Friday, September 28, 2007

Buffalo Car

From: wrote:

I recently found a cast iron name plate "Buffalo Car 1856." Does this ring a bell to anyone?

—Bruce Vanisacker, Senior Designer, Rapid Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping Department

ASG Samples
Technical Resource Park
8000 Yankee Road Ottawa Lake, MI 49267

Judah advertisement

From: "Chris Graves"

Attached is a copy of the ad in the Placer Herald, Auburn, Calif. ... of July, 1860, where [Theodore Dehone Judah] says he is looking for employment as a RR engineer, and has rail for sale, too. That rail ended up on the SP&N, Folsom to Auburn Station.

This ad ran twice: July 21 and July 28, 1860.

You will recall that Judah and his wife arrived in San Francisco on July 12, 1860, this following his lobbying the 36th Congress and the purchase of 550 tons of 52 lb. rail from Rensellaer Iron Co., Troy, New York for his California Eastern Extension Railroad.  (Newspapers of October, 1859 tell of his grading crews beginning work on this railroad, to run between Lincoln and Gold Hill, Calif.  Further, the Placer County Recorder has Judah's signature on file as the purchaser of some land just West of Gold Hill, presumably for his new town, Centralia)

Finding that he could not sell bonds to pay for that rail, he placed the ad in the Auburn paper, knowing full well that the Sacramento, Auburn and Nevada Railroad was well into organization, as he had completed a survey of this road in 1859.  Interestingly enough, he walked thru what is now my property--his survey was published by the Placer Herald, landmarks he noted are still easy to find. (This railroad was built using Judah's rail, but called Sacramento Placer & Nevada Railroad)


Judah Ad, courtesy of G.J. 'Chris' Graves

California Emigrant Association

From: "Larry Mullaly"

I recently came across a telegraph from the California Emigrant Association to the Department of Interior dated August 26, 1868.

This group was active in the early 1870s and I believe is generally considered a CP-sponsored venture to encourage more immigrant traffic to the west, but I am surprised to see it functioning at this earlier date.

The members of its Executive Committee are listed as

Jas. G. Eastland
John A. McClellan
A. Hayward
JM McDonald
Thomas E. Farish
J.O. Rountze
George Hearst

Hearst at least was part of Stanford's circle of friends.

—Larry Mullaly

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

"Len Harris: Sierra Railroad Detective - Echoes From the Past"

"Len Harris: Sierra Railroad Detective - Echoes From the Past" by Gordon Richards, © Sierra Sun, September 25, 2007. (News Article)

"The Central Pacific Railroad, once construction was complete and the trains running, found itself with a unexpected crime problem ... including car robberies, arson, vandalism, assault and battery. They caused several major derailments in the Sierra and burned major bridges and snow sheds. ... To combat this flow of vagrants, hobos and tramps, as they were often called, the Central Pacific hired its own detectives to combat the criminals at their own level. These detectives quickly proved their worth, when in 1869, a gang of unhappy former railroad employees burned more than 8,000 feet of wooden snow sheds between Tunnels 4 and 5, overlooking Donner Lake; set the Cisco bridge on fire, and burned the Truckee roundhouse down. It took a couple of months, but the pioneer detectives solved the cases, and sent the gang to prison. By 1876, the detective corps had learned how to deal with the rolling crime wave. They always had a few men following under cover, town to town, behind the Central Pacific Pay Car. Much of the drinking and crime occurred in those few days after payday, and criminals followed the pay car, preying on the railroad workers. It took a special breed of veteran detective to deal with excesses of the Donner Grade. Veteran railroad detective Len Harris was assigned to the Sierra beat around 1875. ... " [More]

[Courtesy Google Alerts.]

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Townsend Building address

From: "Glenn G. Willumson"

In his early biography of Carleton Watkins [An early California photographer: C.E. Watkins], Charles Turrill says that the top floor of the 4th and Townsend Building was outfitted for photography. Can anyone tell me what city the 4th and Townsend building was in and what it's purpose was?

—Glenn Willumson

Questions about E.S. Denison

From: "Glenn G. Willumson"

I am doing research on the photographs of the transcontinental railroad and I have come across a couple of questions with which I hope someone can help me. The first concerns E. S. Denison [Eli S., I believe]. He is selling Durgan stereographs of the railroad in 1869 and 1870. On the earliest Durgan stereographs, Denison's address is listed as No. 3 Front St. I assume that this is a railroad office. Does anyone know specifically what building it is? A little later on (early 1870, I think) he's selling Nelson's Pictorial Guidebook to Salt Lake City, Nelson's Pictorial Guidebook to the Union Pacific Railroad, and Nelson's Pictorial Guide-Book to The Yosemite Valley, and the Mammoth Trees and Geysers of California. I have seen copies of these books that have a stamp that reads: "E.S. Denison, News Agency, C.P.&W.P.RR. Front St. Opp. Depot, Sacramento." Is this the same building?

