Thursday, June 23, 2005

"Bloomer Cut"

What is the origin of the name "Bloomer Cut"?


Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Bruce C. Cooper" BCC@CPRR.ORG

Named after the Bloomer Ranch through which the line passed:
From the "Engineer's Office Central Pacific Railroad of California, Sacramento, February 8, 1867. ... condensed description of routes explored and surveyed ... in 1866
... thence curving to the left the line crosses Dutch ravine, near its head, about one-fourth mile below the Bloomer Ranch house ... "

6/23/2005 7:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So it is entirely a myth that:
"Bloomer's Cut [was] supposedly named because the Chinese laborers like to look up the bloomers of any women standing on top".

This notion is additional preposterous because bloomers were a type of 19th century womens trousers (the "Bloomer Costume") that would have prevented such voyeurism, named after "Amelia Bloomer, editor of The Lily, a feminist tract devoted to temperance and women’s reform" who popularized, a clothing style that she did not invent which was worn by Mrs. Elizabeth Smith Miller.

6/23/2005 7:30 AM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "John Snyder"

The real questions is, what is the origin of the name of the Bloomer Divide, through which the "Bloomer Cut" was dug....


6/23/2005 7:35 AM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...


If I remember correctly it was first called "Bloomer's Cut" because it was on property of his and from whom Chas Crocker bought the right of way.

Lynn F.

6/24/2005 12:23 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

The Directory of the County of Placer for the year 1861 lists:

"Campbell H. D. prop. Bloomer Ranch"

6/24/2005 1:50 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...


I have an anecdote to relate about Bloomer Cut that may be of interest to you and others. After I joined SP in 1948 Mercier retired as President and Don Russell took over. Russell had also come out of the Engineering Department, had worked on double tracking the Sierra Emigrant Gap to Lakeview in the '20's and took pride in the historical scene at SP. And Bloomer Cut was a "landmark" as far as DJR was concerned. In those early '60's the Roadmaster of the district was a man by the name of Frank Van der Pool. Frank was adopted into the family of Mahons at Caliente, east of Bakersfield. The Mahons produced more Roadmasters than anyone starting with the father and three sons that I know, Sonny, Richard and Jim. Sonny was at Santa Barbara with Richard and Jim in northern California. Later Richard went on to become Chief Engineer briefly before retirement and Jim the head honcho on the Sierra, Roseville to Sparks. I used to ride in Richard's car pool when we were both in the General Office in San Francisco.

Now to Bloomer Cut.

Pool, as he was called by his closest friends, made a momentous decision. As mainenance of way became more mechanized the obvious need arose for access roads for motorized equipment alonside the main tracks. To that end we began bulldozing such roads where ever there was no easy access from public roads. Bloomer Cut is not alongside any public road although it is not far off an entrance from a street in Auburn, CA. Frank's idea was to save time and energy by bulldozing a maintennce road alongside the track through Bloomer Cut and proceeded to have one of his trusty operators start at the east end of the cut on the north side. The material in Bloomer Cut is what we call "cemented gravel" or conglomerate. It had to be shot on original construction in 1865 but it yields readily to a Cat D-9. The work had barely started when Russell got wind of what was about to happen. The world exploded! Had the Roadmaster been anyone else other than a Mahon family "boy" he would have been hung and quartered. The last time I was by the Cut the signs of the bulldozer work were still visible. I retired in 1985.

—Lynn Farrar

Correction: He did not start to use a D-9 but a diesel shovel which had taken about 10 bites out of the Cut before all hell broke loose. ... Jim and Richard Mahon are still doing okay but Frank Van der Pool passed away in the '70's according to Jim. ...

—Lynn Farrar

6/26/2005 5:15 PM  

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