"Railroad adventure takes author to gold country"
" ... All of the so-called 'Big Four' had northern New York connections. Charles Crocker, born in Troy, headed west with the Gold Rush. Along with Mark Hopkins, originally from Henderson in St. Lawrence County, he found it more profitable to 'mine the miners' than mine for gold. Collis Huntington wasn't born in upstate New York, but he had the most pronounced long-term presence here. In pre-Gold Rush days, he owned a store in Oneonta. While labor proceeded on the railroad in the West, he was the person who stayed in the East raising funds. Later in life, he owned Pine Knot, one of the first classic Adirondack Great Camps. We visited the Huntington and Hopkins Hardware Store, originally located on K Street ... Think of this as the progenitor of superstores like Wal-Mart and Target. The fourth member of the group, Leland Stanford, grew up in Watervliet, near Albany. Once upon a time, he sold chestnuts and horseradishes on the family farm. In 1852, he headed west, where he found business success, became president of the Central Pacific Railroad and, in 1861, was elected governor of California. His fortune established Stanford University 'for all the children in California.' ... " [More]
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