Friday, September 27, 2013

How did Marathon, Texas receive its name?

From: "Gustafson, Andrew"

My name is Andrew and I am doing some research on Marathon, Texas. There are several theories about how this town, on the Southern Pacific RR got its name. One is that the town founder, Albion Ernest Shepard, who arrived as a surveyor for the GH & SA RR in the early 1880s, thought the terrain reminded him of Marathon, Greece. Another story is that James Harvey Strobridge's wife, Hanna Maria Strobridge, was allowed to name railroad sidings in this area, and that Marathon, Marfa, and Feodora were all named after literature she was reading while accompanying her husband on the "front." The last legend is that the town was named after a U.S. army general who helped create a road between Presidio, Texas and Fort Stockton (possibly meant to read Fort Davis) in 1854.

In the research I have done so far, I cannot find when Shepard travelled to Greece (it is said he reported this in "his writings," of which I find no citations). I cannot find any information at all (other than the original article, with no citations) about the Strobridge story. And, lastly, Fort Stockton was not established until 1859 (though Fort Davis was established in 1854), and further, I cannot find any officer in west Texas named, in any way, "Marathon."

If anyone has any information that would aid my research into how Marathon, Texas received its name, I would appreciate your help! ...

—Andrew Gustafson, Assistant Curator, Visions of the West Collection

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

CPRR Leviathan Locomotive, No. 63, replica

"The Leviathan, No. 63, is an exact duplicate of the original locomotive type built by the Schenectady Locomotive Works in 1868, one of four originally commissioned by the Central Pacific Railroad. History will be relived as Leviathan #63 chugs from Corinth to North Creek, stopping at five of the stations on the Saratoga & North Creek Railway line."

Gilliss - "Tunnels of the Pacific Railroad"

From: "Kyle Wyatt"

You may know that the original article by John Gilliss - Tunnels of the Pacific Railroad - was published in the Transactions of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Volume 1, pgs 153-171. This is available from Google Books as a free download – although of course Google neglects to unfold the diagrams and maps.

The version on the CPRR Museum web site, John R. Gilliss, "TUNNELS OF THE PACIFIC RAILROAD." Van Nostrand's Eclectic Engineering Magazine, January 5 (actually April, no day, see pg 337), 1870, p. 418-423, is a slightly abridged version - and certainly lacks the diagrams and maps. I note Google Books also has this issue on line.

It would be great if you could put up a copy of the ASCE version – preferably with the fold-out diagrams.


"Photography and the transcontinental railroad" - NEW CSRM EXHIBIT AND BOOK

"Photography and the transcontinental railroad" by Nancy Flagg, © Sacramento Press, September 16, 2013. (News Article)

" ... The story of the emerging art of photography and how it was used to publicize the massive technological achievement of connecting the country’s East and West coasts by railroad is the subject of the new exhibit, “Double Exposure” at the California State Railroad Museum. ... Glenn Willumson, guest curator of the exhibit and author of Iron Muse: Photographing the Transcontinental Railroad, explained that photos of the railroad construction “created a westward view” for the public, which was accustomed to primarily thinking of the country as east of the Missouri River. ..." [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]

Telegraph wire

From: "Chris Graves"

Does anyone know the gauge of iron wire first used when putting in the telegraph line?

I continue to find iron wire, the most common is 4 gauge, measuring 0.204 in diameter using a caliper. This wire, no matter where it is found, displays a Western Union splice. ...


CPRR 1883 letter

From: "Anne Marie Ross"

I have found an old letter written on Central Pacific Railroad letterhead, dated June 20, 1883. The letter was in my great grandfathers papers.

The letterhead reads:

Central Pacific Railroad
Freight and Ticket Office

Before the date is written: Wadsworth, Nev

It is signed by 4 people. The names are tough to read, but looks like:

D. H. Seaver ?
D. C. Rumb ?
A. J. Willis
James Tomfalton ?

The letter references a W. S. Raitt.

I am trying to determine why my grandfather had the letter. If someone was a relative? Do you know if there is anyway to find names of employees from that time frame (1883). ...

—Anne Marie Ross

Monday, September 16, 2013

Pet locomotive 2-2-0 San Gabriel

From: "Angi Ma Wong"

I am writing three children's books related to Phineas Banning, Southern California transportation pioneer and an owner of the Los Angeles and San Pedro Railroad until sold to Southern Pacific in 1873. My first is San Gabriel Southern California's first locomotive.

