Saturday, January 22, 2005

SF&SJ loco questions

As some of you know, I'm slowly working my way through the various CP-world rosters dealing with various unresolved issues that surface along the way. Here is an issue relating to three San Francisco & San Jose locomotives: "T.Dame", "A.H.Houston", and "Chas.McLaughlin", which Kneiss (Bonanza Railroads) made as 3, 4, and 5 respectively (which pattern is repeated in Diebert & Strapac).

Judge Timothy Dame was president of the SF&SJ formed in 1860, while Alexander H. Houston and Charles McLaughlin were the contractors who built the railroad. In 1865 all three were involved in the Western Pacific RR together.

Kneiss said that these engines were renamed "Pacific", "Comanche" and "San Mateo".

I have always assumed these locomotives were renamed when the SF&SJ was taken over by the Huntington-Hopkins-Stanford-Crockers ring in September 1870. These locomotives became SP 3, 4, and 5 in October 1870. However, the roster contained in the 9 February 1866 railroad commissioners' report lists these locomotives by their later names: "Pacific", "Comanche", and "San Mateo". Clearly the names were changed at least four years before the end of the SF&SJ's independence.

Do any of you have any additional information about the chronology of the renaming of these engines?

For what it's worth, Alexander H. Houston was also a contractor on the California Central and died in Honolulu in 1869. Charles B. McLaughlin was general superintendent of the California Stage Company before becoming involved with railroad construction. He was shot and killed in his office in San Francisco in 1883 by Jerome B. Cox. Cox (along with Jackson R. Myers) had been a sub contractor on the WP and had become increasingly exasperated in trying to collect settlement for that work. (This is one of the few CPRR-world murders I have become aware of.) I really know nothing about Dame (but you've got to wonder what guys called his daughter/s).

As revealed by the February 1866 roster (cited above), the renaming of the locomotives occurred well before the CP took over the WP in June 1867.