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Nelson Railroad Guide, 1871
These delicate lithographs, relatively little known to modern travelers, were an attractive come-on to tourists in their day. Judging by the attitudes of the persons in the open observation car, they were, even then, blasé travelers. The small girl is more interested in her book, the man with the field glasses may be looking at a deer, but no one is paying the slightest attention to the ubiquitous talker. The gentlemen on the right with the timetable in his lap has tired even of reading that.
No matter how one spells Palisade, this is a delightful view of a small segment of the way west, and promises much more to the passenger who is prepared to open his purse, stand the dust and grime, and the occasional meals available en route. The view is little changed today, but that is about all that has not changed—for the better? JOHN BARR TOMPKINS
This is Number Ten of twelve Keepsakes issued during 1969 to its members by The Book Club of California in commemoration of the centennial of the transcontinental railroad. The series has been edited by David F. Myrick and designed and printed by Lawton and Alfred Kennedy. This material is reproduced through the courtesy of the Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley. John Barr Tompkins is Head of Public Services at the Bancroft Library.
Courtesy The Book Club of California.