Tuesday, September 23, 2014

1910-1920 Route and locomotives

From: "Kirk Chandler" kirk@earth2kirk.com

I am trying to reconstruct a journey my mother and her family made about 1917-18 from Beaver County, Oklahoma to Sacramento, California.

The assumption is they went north and west to a rail line. One map shows a route that may have gone from El Moro CO to Amarillo, Texas.

Can you tell if this route existed at in 1915 and what type of locomotive might have run that route.

My grandfather got a job with South Pacific as a stationary engineer the day after arriving in Sacramento. He worked for and retired as the head of the Sacramento Northern Railroad.

Mom is 99 now and we enjoy walking down memory lane. ...

Photographer Isaac Newton Boyce - Hartsdale Pet Cemetery

From: "Mary Thurston" info@animalimage.com, mary@petcem.com

I was very interested to find your website. I was wondering if you have ever come across a reference to Isaac Boyce, who for a time was official photographer to the Denver RioGrande Western line before moving to New York to become a studio photographer around the turn of the [20th] century? Library and county archives here in Westchester County contain very little information about the man, and I was told by his granddaughter that upon his death in 1936 the entire contents of his studio were thrown away.

Between 1905 and 1920 Mr. Boyce took a number of photographs of our pet cemetery, making them the largest known surviving collection of his work today.

I would appreciate hearing from you if you happen to have any further information about Mr. Boyce's time with the railroad so we might add it to our archives here. ...

—Mary Thurston, Historian, Hartsdale Pet Cemetery

Isaac Newton Boyce 1939 Obituary

Research questions for novel

From: "Kathy Owen" kathy@kbowenmysteries.com

Hello, I’m researching late-nineteenth century railroad travel for my next novel (my fourth book), which involves my female protagonist making a railway trip from New York to San Francisco during the summer of 1898. I’ve been fortunate to learn a bit about the routes, travel times, sleeping cars, and passenger life aboard a train, particularly through resources such your website, Appleton’s General Guide to the United States and Canada, and the Library of Congress. However, there are a number of other details that I’m having difficulty finding, such as:

What transfers would have to be made along the way? I've read in Appleton's General Guide to the United States and Canada (1889) that the trip would have the following segments: New York, Chicago, Omaha, Salt Lake City, and then San Francisco. If so, would my travelers have to buy separate tickets for each leg of the journey? What different railroad companies would be involved, and how long would each segment take? If there was a layover, were passengers allowed to disembark, as long as they had returned in time?

What would a typical day on board a transcontinental train trip be like? I've learned that there were separate cars for dining, lounging, and smoking, in addition to sleeping. Were any cars specific to ladies only? The 1889 Appleton's guide says there are no dining cars from Omaha to San Francisco, but had that have changed by 1898?

When there were dining cars: what times and how many meals were served each day? Were passengers assigned certain times, or could they just show up during the serving times, like a restaurant?

Would the women be responsible for folding up and putting away their own beds and linens, or would the porter do it for them? ...

K.B. Owen, historical mystery author