This leads me to ask what would a "general agent" or a "news agency" do for the CPRR? Is he an early public relations or marketing man? Does anyone know when the CPRR began to hire people who specialized in what we would consider public relations or marketing?

Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated. And please feel free to let me know if you think my dates or information is incorrect. Thank you for your help.

—Glenn Willumson

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Southern Pacific provided housing for employees

From: "Bill Anderson"

Can someone tell me when Southern Pacific began providing housing for employees? When did this benefit cease? I'm mostly concerned with the Placerville Branch of the old SP line. The section Foreman/Superintendent house in Folsom, CA served Natoma in Folsom to Shingle Springs in El Dorado County from about 1915 to the mid 1950's.

—Bill Anderson, Folsom, El Dorado & Sacramento Historical Railroad Assn.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Sacramento Rail Yard

"Sacramento Railyards EIR Released: Public Review Period Open through Oct. 3" by LANCE ARMSTRONG, © Sacramento Union, September 7, 2007. (News Article)

"The long-awaited Draft Environmental Impact Report for the Sacramento Railyards ... is a highly detailed document, which is designed to 'inform public decision makers and the public about the proposed project and potentially significant adverse environmental impacts that may result from the adoption and implementation of the proposed project, and to identify appropriate feasible mitigation measures and alternatives that may be adopted to reduce or eliminate impacts.' ... Another study included in the EIR relates to historical archaeological sensitivity within the entire 240-acre railyards site, which is described as having 'the potential to contain important historical archaeological deposits.' ... the Depot District, which included a Chinese neighborhood along I Street, the promontory and 7th Street, possible wharfs, an early levee, and a large portion of China Slough or Sutter Lake – a historic body of water, which once encompassed the city blocks between Front and 6th streets and G and I streets. The area, according to this segment of the report, may contain 'remains associated with Chinese neighborhood and other occupants, unique artifacts from the railyard operations, as well as historic environmental information.' ... railroad operations artifacts from the slough, which was filled in by 1910, apparently include parts of early locomotives and obsolete railroad equipment. ... the slough area also has the possibility of including obsolete railroad cars and Chinese fishing boats. ... Other historical archaeological sensitive areas designated in the EIR are: the Central Shop District, the Riverfront District, the West End and the East End. ... Pat Johnson, senior archivist of the Sacramento Archives and Museum Collection Center, recently commented ... 'The city of Sacramento has received the materials from the railyards, but they're unprocessed, so they're not available at this time,' Johnson said. 'There's about a pallet's worth with about 48 (1-cubic-foot) boxes. ... ' ... 'There is also a possibility of at least one Chinese cemetery on the margins of Sutter Lake; historical research has neither confirmed nor conclusively refuted the existence of these sites. If there are cemeteries, they may be associated with the Chinese religious buildings (in the area).' ... Those interested in viewing ... the EIR can do so through the city of Sacramento Web site ... " [More]

[Courtesy G.J. "Chris" Graves..]

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Must search pages manually

[UPDATE: A workaround has been found to fix this problem, so please disregard the following message.]

Unfortunately, Google has an extremely destructive "quality guideline" that they refuse to fix that required that the hidden OCR text be removed that previously allowed (to the extent of automated optical character recognition legibility) the following pages to be automatically searched. As a result of Google's notice that they will otherwise not index this website, the following pages now appear as images only that have to be manually searched to find the content. Needless to say, we are extremely upset with Google for forcing this bad result.

CPRR Bond Prospectus, 1868. - Central Pacific Railroad ...


"A Statement Made by the Central Pacific Railroad of California ...

[The following OCR text is included to allow indexing.] OFFICE CENTRAL PACIFIC RAILROAD OF CALIFORNIA: 54 William Street, New York, .December 20th, 1865. ...

1881 "Overland Route" Timetable & Transcontinental Railroad Map, 1881

Duration of trip - length of trip - timetable TCRR [The following OCR text is included to allow indexing.] UNION CENTRAL PACIFIC ... CP-UP_Timetable_1881/index.html

Another Theory or Myth on Cape Horn, Central Pacific Railroad.

OCR text is included to allow indexing.] 19 April 2004 ANOTHER THEORY OR MYTH ON CAPE HORN Over the past several years I have had the pleasure of ...

Cathay in Eldorado: The Chinese in 19th Century California

[OCR text is included to allow indexing.] Cathay in Eldorado: ~ THE BOOK CLUB OF CALIFORNIA 1972 KEEPSAKE SERIES ~ The Chinese in California ~ WITH AN ...

