Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Bloomer Cut, 2013

From: "Chris Graves"

The Auburn, Cal. City Council has been handed a list of possible street names, these to be used in the Baltimore Ravine development that includes Bloomer Cut. Thankfully, the Advisory Council that recommends street names has included the following in the list: Bloomer Cut, Hercules, Tamaroo, Excelsior, Eureka, Rattler, and Racer.

A bridge is projected to be built over Bloomer Cut, and the now-dirt road will be paved over. The brass plaque, now in place, will be replaced, thus ending years of a mis-spelled word and gangs of roving Chinese workers.

The new plaque reads thus:

" Bloomer Cut
First Transcontinental Railroad

Ground was broken in Sacramento on January 8, 1863 on what was to become the nation's first Transcontinental railroad. A grading crew of 30 to 40 men, employed by Charles Crocker and Co., under the direction of James Harvey Strobridge, began work here in February, 1864, using primitive hand tools and blasting powder to remove 40,000 cubic yards of cemented gravel. In July, 1864, an accidental explosion of black powder severly injured three men, James Harvey Strobridge lost his right eye in the accident.

When finished, Bloomer Cut, so named as it was on the Bloomer Ranch, was 800 feet long and 65 feet deep at its deepest point. This cut provided a rail link between NewCastle and Auburn; at the time of its construction it was considered the most difficult work attempted by the Central Pacific Rail Road, which was the Company building the Western link of the Pacific Railroad. It is virtually unchanged today from the initial construction, which was completed in April, 1865.

The first passenger train, riding on wrought iron rails from Boston, Massachusetts and California coastal redwood ties, arrived in Auburn on May 13, 1865"

Should those of you that are interested in such things are wondering, the name "Bloomer Ranch" was used as early as 1857. The Bloomer Ranch headquarters, consisting of a simple house, was located at the exisiting corner of Auburn Folsom Road and Maidu Road, under what is now the Maidu Fire Station. It was here that Theo. Judah stayed during his survey, published over the date of October 22, 1862. The barley fields that were tended by the owner of the time, a Mr. Campbell, is now an apartment complex, under construction.