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carson n colorado

 1

 




laws railroad museum
Carson & Colorado Engine #9 at the Laws Railroad Museum
(Photo courtesy and copyright of Ed Simms)



Start of Line
The Beginning of the Carson & Colorado Railroad on the high desert plains of Nevada at the site of what once was Mound House, Nevada.
(Photo by Andy Saez)


All the the photos and text for these Carson & Colorado Railroad pages were taken from the sources listed on the bottom of this page, unless otherwise noted. Thanks to Rich McCutchan for loaning me the books and photocards.


 The Birth of a Railroad in Owens Valley

 New RR

 conductor
Decked out in the "uniform of the day," Fred Balzar typified the early day conductor. Mr Balzar went on to greater things, becoming the Governor of Nevada in 1932.
(Lottie Arcularius Collection)

 Home Stretch
On the home stretch to Keeler.
(Fred Hust photo)

Transfer
Ore carts waiting to be unloaded at the Owenyo Narrow Gauge / Standard Gauge junction.

 V&T Legends
Lucius Beebe and Charles Clegg aboard the Virginia & Truckee car "The Virginia City" being served by steward Clarence Watkins.

Pass
C&C Railway Pass.

 The Carson & Colorado Railroad was originated, planned and built by the Virginia & Truckee Railway. It was Lucius Beebe and his partner, Charles Clegg, who enshrined both roads in their writing and photography, much of it accomplished while living aboard their private car "Gold Coast" in the V&T's Carson yards.
(Mallory Ferrell)



 "Chronology of the Carson & Colorado RR"[pdf]
by George Turner




 Saline Tram
View looking west from the Saline Valley towards the Inyo Mountains during construction of the aerial tramway.
(Lillian Hilderman Collection)

 Saline spur
Located four miles north of Keeler, the spur line to the salt mill can be seen to the right.
(Donald Duke Collection)

 Saline Terminus
The Saline Valley Salt Mill at Tramway in Owens Valley, 1915. The track in the foreground connected to the narrow gauge main line.
(Lillian Hilderman Collection)

Salt Box
Failure of the grip lock (lower wheel and handle shown on the bucket hanger) to hold the filled buckets on the cables resulted, in part, in the eventual abandonment of the salt tram in 1930.

 
 Saline Valley Aerial Tramway Location/Map


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 "An Historic Day at Owenyo"[pdf]
by Joe Dale Morris
Box Cars

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Where the Narrow Gauge and Standard Gauge Met at Owenyo

 Owenyo Station
Owenyo Station during busier days
(Donald Duke Collection)

 Owenyo Station
Owenyo Station
(SP Collection)

 Owenyo Station
A northbound train approaches Owenyo Station in 1954.
(SP Collection)

 Transfer
View of the Owenyo yards looking north from the narrow gauge transfer trestle.
(Southern Pacific R.R.)

 Siding
Owenyo Station at milepost 559.8, was the junction point between the narrow gauge and the standard gauge "Jawbone Branch" from Mojave. The yard above did not contain any dual gauge trackage.
(Wendel Mortimer, Jr.)

 Transfer
Ore carts waiting to be unloaded at the Owenyo Narrow Gauge / Standard Gauge junction.

 Owenyo agent
Agent W.T. Tommer stands at the semaphore handles. Tommer controlled the operations of the narrow gauge for so long that people referred to the line as "Mr. Tommer's Railroad."
(SP Collection)

 Owenyo clerk
Freight clerk Josephine Cole was the only woman employee of the narrow gauge.
(SP Collection)

 Transfer
Flying high at Owenyo, Engine No. 9 discharges her ore into the standard gauge cars in the "basement."
(Harold Stewart)

 Transfer
Owenyo Station transfer trestle.
(Richard F. Thomas)

 Transfer
Engine No. 9 switches a string of "A" frame hoppers, loaded with soapstone on the narrow-gauge-to-standard-gauge transfer trestle in 1959.
(Wendell Mortimer)

 Transfer
Owenyo Station transfer trestle, 1939.
(Al Phelps)

 Transfer
Engine No. 18 on the Owenyo Station transfer trestle.
(Donald Duke)

 Transfer
Engine No. 18 passes the Owenyo Station transfer trestle on a run from Keeler in 1946.
(Bert H. Ward)

 Transfer
Owenyo Station transfer trestle.
(Richard F. Thomas)

 C&C Check



 "Narrow Gauge in a Wilderness"[pdf]
by George Turner
Box Cars




Ray,

I was at your website about the Carson & Colorado Railroad. It is very informative. I am doing some research about Keeler. My grandmother was from there and her father owned the meat market, Diaz and Son.

