Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Origin of "Cisco" [John Jay Cisco]

From: "Kyle Wyatt"
Subject: Origin of "Cisco" follow-up

This is another place where the book California Place Names is in error. The Central Pacific Treasurer was Mark Hopkins, not John Cisco.

"Cisco" was named for John J. Cisco, the sterling assistant treasurer of the United Sates, during the late Civil War." [Williams Pacific Tourist, 1876.]

More on John J. Cisco, Assistant Treasurer of the US at the New York Sub-Treasury.

See the New York Times article on his death in 1884. It also notes at the behest of President Lincoln, Cisco was the first Treasurer of the Union Pacific.

Kyle K. Wyatt
Curator of History & Technology
California State Railroad Museum

-----Original Message-----
Yesterday, we attended a tour lead by docent Larry which started at the surveyor's camp. Larry shared great historical train facts with the group. One question was asked as to how Cisco was named. He and another docent did not know. According to the book Calif. Place Names Cisco was named in 1865 by Central Pac RR for John J. Cisco, treasurer of the company from 1863-1869. It was the suggestion of Charles Crocker. Before that it was known as Heaton Station. FYI

Saturday, June 26, 2010

How many tunnels?

From: "Shannon Blake"

How many tunnels did Chinese workers dig through the Sierras during the construction of the railroad?


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

"Robber Barons or Captains of Industry?"

Sunday, June 20, 2010

CP Coach #29 Found

From: "Roger Graeber"

I am a member of the North Western Pacific Railroad Historical society. The NWPRRHS has just found Central Pacific Coach #29 in good restorable condition. The coach has been moved and is now slated for restoration. A video of the move is posted on youtube. A better quality video of the same material can be found on Additional information can be found on

—Roger Graeber

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Live Oak CPRR Depot

From: "Judy Irvin"

I am an historical architect retained by the City of Live Oak to Rehabilitate their small railroad depot. It is on the line of the original California and Oregon RR from Marysville to Portland started in the 1860's but taken over by CP after financial difficulties. The C & O reached Live Oak and staged materials there but the Depot was not constructed until 1882 by CP. The Depot was abandoned by SP, CP's successor in the mid 1950's and it has been deteriorating since then. The City has reached an Agreement with now Union Pacific to get the building off their right-of-way and we have obtained approvals from the Keeper of the National Register for the move 40' adjacent to the tracks. The building is now moved and work is well underway but I find that the exterior paint colors under the flaking Colonial Yellow typical of SP are more typically Eastlake...dark mustard for the body. So I am changing my Treatment recommendations for the color pallette from standard SP to the historic pallette building off of the dark mustard.

Do you folks have any information about what colors those very early CP depots would have been painted? ...

—Judy Irvin, Historical Architect

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

John Gast's "American Progress" painting

Please tell me if there are prints for sale of the John Gast American Progress ...

—Josie Powell

Boarding kitchen & dining car and construction sleeping cars, 1852


Thought I'd pass this along from Jack White. The reference is to construction of a boarding kitchen & dining car and construction sleeping cars constructed for the Lawrenceburg & Upper Mississippi RR in 1852.


From: "John White"

In the most recent issue of Railroad History No. 202 look at Page 51 and you will find an early use of camp & kitchen cars used in building a railroad in the 1850s. ...


Monday, June 14, 2010

Sacramento Valley Railroad Map, 1854

"Theodore Judah and the first Railroad in the west" by John Putnam, © Philadelphia Examiner, June 11, 2010. (News Article)

Sacramento Valley Railroad Map, 1854
Sacramento Valley Railroad Map, 1854

" ... Construction of the first 22 mile section of track began ... February [1854], starting from Front and ‘L’ Street in today’s ‘Old Sacramento' and arrived a year later at the gold town of Negro Bar, soon to become a part of Folsom, California. It took building three trestles and a 600-foot cut along the American river at Negro Bar to complete the job, but the SVRR was now the first railroad west of the Mississippi. The railroad was originally intended to continue to Placerville, north to Marysville and across the bay to San Francisco but only the Placerville line was ever completed and that not for many years. ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]

Friday, June 11, 2010

US Supreme Court Center

Railroads and the Making of Modern America

Railroads and the Making of Modern America, University of Nebraska, Lincoln:

Central and Union Pacific Railroads.

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Expedition Portal - Trans Con Railroad Trip Report 5-15-10

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Populism in Relation to Railroads

From: "Daniel Schlessinger"

I am a national qualifier for a history competition called National History Day, and my project this year concerns the Negative Effects of the Transcontinental Railroad. Your website has been invaluable to my research as well as my general level of interest in the topic.

I wondered if you had or knew of places to find cartoons or pictures of populist movements in relation to the railroad? I have found plenty of textual information on the Omaha Platform, for example, but cannot find many pictures.

—Daniel Schlessinger

Monday, June 07, 2010

Low's Railway and Telegraph Directory


I have a book about United States Railroads published by Tillotson & Co., compiled from official reports by James W. Low – the name of this hard cover book is: Low's Railway & Telegraph Directory, 1864.

I am trying to find out the approximate value!! Can you help or direct me?

—Patti Kelleher

Sunday, June 06, 2010

CPRR depot at Reno c. 1885

From: "Malcolm Easton"

I am researching the CPRR depot at Reno around 1885. The freight depot and passenger depot were separated by a triple track, according to maps. Is it plausible there was a walkway to cross the tracks, and if so what is the correct term for it? Thanks.

—M. Easton

TCRR stops in 19th century?

How do I cite your website and give you credit in my bibliography?

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

CPRR Discussion Group

Welcome to the CPRR Discussion Group at the Central Pacific Railroad Photographic History Museum.

See HOW TO POST to the CPRR Discussion Group.

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