Wednesday, October 16, 2013

First passenger train after the Transcontinental Railroad was opened

From: "Jerry Koenig"

My grandmother just told me that her grandmother, Sarah Elizabeth Hamilton, came to California with her sister on the first passenger train after the Transcontinental Railroad was opened. She continued up to Portland by ship out of San Fransisco. The timing is right in that her father died in Illinois in 1868 and Sarah, her monther, and sisters are documented on the 1870 census in Canemah, Oregon.

I recognize that the liklihood of her traveling on the first train is low, but she and a sister did make the trip in the first year of rail service.

I've checked Louis Rasmussen's Railway Passenger Lists of Overland Trains to San Fransisco and the West but Rassmussen's list doesn't start until the Summer of 1870 – much too late for my ancestor.

Do you know of any other sources of passengers who would have traveled the first year of service? Does the museum have any records from this first year? ...

—Jerry Koenig