Sunday, November 11, 2012

James Abram Kleiser, 1818-1906

From: "Harry Kleiser"

Picture of James Abram Kleiser circa 1869. He engineered the trestles and snow sheds for the Central Pacific.

—Harry Kleiser

James Abram Kleiser, c. 1869
James Abram Kleiser, c. 1869
Courtesy of Harry Kleiser.

Snow Gallery Bolting Frame to Rocks
Hart #254. Inside view of Snow Gallery at Summit.
Bolting the Frame to the Rocks.
Courtesy of Gorham Too, and ©2023


Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

"Trestles & Snowsheds: the Sierras ... February, 1867, I went on the Central Pacific Railroad to build bridges on the Truckee River. I was still in debt. ... I worked all Summer at a good salary and sometime in November when I was raising a bridge at the Cascades above Cisco and had it nearly completed I accidentally made a misstep and fell from the top, a distance of fifty feet, breaking six ribs and injuring my shoulder and spine. I was unconscious until the next day and was not able to walk for nearly two months. ... The next Spring I went back to Cisco on the Central Pacific and got up plans for a machine to frame timber for the snow-sheds. In March went down the Truckee to the State line and had a gang of men getting out ties for the railroad. In May moved the gang to Cold Stream, above Truckee, and made ties until the first of June. I then got orders to go to Sacramento and have my machine built at the Company's shops. I had my machine finished by the 20th of June and shipped it up to Summit Valley. Put in a side track, where the snow was still four feet deep and soon got the machine in good working order. With six handy men it would do the work of fifty carpenters. In July I commenced putting up snow sheds and by the middle of December had completed six miles of snow shed at the summit of Sierra Nevada Mountains. At one time I had a very narrow escape. In going down to Truckee with my construction train we had a collision with a freight train coming up just opposite Donner Lake. I was on the engine, sitting on the firemans side. The trains got so close before any alarm could be given that they could not slacken speed until they collided. I was thrown headlong against the door of the fire box and all the wood from the tender on top of me. I soon crawled out and found the Engineer and Fireman both bleeding, the Locomotives smashed up, steam flying all around, the cars off the track, several men badly hurt and everything in confusion. The only injury I sustained was a slightly sprained wrist and some scratches on my head from the wood piling on me. One man who jumped off the train on some wood fractured his scull so that it caused his death. About the middle of December 1868, having completed my section of sheds, the Company wanted me to move to an uncovered section opposite the lower end of Donner Lake and put up two miles more of snowshed, which I declined, as the ground was now covered with snow and it was getting quite cold and disagreeable and would be no better before the next May. ..."
—James Abram Kleiser (1818 – 1906), autobiography ... hand-written in 1885. Courtesy Harry A. Kleiser & the Cloverdale Historical Society.

11/11/2012 7:56 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Harry Kleiser"

... I have J.A. Kleiser's autobiography, a portion of which appears [above].

—Harry Kleiser

11/12/2012 9:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Hart stereo view #254. "Inside view of Snow Gallery at Summit. Bolting the Frame to the Rocks." shown above illustrates how extremely well constructed was the CPRR.

4/24/2023 11:57 AM  

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