This is my great-grandpa's meat market! This is it! I can't even begin to tell you how wonderful these photos are and what they mean to me. This where my Nana and her sisters lived. I've never seen a photo of the meat market. All of a sudden all those stories she used to tell my cousin and I finally have a real place and picture. It's like suddenly being able to attach the voices to the movie. Thank you! This helps my Mom and I place the location of the meat market to downtown Keeler. So, the train being in the photo actually is great. We're hoping to make a trip there sometime in October.

Right now, I'm working on getting my great-uncle Abraham Diaz, Jr.'s service records from WWI and tracing the Diaz family all the way back to when they came to California from Chile during the gold rush. I had no idea what I was getting into when I started, but now I know I can't quit until I have the whole story.

Christine Putnam, August 2003
Burbank, CA

diaz store

diaz store


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Further Reading on the Carson & Colorado Railroad
  Slim Rails Through the Sand by George Turner (1964)
Narrow Gauge Nostalgia by George Turner (1965)
Southern Pacific Narrow Gauge by Mallory Hope Ferrell (1982)
Steamcars to the Comstock by Lucius Beebe and Charles Clegg (1957)
Railroads of Nevada and Eastern California (Vol. 1) by David F. Myrick (1962)
Jawbone: Sunset on the Lone Pine by Phil Serpico (2006)
Making "out of print" and "hard to find" books easier to find.
 


laws museum



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new
burke
Owenyo Station transfer trestle - 1958.

Before Hwy 395 was put into place the Carson & Colorado Railroad carried many of the people and much of the supplies and mining material up and down the Owens Valley. The Carson & Colorado was purchased by the Southern Pacific in 1900 and continued on with the train movements until 1960......This photo was taken in 1958 and shows the narrow gauge train on the transfer trestle at Owenyo. The NG gondolas are dropping their load, looks like soapstone in this case, into the standard gauge cars down below. The SG cars in turn would be transported south down the Jawbone Branch to Mohave where they would be made into different trains to head out to different locations. There is so much to see out in the Owens Valley of the railroad if you take the time to look. The locomotive in this photo is #9 which is at the Laws Railroad Museum.

(Photo and text courtesy of Dennis Burke)
transfer trestle
Owenyo Station transfer trestle - 2016.
(Photo courtesy of Ray DeLea)
burke
Narrow Gauge "Slim Princess" atop a standard gauge flat car.

Here's an interesting image. In the last years of the railroad the narrow gauge locomotives were loaded onto standard gauge flat cars and transported to the SP Bakersfield shops for major work. There was a time the equipment would have work completed in the open air shops at Keeler and then towards the end at Owenyo. Could you imagine working on these locomotives in the hot desert sun of the Owens Valley? How hot would the metal get in the sun?...This photo was taken at Owenyo looking south/west. You are looking at the standard gauge tracks. The narrow gauge tracks were out of the photo to the left. Laws would be behind the photographer down the track, Keeler south past Owenyo. This is also locomotive #9 going in for repairs and paint.

(Photo and text courtesy of Dennis Burke)
dennis burke
The "Slim Princess" at Dolomite Crossing
(Photo courtesy of Dennis Burke)

diesel
SPNG Diesel #1- "The Little Giant"
(Photo courtesy of Dennis Burke)

diesel
SPNG Diesel #1- "The Little Giant"
(Photo courtesy of Dennis Burke)

aberdeen
The "Slim Princess" at Aberdeen Crossing - 1946
(Photo courtesy of Dennis Burke)

turntable
The "Slim Princess" at the Laws Station Turntable
(Photo courtesy of Dennis Burke)

keeler
SPNG #17 on the SPC at Keeler
(Photo courtesy of Dennis Burke)

keeler
SPNG #14 at Keeler
(Photo courtesy of Dennis Burke)

