Wednesday, July 07, 2021

Track worker housing, 1870's Central Pacific Railroad

From: "Michael Polk"

I am currently researching 1870's Central Pacfic Railroad track worker housing at section stations along the line in Utah (as well as Nevada and California). I know about and have a copy of the 1869 inventory of Central Pacific structures from the National Archives. That is useful, but that document only includes housing for foremen, not the Chinese and other track workers. I have found nothing regarding housing for them, only for 1880 onward.

Without such information, my fallback position is that they continued to use dugouts and ramshackle buildings from construction days as well as Section cars, perhaps set off on detached tracks. In 1880-81 Southern Pacific constructed a hundred or more new bunkhouses and some cookhouses for the workers, but I have no information about how they were housed between the end of railroad construction in 1869 and the end of the 1870's.

Does anyone have information about this 1870's decade or a lead for me on this subject? ...

Mike Polk, Aspen Ridge Consultants

'Stories of Old Nevada: Wells'

"Stories of Old Nevada: Wells" by Dennis Cassinelli, © Elko Daily, July 5, 2021. (History Article)

" ... Wells was founded in 1869 by the Central Pacific Railroad as a water station due to the town's strategic location at the headwaters of the Humboldt River. Water use from wells by travelers and area residents dates back thousands of years to the Western Shoshone who still live in a colony overlooking the town. Shoshone, Hudson Bay trappers, mountain men, and westbound wagon trains all replenished at the Humboldt Wells. ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]