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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Near Lathrop in San Joaquin County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

First Transcontinental Railroad

Site of Completion of Pacific Railroad

 
 
First Transcontinental Railroad Marker image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, May 11, 2006
1. First Transcontinental Railroad Marker
Inscription.  The construction of the San Joaquin River Bridge completed the last link of the Transcontinental Railroad. Building had simultaneously proceeded from the Bay Area and Sacramento and met at the San Joaquin River. The first train crossed the bridge on September 8, 1869.
 
Erected 1969 by State Department of Parks and Recreation in cooperation local civic and historical organizations (November 8, 1969). (Marker Number 780-7.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceLandmarksNotable EventsRailroads & Streetcars. In addition, it is included in the California Historical Landmark, the The Spirit of ’76, America’s Bicentennial Celebration, and the Transcontinental Railroad series lists.
 
Location. Marker is missing. It was located near 37° 47.221′ N, 121° 18.34′ W. Marker was near Lathrop, California, in San Joaquin County. Marker was on South Manthey Road, on the right when traveling west. Marker
First Transcontinental Railroad Marker image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, May 11, 2006
2. First Transcontinental Railroad Marker
This marker shares base with The Comet-1846-First Sail Launch marker
is located at the entrance to Mossdale Crossing Park and Launching Facilty. Touch for map. Marker was in this post office area: Lathrop CA 95330, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 11 miles of this location, measured as the crow flies. The Comet – 1846 – First Sail Launch (here, next to this marker); Lathrop (approx. 2.8 miles away); Liberty Plot (approx. 6.9 miles away); French Camp (approx. 7.1 miles away); Site of San Joaquin City (approx. 8.4 miles away); Estanislao's Stronghold (approx. 9.3 miles away); Ripon World War II Memorial (approx. 10.4 miles away); New Hope – 1846 (approx. 10.4 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Lathrop.
 
Regarding First Transcontinental Railroad. This site is a California Registered Historical Landmark (No. 780-7).
 
Additional comments.
1. The First Transcontinental Railroad Journey
The American rail network was not yet connected to the Atlantic or the Pacific. What was heralded as the Transcontinental Railroad merely connected Omaha and Sacramento. In November 1869 the Sacramento line was extended to San Francisco Bay at Oakland.

At first, trains had to be ferried across the Missouri River to complete a transcontinental journey. The Hannibal Bridge in Kansas City was the first bridge to cross the Missouri, it was completed in
San Joaquin River Railroad Bridge image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, May 11, 2006
3. San Joaquin River Railroad Bridge
July, 1869. In August 1870 the Kansas Pacific connected to the Denver Pacific line at Strasburg, Colorado and the first true Atlantic to Pacific railroad was completed. Council Bluffs was directly connected to the East Coast rail network upon completion of the Union Pacific Missouri River Bridge in 1872.

On June 4, 1876 an express train named the Transcontinental Express arrived in San Francisco via the Transcontinental Railroad only 83 hours and 39 minutes after it left from New York City.

Source: Transcontinental Railroad - tcrr.com
    — Submitted September 16, 2008, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.

2. Date of the first train to cross the bridge
The first train crossed the bridge on September 6, 1869 - not on September 8, 1869, which was inscribed on the marker. This fact was reported in the Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 37, Number 5755, 7 September 1869 with the byline "From Stockton - September 6th" and the quote "The Western Pacific Railroad bridge across the San Joaquin River was finished to-day [September 6th], and three trains of cars crossed it, one for San Jose and two for Alameda." This was the first through train from Sacramento leaving at 10 am and arriving at Alameda at 10:30 pm, with one train switching off at
San Joaquin River Railroad Bridge image. Click for full size.
By Craig Vincent, circa October 2009
4. San Joaquin River Railroad Bridge
Photo courtesy Merlin Photography ©2009 www.MerlinPhoto.com
Vallejo Mills (now Niles) to San Jose - as reported in Daily Alta California, Volume 21, Number 7110, 7 September 1869. Note To Editor only visible by Contributor and editor    
    — Submitted December 17, 2019, by VK Wong of San Francisco, California.
 
San Joaquin River Railroad Bridge image. Click for full size.
By Craig Vincent, April 5, 2010
5. San Joaquin River Railroad Bridge
Photo courtesy Merlin Photography ©2010. www.MerlinPhoto.com
Base With Missing Markers image. Click for full size.
January 30, 2010
6. Base With Missing Markers
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on December 22, 2019. It was originally submitted on September 12, 2008, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California. This page has been viewed 2,499 times since then and 76 times this year. It was the Marker of the Week September 21, 2008. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on September 12, 2008, by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California.   4. submitted on March 7, 2010, by Craig Vincent of Stockton, California.   5. submitted on April 6, 2010, by Craig Vincent of Stockton, California.   6. submitted on February 4, 2010. • Kevin W. was the editor who published this page.
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Jul. 12, 2020