Monday, February 20, 2012

Help with details for writing novel

From: "Karen Mercury"

I'm writing a novel set in 1868. I need an object that would somehow be stamped with the name of a UP train depot, or somehow indicate where it was used or from, that could possibly be used as a murder weapon. Something small enough to jam under a roof's eaves. I thought of something like this antique railroad tie tongs, marked UP and measuring 24" in size.

Just a depot sign would be too obvious, and probably wouldn't kill anyone anyway. I need something for my characters to figure out. They're in Laramie, Wyoming. I'd like it to lead them back somewhere near Buford, WY. Which station would be closest to Buford?

Thanks so much!!

Karen Mercury

Training Ivy, May 2012 <-- new series! "How The West Was Done"!
Blowing Off Steam, March 2012
Sure as Shooting
A Good Prospect
Either Ore
Working the Lode


Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: Larry Mullaly


Regarding the weapon of choice:

The tie tongs you show in the picture are rather large for your purposes. Two of these at a time were used to carry 8 foot long railroad ties and lay them in place.

I would suggest your "murder" weapon should be a brass hammer or a wrench. Others would know whether it was common for the Union Pacific to identify these with company initials.

—Larry Mullaly

2/20/2012 11:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The tie tongs look very much like the ice tongs that used to be used to carry blocks of ice for ice boxes.

2/20/2012 11:26 AM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Karen Mercury"

Heh, "it was Shady Barnhart with the brass hammer in the Buford Depot." ...

Do you know about the UP stations in 1868? I am wondering if there actually was a stop near the Dale Creek Bridge/Sherman Summit area.

Thanks again!


2/20/2012 12:50 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Larry Mullaly"
Subject: Sherman Hill/ Dale Creek

... there are two attractive Union Pacific webpages that you should find interesting:

Depots were usually spaced about every 20 miles in the early days. If there was a depot at Sherman Hill then there would have not been one at Dale Creek.

... Sometimes depot locations move, although this is not to common.


2/20/2012 7:25 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Kyle K. Wyatt"

Try a track lining bar or pinch bar.

Or try a track spike maul – the older "diamond" type, not the newer "bell" type.


2/21/2012 3:39 AM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Karen Mercury"
Subject: RE: Sherman Hill/ Dale Creek

Actually I heard they DID move the traintrack around that area to avoid that "Lone Pine" tree sticking out of that rock. I want to say around 1901 they altered the route?

Yes, I use that website all the time – it's very excellent. My year is 1868, right after the first train came to Laramie City.

2/21/2012 11:38 AM  

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