From Trail to Rail

[The following OCR text is included to allow indexing.] SOUTHERN PACIFIC BULLETIN History of the Building of the Company I s Lines ...

Central Pacific and Union Pacific Railroad Timetable, 1882.

[The following OCR text is included to allow indexing.] UNION CENTRAL PACIFIC I I mn or.n nnr-.tsnt.n UNION AND CENTRAL PACIFIC RAILROAD LINE ...

Nelsons' Guidebook: Scenery of California - The Yosemite Valley ...

[OCR text is included to allow indexing.] NELSONS' pictorial guide-books. THE YOSEMITE VALLEY, AND THE MAMMOTH TREES AND GEYSERS OF CALIFORNIA. ...

California Stereoviews by Photographer J.J. Reilly

[The following OCR text is included to allow indexing of this page.] IN THIS ISSUE J.J. Reilly - Part 3 Views of American Scenery by Paul Hickman and Peter ...

"Memorial of Asa Whitney Praying for a Grant of Land to Enable Him ...

[The following OCR text is included to allow indexing.] 30th CONGRESS, 1st Session. [SENATE.] MISCELLANEOUS. No, 28. ^ MEMORIAL OF ASA WHITNEY, ...

"A Report Relative to Captain Gunnison's Survey, &c." War ...

tThe following OCR text is included to allow indexing.] Ex. Doc. No. 18. 33d CONGRESS, [HO. OF REPS.] 1st Session. CENTRAL PACIFIC RAILROAD. ...

"Refunding of the Pacific Railroad Debts to the U.S. Government ...

[The following OCR text is included to allow indexing.] THE PACIFIC RAILROADS SPEECH OF HON. JAMES G. MAGUIRE, OF CALIFORNIA, IN THE . ...

"Pacific Railroad Debts." John T. Doyle, 1896.

[The following OCR text is included to allow indexing.] THE PACIFIC RAILROAD DEBTS. LETTER TO A SENATOR. Hon. JOHN A. SHERMAK, U. S. Senator, DKAR SIR: The ...

"Memorial of the Memphis Convention, Praying Congress to Cause to ...

[The following OCR text is included to allow indexing.] 31st CONGRESS) ls£ Session. * NO. 43&. HO. OF»REP3 ^^. • c^i^ RAILROAD TO THE PACIFIC. ...

"Col. Fremont's Exploration of the Central Railroad Route to the ...

[The following OCR text is included to allow indexing.] 3d CONGRESS,) HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES. (Mis.Doc- 2d Sessioni \ • { No. 8. ...

Union Pacific Railroad Annual Report, 1876. [Passengers Carried ...

[The following OCR text is included to allow indexing.] REPORT h^L TO THK ^^- ' l - y STOCKHOLDERS i • v ' • ' • ^ - OF THE 4- ^ UNION RAILROAD. ...

"Report to the Stockholders of the Union Pacific Railroad." 1871 ...

[The following OCR text is included to allow indexing.] r<> 'rill L^NION PACIFIC RAILROAD MARCH --;, 1871 1;('^'1'().\ : PRINT1';]) 1;\- 1;.\M1 A\'! ...

"Observations on the Report of the Committee of the Senate of the ...


"Report of the Government Directors of the Union Pacific Railroad ...

[The following OCR text is included to allow indexing.] SENATE Ex. Do ; No. as. 39TH CONGRESS, 2d Ses-vvon. LETTER OF t THE SECRETARY OF WAR COMMUNICATING, ...

"Report of Board Convened to Determine on a Standard for ...


"Geographical Memoir Upon Upper California in Illustration of his ...

[The following OCR text is included to allow indexing.] MISCELLANEOUS. No. 5. 30th CONGAS, , r [ HO. OF RJEPS. ] 2rf Session. - \- • •''. ...

"Memorial of Robert Mills, Proposing a Plan for a Railroad and ...

[The following OCR text is included to allow indexing.] REP. COM No. 344, 32d CONGRESS, [SENATE.] 1st Session. I:ST THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES. ...

"The Policy of Extending Government Aid to Additional Railroads to ...


"Order Issued by Lieutenant General Sherman in Regard to the ...

[The following OCR text is included to allow indexing.] THE PACIFIC RAILROADS. SPEECH OF HON. JAMES G. MAGUIRE OF CALIFORNIA, IN THE HOUSE OF ...
[Technical note: The hidden OCR text has been removed by being converted into html comments that will be ignored.]

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Crane's neck


If you are interested in Western (and Espee) RR history, perhaps the attached is of interest.  The attachment is about the RRers' tale of "the crane with the broken neck," the fabled punishment for taking part in the Great Pullman Strike and Boycott of Eugene V. Debs, in 1894.  


