Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Southern Pacific Maintenance Building

From: "Mike Polk"

I am continuing my research on Central Pacific/Southern Pacific Maintenance camps and the Chinese connection. I have several questions which I hope someone out there may be able to provide some clarity on. I have found what appears to be a surplus maintenance building along the line in western Nevada and want to determine if it may actually date from the years of Central Pacific operations. The building is a one story, side gable structure with a low pitch, tar paper roof with exposed rafter tails. It is about 16 x 18 ft in size and clad in 4 x 8 plywood sheets. That alone suggests post 1920's construction, but it is possible that the plywood was added at a later date. It has one opening on one of the short sides, though it is possible that the opposite end had windows or a door and has since been covered with plywood. The end with an opening is entirely open with the upper portion framed in with angled gable trim. The interior seems to be open frame of 2 x 4's, with no insulation and no interior walls. It is possible that the building was originally used as a hand car building, bunkhouse or tool shed. It is now off the railroad and used to store irrigation pipe by an adjacent business.

1. Is there information about when the Central Pacific began building its standard plan structures at station stops along the route from Ogden to Sacramento? It seems, from my sources, that by 1880 buildings at station stops were in place and of uniform design, including bunkhouses, cook houses, tool sheds, hand car shacks, etc.

2. When did the SP begin to change paint colors from the Box Car Red used by Central Pacific to Colonial Yellow used by Southern Pacific? I don't know for a fact that CPRR used Box Car Red, but have been told that by well informed railroad historians in Utah and actually saw dark red painted lettering on portions of former Promontory roundhouse walls. The roundhouse was demolished around 1913, but portions have been preserved as part of a rancher's barn. I note in a CPRR Discussion Group post from 2006 that the new SP color scheme seems to have begun on the Salt Lake Division around the Harriman era of the early 1900s. It also indicates that common plans between SP and UP were started about 1904. The building that I am speaking about is painted in SP Colonial Yellow. It's certainly possible that it was re-painted to that color in later years, but then again, it is possible that it is a much newer building and dates from the early 20th Century.

Any thoughts would be of value. Thank you.

Mike Polk
Sagebrush Consultants
Ogden, Utah


Anonymous Anonymous said...

From: "John Snyder"

There were intermediate paint schemes between the oxide red and Colonial Yellow schemes, particularly during the Huntington period.

1/02/2016 1:57 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Recent Messages