available at a research library, and are auctioned on, but the 1870 and 1910 editions, for example, are online at,

8/27/2008 8:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I know this thread is very old but wanted to comment. I'm doing research for a novel that has a family traveling west in 1886. Found this thread and was surprised to see the Rindge name. One of the Rindge descendants is my close family friend! The Rindges of Malibu, I believe they were called.

3/07/2012 12:47 AM  

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