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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Colfax in Placer County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Cape Horn Promontory

 
 
Original Cape Horn Promontory Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Syd Whittle, February 7, 2006
1. Original Cape Horn Promontory Marker
Inscription.  
View of Cape Horn Promontory
North Fork American River Canyon
Dedicated to the memory of thousands of Chinese who worked for Charles Crocker on the Central Pacific Railroad. They were lowered over the face of Cape Horn Promontory in wicker Bosun’s chairs to a point 1332 feet above the canyon floor. The ledge created for the railbed was completed May 1866. They are honored for their work ethic, and timely completion of the Transcontinental Rails ending in Promotory, Utah, May 1869.

(Circa 2019, the Colfax Historical Society covered the original brass plaque with this replacement. It corrects what is felt to be erroneous information claiming the Chinese hung from ropes to build the roadbed, which is not considered accurate today. This version omits that erroneous statement.)

Dedicated to the thousands of Chinese who worked for Charles Crocker on the Cental Pacific Railroad. From September 1865 to May 1866 they hand-cut a ledge for railroad tracks across the face of Cape Horn Promontory over 1300 feet above the canyon floor. They are honored for their work ethic and timely
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completion of the Transcontinental rails ending in Promontory, Utah, May 1869.
 
Erected 1999 by Colfax Area Historical Society, Inc. Dedicated May 8, 1999. (Marker Number 780-9.)
 
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Asian AmericansIndustry & CommerceRailroads & StreetcarsSettlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the California Historical Landmarks, and the Chinese Heritage Sites of the American West series lists. A significant historical year for this entry is 1332.
 
Location. 39° 7.75′ N, 120° 55.417′ W. Marker is near Colfax, California, in Placer County. Marker is on State Highway 174, on the right when traveling east. Marker is located 2 miles east of the center of Colfax. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Colfax CA 95713, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Old Bear River Bridge (approx. 1.9 miles away); Colfax Freight Depot (approx. 2˝ miles away); Jacob Keck, Sr. (approx. 2˝ miles away); a different marker also named Jacob Keck, Sr. (approx. 2˝ miles away); The Railhead Saloon (approx. 2˝ miles away); John Butler, Druggist (approx. 2˝ miles away); Illinoistown Lodge No. 51
Updated Replacement Cape Horn Promontory Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Phil Sexton, May 26, 2022
2. Updated Replacement Cape Horn Promontory Marker
(approx. 2˝ miles away); IOOF Hall (approx. 2˝ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Colfax.
 
Regarding Cape Horn Promontory. This site has been designated as California Registered Historical Landmark No. 780-9
 
Also see . . .  Chinese-American Contribution to the Transcontinental Railroad. Presentation by the Hon. John T. Doolittle of California in the U.S. House of Representatives, Thursday, April 29, 1999. (Submitted on March 11, 2009.) 
 
Cape Horn Promontory Marker image. Click for full size.
3. Cape Horn Promontory Marker
Cape Horn Promontory and Blue Star Memorial Highway Markers image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Syd Whittle, October 21, 2009
4. Cape Horn Promontory and Blue Star Memorial Highway Markers
Cape Horn Promontory image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Syd Whittle, February 7, 2006
5. Cape Horn Promontory
Note the railbed at the upper left and the American River Canyon in center of the photo.
American River Canyon Below Cape Horn image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Syd Whittle, February 7, 2006
6. American River Canyon Below Cape Horn
California Historical Landmark Directional Sign image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Syd Whittle, February 7, 2006
7. California Historical Landmark Directional Sign
Blue Star Memorial By-Way Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Syd Whittle, February 7, 2006
8. Blue Star Memorial By-Way Marker
A Tribute to the
Armed Forces of America
Colfax Garden Club
1998
National Council of State Garden Clubs, Inc.
Cape Horn C.P.R.R. image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Carlton E. Watkins, Photographer
9. Cape Horn C.P.R.R.
Stereo view, circa 1865-1880
Courtesy of California Online Archive and Bancroft Library, University of California-Berkeley.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on August 29, 2022. It was originally submitted on December 15, 2008, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona. This page has been viewed 2,999 times since then and 32 times this year. Photos:   1. submitted on December 15, 2008, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona.   2. submitted on August 27, 2022, by Phil Sexton of Auburn, California.   3. submitted on February 10, 2019, by Stephen McLendon of Placerville, Calif.   4. submitted on October 21, 2009, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona.   5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on December 15, 2008, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona.   9. submitted on April 6, 2011, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona.

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Feb. 29, 2024