Saturday, January 28, 2012

SPRR Station List, 1889

From: "Bruce Cooper"

Six page complete station list of the SPRR in 1889. The source is pages 254 to 259 of the volume Over the Range to the Golden Gate by Stanley Wood published by R.R. Donnelly & Sons, Publishers. Chicago, 1889.

Southern Pacific Railroad Train Stations, 1889
SPRR Stations, 1889

SPRR Stations, 1889

SPRR Stations, 1889

SPRR Stations, 1889

SPRR Stations, 1889

SPRR Stations, 1889

Courtesy of the Bruce C. Cooper Collection.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

MEC and B&ML trains at Burnham Jct., 1955 image

From: "Kent Loudon"

... I was the photographer of the 1955 image of MEC and B&ML trains at Burnham Jct. ...

I was 15 years old at the time! My parents had a summer home in Tenants Harbor, near Rockland. On that day I hitchhiked (a kid could do that back then!) to Belfast to ride the B&ML train. I continued on a MEC train to Bangor, and returned to Rockland by bus. The photo was taken on Kodachrome ASA/ISO 10 film using a (completely manual) Kodak “Pony” camera.

N Kent Loudon
142 1/2 West End Av
Somerville, NJ 08876

Chuck Sweet R.I.P.

From: "Chris Graves"

Sorry to report that Chuck Sweet, age 62, passed away in Ogden, Utah on Friday, January 20, 2012.

Chuck was the volunteer fireman on the 119 and Jupiter at Golden Spike, he participated in two History Channels and was also involved with the American Experience re: the Transcontinental Railroad.

Chuck was a good historian, his collection of railroad memoribilia was second to none.

He will be missed.


Monday, January 23, 2012

How did bad weather affect workers?

How fast did the first train travel?

How fast did the first train travel?

Timeline of the first transcontinental railroad

Largest obstacle faced in building the first transcontinental railroad?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Plans for Common Standard No. 18 Combination Depot

From: "Randy Ruiz"

An acquaintance owns the Esparto depot. It is a Common Standard No. 18 combination depot similar to depots in Livermore, Danville, Walnut Creek, Benicia, etc. Does anyone have any drawings of this, or similar No. 18 depots that they might be willing to share? Mountain View had reconstructed one such depot some time ago. They must have had some drawings upon which to base their work?

Randolph R. Ruiz, San Francisco, CA

Combination 18
Two Story Combination Depot #18

Combination 23
One Story Combination Depot #23
Courtesy of the Southern Pacific Engineering collection at the Oregon Historical Society in Portland.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Romanian translation of Eastward to Promontory

Our thanks to Alexander Ovsov of Web Geek Science for volunteering to do for us a Romanian translation of our web page Eastward to Promontory by Becky Winter.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Chinese and Charles Savage

From: "Todd Shallat"

Thank you for the opportunity to ask a question.

In Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler's Photographing the Frontier and again in Bradely Richard's biography of Charles Savage, historian say that the Chinese workers were spooked by Savage's camera. As the Chinese workers were position the rail, according to this story, someone yelled, "Now's the time, Charlie! Take a shot!" Allegedly the workers dropped their tools and scattered.

Could this possibly have any basis in fact? ...

—Todd Shallat, Center for Idaho History and Politics

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Makeup of a CPRR express train around 1885

From: "Malcolm Easton"

I am researching the makeup of a CPRR express train around 1885. Would there be a place on the train for a passenger to write into a diary? ...


Sunday, January 08, 2012

Photos from J. B. Silvis of my family (Burton)

From: "Steve Burton"

I found these photos about my family photos. I thought you might like to add them to your website. You can see I have front and back scans.

Lolla Burton was born 1870
Sadie Burton was born 1873 both in Indiana.

This family lived in Elkhorn, Douglas County, Nebraska in 1875. Elkhorn is close to Omaha so I think these photos were taken in Nebraska [by photographer J. B. Silvis, the Union Pacific's nomadic photographer, in his photo rail car].

Any comments will be welcome.

—Steve Burton

Burton Family

Burton Family

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Emigrant Gap Hotel/Allen Hotel/Woodmen Lodge/Bright Lodge

From: "Carol Guida"

My husband and I recently purchased the Emigrant Gap Hotel – Annex as our family lodge. Since we purchased the property from the bank we are still trying to piece it's history together. We have been in contact with a friend of Leona Bright (an owner from the 60's we believe) and have a bit of the history.

What we are trying to find out is – was our site (not our annex of course since it was built in the early 1900's) on the Dutch Flat/Donner Lake Wagon Road? And - if so, should we be able to locate some kind of marker? Emigrant Gap has been changed so many times - the railroad, highway 40, highway 80 – there is little left here.

If you can help us find out if we were on the wagon road and how to look for signs of it - that would be great. Also – we have only been able to locate a very few historic photos of our town. If you can refer us to someplace to look for more – that would be great. ...

—Carol Guida

"Queen Victoria and Queen Anne leave their mark in Sonoma"

"Queen Victoria and Queen Anne leave their mark in Sonoma" by George McKale, © Sonoma Valley Sun, January 5, 2012. (Article – architecture)

" ... While on a river boat in Sacramento in 1855, Ida Pfeiffer writes in A Lady’s Journal Round the World, 'The men, one and all, showed the utmost attention and politeness to our sex. Old or young, rich or poor, well or ill-dressed, every women was treated with respect and kindness. ... '
... The architecture of the Victorian era became very popular as people were tired of simplistic residential designs and intrigued by the new highly decorative features of this period. ... A consumer economy was created by the Industrial Revolution ... The First Transcontinental Railroad ... accelerated west coast desires for Victorian era architecture. Pre-cut architectural pieces manufactured in the east were now available en masse in the west. Consumers no longer had to wait for boats to make the long journey by sea. ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

African American transcontinental railroad workers

Where can I find out about black Union Pacific Railroad workers?

Monday, January 02, 2012

Grandpa built the relica of UPRR Locomotive #119

From: "Dale Johnson",

My grand father, Charles D. Russell, worked for the UP for some 40 years. He started as a boiler maker back in the early 1900's. He was asked to come and help build the replica of #119. I was wondering if you may have a roster of volunteers that worked on the building of [the replica of UPRR locomotive] #119.

Thank you for any help or direction you can point me to.

Locomotive #23
Locomotive 23

Verso: "1969
Chuck built the proud end of engine to the first gold ring. Also the stack and the fancy stuff around the bell."

Rock drill

From: "Bill Oudegeest"

I am working on some articles about the CPRR particularly Tunnel 6, the San Mateo (first locomotive over the Summit), the Sacramento (the engine for the shaft house), etc.

I would like to locate a star drill bit such as used by the Chinese to bore holes for black powder while building the Sierra tunnels.

Does anyone have any where I can look? ...

—Bill Oudegeest, Donner Summit Historical Society, Donner Summit, CA

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Number of railyard workers?

What was the number of railyard workers at the railroad's height of operation?

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