SOUTHERN PACIFIC BULLETIN December 1920 Part of Pages 16 & 17 of bios SACRAMENTO SHOPS KEPT PACE WITH DEMANDS By J. O. Wilder This is the third and final installment of the interesting series written by Mr. J. 0. Wilder, veteran employee of the company. Mr. Wilder recently retired after 54 years of continuous service and his experiences have been read by Bulletin readers with a great deal of interest. During all his length of service Mr. Wilder was only "on the carpet" twice. His recollection of many of the pioneers and his description of the old shops at Sacramento form a valuable addition to the historical data of the Southern Pacific Company, The Editor, With the road open again we were assured of something to eat. The work in the tunnel was progressing rapidly, for we could hear the gangs in either heading 200 feet apart. Engineer Phclps, Fred King and myself were giving grades and centers. As spring approached we got our stakes ready to cross-section from the tunnel up to the head of Cold Stream and down the other side (this is now known as the horseshoe to the Truckee River), One morning at 1 o'clock in early May the two headings were broken through. The honor of this event fell to llelmer in the east end and Dow in the west end. These two men were shift bosses , as were Dcardoff and Dave Dramer. They worked twelve hours straight, with no Saturday afternoons off and ten days vacation was unknown. It was just plain work and push ahead and make every move count. I was sent to the summit with a message to Mr. Clement telling him we had broken through. He read the message, got on his white mule and started for our camp. He got there before I did , although I took a fast freight team. I did not see him on the road, but we will leave that to the white mule, for he could go almost anywhere and had a way all his own in getting there, as he could pick his way up a mountain or go down one as well as a man, and when it became too difficult to walk he would slide. Anyway, Clement and his mule were there when I arrived , which was late in the day, and Mr, Clement spent the night at our camp. I tied his muleship to the stable. Next morning Mr. Clement, Mr. Phelps and the party went up to the tunnel, tried the centers from both ends and found that it was just two inches out. It was a wonderful piece of engineering at that time. So far as I know I'm the only one left of the civil engineering corps at Camp 5. Mr. Phelps and Mr. King have long since passed from the iron trail. BACK TO SACRAMENTO. In June we laid out the bents for the bridge across Dormer Creek, also the big culvert at the head of Cold Stream. Toward the latter part of the month Mr. Montague requested that I be sent to Sacramento for transfer to the locomotive department. So on the 30th day of June I rolled up my blankets, put my belongings in my carpet bag and bidding them all goodbye I made ready to start. The last one I called on was a man I had learned to love. He was a man well up in years, and like myself, alone, lie had always been kind to me. Putting his arms around me he kissed me goodbye with the tears rolling down his cheeks. He said, "Johnny, be a good boy, for we will never meet again," and his words have come true; and it is a pleasure for me to write the name of C. II, Davis, chief cook at Camp 5, and I still have my boyhood regard for this noble hearted man. (the rest of page 16 looks okay-LDF) Now to page 17 had so much floor space to sweep, and you had to make a clean sweep or Gerrish would make a sweep at you with his boot. He was stern yet kind to us boys, and would show us anything we wished to know. There was no nonsense with him. It would not take long for him to tell you in language more forcible than eloquent that the shop was not a juvenile playground, and that you were there to learn. I often think of the advantages you shops, in as much as he finished his mechanical education in them, and there are none in the business to match this gentleman. In closing I will say to my superiors that I have none but kind words to offer one and all. (The End) A personal note from me about the immediately following article: It states that Mr, T. L. Williamson, roadmaster of the Mina District, Salt Lake Division, has assumed the duties of trainmaster of the Mina subdivision with headquarters at Mina, Nevada...... Tom Williamson was the father of Harry Williamson, my third Chief Engineer, who was one of the best bosses 1 have ever worked for, Tom was in his nineties when 1 interviewed him while leading the historical research for SP from 1966 to 1977. He told me many interesting stories of life in the "boondocks" of Nevada, In those days there were regular inspections of a roadmastcr's district by Division and General Officers. Tom said he had an old Chinaman in one of his gangs who would get up before dawn on the day of an inspection and motor car the district to malm sure there was nothing awry for the brass to find fault with, While I was at SP we went from section and extra track gangs to mobile mechanized gangs who can do the work of the old boys' hand labor in less time but I wonder if it makes any better track than we had with jointed rail, etc. Of course I am prejudiced in favor of "the good old days". Sayonara.

Courtesy of the Lynn D. Farrar Collection.

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