Crane Watermark

Crane Watermark

Crane Watermark
Courtesy Fred C. Gamst.

Tower at the crossing, Dixon, CA

From: "Jane Barry"

My father worked for the Southern Pacific, I believe, in 1937-8, in Dixon, CA. He worked in a tower at the crossing. Can anyone tell me what kinds of things he might have done?

—Jane Barry

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Reminder BHC Call for papers 2008

Business History Conference

From: "Wyatt, Kyle"

The Business History conference is scheduled for Sacramento April 10-12, 2008, with the California State Railroad Museum co-sponsoring. Here is the call for papers.

Kyle Wyatt
Curator of History & Technology
California State Railroad Museum

From: "Carol Lockman"
Subject: Reminder BHC Call for papers 2008

"Expanding Connections for Business History"
Business History Conference
2008 Annual Meeting

The Business History Conference's 2008 annual meeting will be held in Sacramento, California, April 10-12, hosted by the California State University at Sacramento and the California State Railroad Museum. Its theme is "Expanding Connections for Business History," with the goal of reaching across disciplines and audiences. It will focus on what business history offers to other fields of scholarship, as well as what business historians can learn from other scholarly perspectives. In addition, both the opening plenary and a roundtable will explore how business historians can work with the press to extend our reach into the public and business management arenas. Sessions will highlight research that is comparative, that contextualizes its subjects, or that examines any of the complex interactions that business activities involve. The conference will expand business history's intellectual connections and approaches, broadening our outreach to both scholarly and public audiences.

Sessions will include:

*Opening Plenary: "Making Connections with the Press: A Conversation."

-Judith Dobrzynski, formerly Deputy Business Editor for the New York Times, Senior Editor for Business Week, and Executive Editor for CNBC.

*Roundtable: "Connecting with the Public and Management"

-John Landry, Editor for Business Development, Harvard Business Review

-Tom Standage, Business Editor for The Economist and author of A History of the World in Six Glasses and Victorian Internet.

-Randall Stross, Columnist on Technology and Business for the New York Times and a professor of business at San Jose State University. His books include The Wizard of Menlo Park: How Thomas Alva Edison Invented the Modern World and eBoys: The First Inside Account of Venture Capitalists At Work.

-Howard Weaver, Pulitzer Prize Winner & Vice President for News, The McClatchy Company, the third largest newspaper company in the United States, including the Sacramento Bee and Knight-Ridder.

-Barbara O'Connor, Moderator, Professor of Communications & Director of the Institute for the Study of Politics and Media, California State/Sacramento

*Presidential Plenary: "Putting Business Back in History"

-Lizabeth Cohen, Harvard University, author of A Consumers' Republic: The Politics of Mass Consumption in Postwar America" and Making a New Deal: Industrial Workers in Chicago, 1919-1939, winner of the Bancroft Prize and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. She is now working on a study of the rebuilding of American cities after World War II, focused around the life and career of urban redeveloper Ed Logue.

-Richard White, Stanford University, Immediate Past President of the Organization of American Historians and recipient of a MacArthur Foundation fellowship. His five books include The Middle Ground: Indians, Empires and Republic in the Great Lakes Region, 1650-1815, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His Journal of American History article "Information, Markets, and Corruption: Transcontinental Railroads in the Gilded Age" marked the beginning of his current book project.

For the full call for papers, including travel grants and other opportunities for graduate students, see The deadline for proposals is 24 September 2007. The BHC also offers several prizes, as well as grants to graduate students who are presenting papers. Please send queries to Maggie Levenstein, Program Chair, ( or Pamela W. Laird, BHC President, ( Send all proposals to Dr. Roger Horowitz, Secretary-Treasurer, Business History Conference, P. O. Box 3630, Wilmington, DE 19807, USA. Phone: (302) 658-2400; fax: (302) 655-3188;

Monday, September 03, 2007

Genealogy - Mark Hopkins estate

From: "Larr Mann"

I am doing genealogy research and was trying to found out if any one might be able to tell me if there was any letters that have to do with re-opening the Mark Hopkins estate.  The time period would be around 1934.  The letters that I am refering to might be sent from a Judge James Henry Longden or his wife Herrieatta Longden.  I am attaching some information that might help you better understand what I am refering to. ...   

—Larry Hudson

"Manual of the Railroads of the United States" by Henry V. Poor


I have a book of the Manual of the Railroads of the United States 1882 15th annual number by Henry V Poor, excellent condition – what would a selling price for this book be?

Saturday, September 01, 2007

CPRR Discussion Group

Welcome to the CPRR Discussion Group at the Central Pacific Railroad Photographic History Museum.

See HOW TO POST to the CPRR Discussion Group.

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