Monday, January 22, 2007

Stanford Train to Promontory

From: "Terry Graf"

... I'm wondering what historian(s) has compiled the most complete list of passengers who were on board the Stanford train to Promontory for the ceremony, and/or of the first west-east through train from Sacramento (date?).

Also, did some of the passengers on board the Stanford train continue through on the UPRR line?



Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Terry Graf"

... What I found regarding the passengers of the Stanford train in the suggested text is what is usually repeated in the accounts of various authors reciting that historical event. I will need something more in depth, probably something pieced together by a historian after the fact.

I am specifically trying to ascertain whether a Mr. Schreiber was on board the Stanford train, or if he was on the first west-east through-train. Mr. Schreiber was a General Agent of The Pacific Mutual Life Insurance Company of which Mr. Stanford was President at the time. Mr. Stanford sent Mr. Schreiber on a business trip to Chicago at the time of the joining of the rails. Whether Mr. Screiber was on the Stanford Train or one of the first through trains is unknown to me, and is what I am seeking to determine from history. It seems very unlikely to me that Mr. Stanford would send one of his employees to the East by steamship when the Pacific Railroad had just been completed.


1/22/2007 5:55 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...

From: "Edson T. Strobridge"

If your Mr. Schreiber was on the Stanford train then a couple of possibilities exist. First, as the Stanford train arrived a few days before the May 10th ceremony and they had to lay over those days as the Stanford train did not return until the night of May 10th. During the layover the UP offered to give Stanford and his guests a trip over the UP then under construction. I would guess that it might have been possible for Mr. Schreiber have to taken that trip and talked himself into a ride back over the Union Pacific on a returning construction train and never returned to Promontory. Secondly, had he stayed at Promontory then he would have been one of those in attendance at the ceremony. I have a copy of a list of persons present at Promontory on May 10th, 1869 that was developed by the Union Pacific many years ago. The information was gleaned from a number of contemporary sources and Mr. Schreiber is not among those on the list. I have found that the list is not complete but the most complete single list that I have found.

That leaves the first west-east through train. I can only suggest that you contact the California State Library and see if they have reference to that first through train:

Catherine Hanson-Tracy
Reference/ILL Librarian
California History Section
California State Library
P.O. Box 942837
Sacramento CA 94237-0001

Phone: 916-654-7899
Fax: 916-654-8777

Good luck,

—Ed Strobridge

1/22/2007 6:10 PM  
Blogger CPRR Discussion Group said...


Besides the through train idea, your Mr. Schreiber could have taken a stage, which ran between the ends of track. The Wells Fargo overland stages ran via the north end of the lake by spring, and a good description of travel in April is by Frederick Whymper, From Ocean to Ocean, in H. W. Bates, ed., Illustrated Travels. London 1869-1870. (copy at the Bancroft Library, UC-Berkeley). By May 9, passengers were walking between trains at Promontory and continuing their journey without stopping (a description of such is in a clipping in the Utah Scrapbook [Hayes] at the Bancroft Library).


1/23/2007 10:36 AM  

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