After the San Pedro finally arrived from San Francisco on the Monterey in October, 1869 to join the Los Angeles, what happened to San Gabriel? Sold for scrap? Dumped in the harbor? Melted down? ...

Angi Ma Wong, author and publisher
Pacific Heritage Books
Palos Verdes Estates, CA

'San Gabriel' Locomotive
1876 SP 30 Loco ordered broken up, ex SF&A - CP Annual Report for 1876

'San Gabriel' Locomotive
1875-1-22 Injured from wreck of San Gabriel - Los Angeles Herald, Volume 3, Number 98, 22 January 1875

'San Gabriel' Locomotive
1875-1-21 LA&SP San Gabriel Wrecked - Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 48, Number 7424, 21 January 1875

'San Gabriel' Locomotive
1875-1-20 Injured from the wreck - Los Angeles Herald, Volume 3, Number 96, 20 January 1875

'San Gabriel' Locomotive
1875-1-19 LA&SP San Gabriel Wreck - Los Angeles Herald, Volume 3, Number 95, 19 January 1875

'San Gabriel' Locomotive
1875-1-19 LA&SP San Gabriel Wreck - Los Angeles Daily Star, January 19, 1875

When did the Union Pacific Railroad begin and end?

From: "Theron Huskey"

When did the Union Pacific Railroad begin and end?

Sunday, September 15, 2013

"The Man Who Murdered Time" - the first ever novel about Muybridge

From: "Stansfield David"

Dear Historians of the Central Pacific Railroad,

A number of you have given me invaluable information re the railroad over the past few years to help me with my novel. So I wanted to send you the following:

For the last 26 years - on and off - I've been working on what is the first ever novel about Muybridge. Most of the world wasn't much interested in the man and his extraordinary life for much of this time. But now, at last, Hollywood is paying attention – and find it a riveting story – Gary Oldman, Andy Serkis and Cohen Media all currently have films in development, based only on what they have – some excellent, but strictly non-fiction books.

This is the only dramatic novel about the man himself: an adventure story about Eadweard Muybridge: artist, scientist, lover. Strong as an ox and delicate as a flower, stubborn as a mule and trusting as a child, a friend of Royalty and Chinese porters, a household name.

Climb inside his head as he survives death three times, makes the world’s first motion picture, shoots his wife’s lover, stands trial while they test the gallows outside the courtroom window, and takes ten thousand nude photographs. Join him as he looks under the skirts of Nature and captures what he sees at twenty-four pictures a second.

If you’d like to find out what Jack the Ripper, Lewis Carroll, the Lumière brothers, Thomas Edison, Sarah Bernhardt and the future King Edward VII were really like, Muybridge will introduce them to you.

I thought you might be interested. You can find the book, The Man Who Murdered Time, on Amazon and Kindle.

—David Stansfield

The former Managing Director of, Cecile Moulard, wrote the following about my novel:

Have you met Eadweard Muybridge? I loved this extraordinary man, I identified with him at times, David Stansfield makes him so alive, so human, so present.

I savored the different levels of the text offered by the author. They complement themselves, nourish themselves, enrich themselves: the child aching for love; the grown-up lover, sincere and immature, murdered and murdering; the father of pure invention at the mercy of his brilliant, tyrannical sponsor; the genius embraced by both the artistic and the scientific community; a man both of and ahead of his time who meets the brilliant opportunist Edison, who is a friend of Nadar, of the obese and charming Prince Edward, of the Lumière brothers …

Stansfield takes us on a journey. This is a book about Talent, about the strange proximity of the artistic and the scientific world, about Love, about the World at the end of the 19th century and the ties that bind the cultural elites of America and Europe. This is a jewel.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Folsom Prison - prisoner transport by rail?

From: "Bill Anderson"

In 1880, when prisoners were transferred from San Quentin Prison to Folsom Prison, were they moved by rail? Did they travel the Sacramento Valley Railroad to Folsom?

—Bill Anderson, Folsom, El Dorado & Sacramento Historical Railroad Association

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Chinese railroad workers unknown photograph

Does anyone have any information about the Chinese railroad workers in the unknown image shown below?

Source, photographer, railroad, location, date, etc. ????


Chinese railroad workers unknown photograph

Sunday, September 01, 2013

CPRR Discussion Group

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