Friday, May 29, 2009

My aunt, Lora Hawkins, at Southern Pacific Railroad

From: "Deborah Cariker"

My godmother and great-great aunt, Lora Hawkins, was, according to family lore, the first woman to ever work for Southern Pacific Railroad. Jilted by her fiance, she never married and chose a career. She was reportedly an assistant ticket clerk and stenographer at the Lake Charles, Louisiana, depot, and I have the name plate that was on her desk.

Can you please help me uncover any information about her employment at SP? Was she really such a ground breaker? I knew her when she was much older, in her 80s and 90s, and she was still feisty! ...

—Mrs. Deborah Cariker, Montgomery, Texas

Aunt Lora Hawkins at SPRR office
Aunt Lora Hawkins at SPRR office

Older Aunt Lora Hawkins at office
Older Aunt Lora Hawkins at office

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Antique Stereoscopic Photographs for sale


For Sale

Antique Stereoscopic Photographs

Available in many different categories including: California, Nevada, Utah, The Central Pacific Railroad, Lake Tahoe Area, Alfred Hart, American Indians and Mining.

Please visit to view our extensive collection of hundreds of Antique Stereo Views of the Great American West.

Also Featuring other Antique Photographs and Collectibles.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Chinese "Six Companies"

From: "Mary Banchero"

How did the people get the workers for the transcontinental railroad? Did people just come and get paid? Or was it more complicated? ...

—Lena Banchero

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Central Pacific Railroad Photographic History Museum [electronic resource]

The CPRR Museum is listed as an electronic resource as OCLC #67152131.

"Summary: Contains photographs, stereoviews, engravings, maps, and documents illustrating the history of the transcontinental railroad. Discusses the 1860s construction of the railroads, the financial backers, and workers involved in this project that reduced coast-to-coast travel from over one hundred days to six. Also contains information on the joining of the rails between the Central Pacific and the Union Pacific Railroad in May 10, 1869. The virtual museum was established by the family of railroad pioneer Lewis Metzler Clement and launched in February 1999."

Guide to the Clement Family Documents Relating to San Francisco Cable Cars

Guide to the Clement Family Documents Relating to San Francisco Cable Cars

"Abstract: Contains original and blueprint engineering drawings of cable car lines, electric railways, railroads, and other related drawings. Cable car drawings include drawings of the complete workings for 7 cable car lines for Market Street Cable Railway Co. Railroad drawings include drawings of bridges and profiles of sections of the Atlantic & Pacific Railroad. The collection also includes Lewis Metzler Clement's reference materials and some of R.M. Clement's personal papers."

Friday, May 15, 2009

Diary of Stephen Allen Curry, 1864-1865


I'm guessing the guide to this collection was posted on our California Historical Society website in connection with a previous exhibit. At this point, all of our finding aids are accessible only through the Online Archive of California and although the Curry diary is not among those listed, below is the text from the catalog record description for this item.

I hope this helps with your research.

—California Historical Society

California Historical Society
CHS MS 764
Author: Curry, Stephen Allen, 1834-1865.

Title: Stephen Allen Curry diary : photocopy of handwritten transcription, 1864 Nov.-1865 June 16.

Description: 1 folder (0.1 linear ft.)

Note: Consists of 38 pages from Curry's diary, prepared by his great-nephew Dr. James Hart Curry Martens. The diary details his ocean voyage from New York to San Francisco via Panama on the Ocean Queen. Also outlines his experience working on the Central Pacific Railroad in northern Calif., in the foothills of the Sierra. Places mentioned include Placerville, Robber's Ravine (now called Darrington), Dutch Flat, and Canyon Creek. Curry left Calif. on the ship Moses Taylor, June 15, 1865. Includes copies of pages from the genealogical study entitled The Currey [sic] Family in the Hudson Highlands: Descendants of Richard Currey of Peekskill Hollow, New York, by Philip Field Horne, 1970.

Note: Curry was the eighth of thirteen children of the Rev. Benjamin Ward Currey and Susan Hart Currey[sic]. He died three months after he left California.

Note: Descriptive guide available in library.

Language: English

Currey family. Ocean Queen (Steamship).
Central Pacific Railroad Company.
Voyages to the Pacific coast.
Railroad workers -- California.
El Dorado County (Calif.) -- Description and travel.
Placer County (Caif.) -- Description and travel. Added Entry: Martens, James Hart Curry, 1901- Format: Archive/Manuscript

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Caboose coal cooking and heating stove

From: "Darrell Woodring"

I am in possession of a Union Pacific coal heating and cooking stove found in the early model cabooses.
I have been trying for many years to find out information on this stove.
On the top of the stove is imposed into the casting it says "If I am good please tell others about it." The latest patent date found is 1912.
I came into possession of it when I was a kid on vacation at Feather River Canyon station. My cousin at that time was in charge of it. There was two old shacks and both of them had old stoves in them. My cousin said we could have one of the stoves. I picked this one That was some were around 37 years ago.

—Darrell Woodring

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy 140th Anniversary of the Joining of the Rails!

Can anyone explain the point being made by the cartoon in Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, issue dated May 29, 1869? What is meant by the caption "Does not SUCH a meeting make amends?" What is the politics, humor, symbolism, etc.? Amends to whom for what?

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Photographs of Truckee, California today

Seeking pre 1900 steam locamotive-tender restoration project


My belief is that if you cannot ride it, shoot it, or drive it; then there is no point in owning it. I am looking for a pre 1900 steam locamotive-tender restoration project. My goal is restoration to fully functional, interesting, and easy on the eye. Once my goals are met it will ultimately be donated to a museum with a proactive maintenance program for the ages.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

CPRR surveys

From: "C. Barton Crattie"

What source(s) would you recommend dealing with the actual surveys (crews, methods, lore, etc) for the CPRR? There is alot of general information but I haven't found anything in detail.

—Bart Crattie, Land Surveyor

Friday, May 01, 2009

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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