keeler
Water stop at Keeler
(Photo courtesy of Dennis Burke)

aberdeen
Filling up the water tender at Aberdeen Crossing
(Photo courtesy of Dennis Burke)

engine number 9
The "Slim Princess" in Owens Valley
(Photo courtesy of Dennis Burke)

spng number 11
SPNG #11
(Photo courtesy of Dennis Burke)

number 18
The "Slim Princess" #18 in Owens Valley
(Photo courtesy of Dennis Burke)

dennis burke
Going through a disc of pics I have not looked at in a long time and finding some interesting views. This one taken atop a NG box car at Owenyo. Check out the little crane type thing on the right in the SG box car. You can also clearly see the difference between the narrow and standard gauge tracks in this view.....3 foot gauge on left and 4 foot 8 inches on the right.

(Text and Photo courtesy of Dennis Burke)

burke
Conductor Brennan's dog will be at this same location when the train return's from Laws. (note dog lower right) We even have some 1957 8mm film footage of Brennan's dog chasing the train as it pulls into Keeler to greet his master.

(Text and Photo courtesy of Dennis Burke)

slim princess
SP narrow gauge #9 rolling towards Owenyo. A commission by the Southern Pacific Historical and Technical Society for a book cover.
(Text and Photo courtesy of Dennis Burke)

burke
The "Slim Princess" #18 at the Laws turntable
(Photo courtesy of Dennis Burke)

burke
The "Slim Princess" at Laws
(Photo courtesy of Dennis Burke)

burke
The "Slim Princess" in Owens Valley
(Photo courtesy of Dennis Burke)

burke
The "Slim Princess" in Owens Valley
(Photo courtesy of Dennis Burke)

burke
The "Slim Princess" in Owens Valley at Keeler
(Photo courtesy of Dennis Burke)

laws depot
Laws Depot - Owens Valley - June 2, 1946
(Photo courtesy of Dennis Burke)

owenyo
Working on the transfer trestle at Owenyo
(Photo courtesy of Dennis Burke)

last days
The "Last Days" of the Carson & Colorado Narrow Gauge RR
(Photo courtesy of Dennis Burke)

narrow gauge
The "Slim Princess" traversing the sands of Owens Valley
(Photo courtesy of Dennis Burke)

keeler
Carson & Collorado RR at the talc plant in Keeler
(Photo courtesy of Dennis Burke)

slim princess
Here's a great Bill Poole photo of SPNG #9 at Keeler on the track where the Engine House once stood.
(Text and Photo courtesy of Dennis Burke)

slim princess
Slim Princess crossing the Owens River

(Photo courtesy of Dennis Burke)

slim princess
SPNG #18 cruising over the Owens River with a train of high cars.
(Text and Photo courtesy of Dennis Burke)

slim princess
SPNG #18 over the Keeler pit.
(Text and Photo courtesy of Dennis Burke)

burke
Conductor Brennan heating up his coffee in SP Narrow Gauge caboose 401 on a wonderful looking vintage stove. Different meaning to coffee on the go!
(Text and Photo courtesy of Dennis Burke)


slim princess
SPNG #18 getting a drink at Aberdeen.
(Text and Photo courtesy of Dennis Burke)


slim princess
Slim Princess at Laws Station
(Photo courtesy of Dennis Burke)


slim princess
What a wonderful shot of the Narrow Gauge in the Owens Valley. Just says it all. Running from Owenyo to Keeler backwards. Caboose at the head, auxillary water tender tank #350, and 5 boxes being pulled. Inyo Mountains in the background.
(Text and Photo courtesy of Dennis Burke)


slim princess
Looking back from the cab of SPNG #9 in the Owens Valley.
(Text and Photo courtesy of Dennis Burke)

slim princess
The Slim Princess somewhere in Owens Valley.
(Photo courtesy of Dennis Burke)

keeler station
Carson & Colorado RR at Keeler Station in the Owens Valley.
(Photo courtesy of Dennis Burke)
 

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Early Big Pine  

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Early Bishop Residents  

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Mary Austin  
 

 More, Owens Valley - Carson & Colorado Railroad

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Saline Valley Saltworks Tramway
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 High Sierra Pack Stations

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 Willie A. Chalfant

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potThis page was last updated on 14 February 2017pot