Thursday, December 10, 2015

Boston Board of Trade Transcontinental Railroad Trip, 1870

From: "Beth Anne Bower"

Boston Board of Trade Transcontinental Railroad Trip, 1870.

In doing family research I learned that my 2nd great grandfather was one of the organizers and participants in this historic trip. The Massachusetts Historical Society and the American Antiquarian Society both have some papers related to the trip. I was very interested to see the Hart photographs and the Transcontinental newspaper. I am pursuing additional research (I live outside of Boston) and am scheduled to be in San Francisco in March.

Can you point me in the direction of any other archival collections with records, photographs or memorabilia from the trip? Ideas on where to look? I am particularly interested in how the train was supported. I assume there were porters, engineers, cooks, staff etc. on the train ... but where did they sleep etc.? Was there a "support" car? ...

—Beth Bower


Anonymous Anonymous said...


"Boston Board of Trade Special, 1870," Railroad History 135/80, 86, 88

See related,
Travel Agents Excursion, 1870

19th Century Travel

Railroad Guides

Train Cars

12/10/2015 2:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From: "Denny Dickinson"

Be sure to stop in Truckee and visit the Truckee Donner Historical Library. The library is open on Thursday. I'm sure they would open the library at your request if you can't be there on a Thursday.

—Denny D.

12/11/2015 8:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is the name of your 2nd great grandfather?

12/11/2015 8:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From: "Beth Anne Bower"

His name is James W. Bliss; his daughter Josephine (Josie) accompanied him.

Thank you so much for all of the links so quickly! ...


12/11/2015 8:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From: ""

There is a wonderful children's book called Locomotive by Brian Floca that details a family's trip on the transcontinental line when it is first open. I don't recall details of how staff lived, but it certainly describes passenger's living and sleeping, even bathroom facilities. The illustrations are wonderful and I understand quite accurate.

—Alice Mullaly

12/11/2015 8:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

See also,

Railroad Story Book: A Thousand Miles by Rail. McLoughlin Brothers, New York, 1907.

12/11/2015 8:40 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Library availability of the above cited journal:

Railroad history.
Author: Railway & Locomotive Historical Society.
Publisher: Boston [Railway & Locomotive Historical Society]
Edition/Format: Journal, magazine : Periodical : English

12/11/2015 8:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

From: "Glenn Willumson"

I imagine you already have this citation, but there was a broadside poem published in 1870 about the excursion.

It was also published in Frank Leslie’s Illustrated. I’m not sure of the exact date but it would have been in July or August 1870. I also thought there was a privately printed book about the excursion, but I don’t seem to be able to find the citation at the moment.

You may be able to find out more information about the trip at the Stanford University Library. Their rare books collections contain excellent archives and resource material. Stanford has many of the Hart stereographs. In San Francisco, I suggest an appointment at the Society of California Pioneers. They, too, have Hart and other West Coast photographs in their collections.

Good luck! I hope you enjoy your sleuthing. ...

—Glenn Willumson

12/12/2015 3:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here we go to the Pacific !
To the "Hub" a while, adieu !
Fare-you-well, ye troubles civic,
Scenes of grandeur we shall view !
Pullman's train shall give us pleasure,
Naught like it was known before,
All its comforts we shall treasure,
Ere we reach the golden shore !

12/12/2015 3:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In addition to the Boston Board of Trade Transcontinental Railroad Trip, 1870 (the subject of the above inquiry), and the Travel Agents Excursion, 1870, also see the report of the George Mortimer Pullman Excursion, 1869, published in the June 28, 1869 New York Times, and the Frank Leslie Excursion To The Pacific, 1877.

12/13/2015 7:17 AM  

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