Posts Tagged ‘railroad’

The 1,000-mile tree in Weber Canyon, Utah

January 7, 2008

The Lincoln Highway often followed the course of the Transcontinental Railroad out west, mostly in spirit but sometimes atop it. When the railroad was built through Weber Canyon in eastern Utah in 1868-69, workers planted a “1,000 mile tree” to mark the point 1,000 miles west of their starting point of Omaha, Nebraska. I see references occasionally to the tree, and have noticed a couple stereoview cards online. A few photos were taken too, such as this one as the rails are laid in 1869 from the U.S. Geological Survey Photographic Library:

UT_1000 mile tree

Check out the sign hanging from it!

The Lincoln Highway cut through the canyon some 45 years later, as did I-84 probably 60 years after that. I don’t remember seeing the tree or signs for it, but it is said to still be in Wilhelmina Pass, a mile east of Devils’ Slide. Click on the thumbnail below for a recent view from I-80 (and once there, click the magnifying glass to see the phhoto much larger):

1000 mile tree

That looks to be the pine tree on the right, next to the white square, which is probably a sign. Surely the tree has been written about by Utah historians or by railroad fans. Can anyone tell us more about it?

Mystery Photo 4: Illinois Railroad Crossing

December 30, 2007

Here’s a sunny view of the Lincoln Highway to make us look forward to Springtime travel. It’s a railroad crossing in Illinois – can anyone identify where it’s at?


Nostalgic "Desert Empire" film shows Utah 1948

December 22, 2007

The Rio Grande Railroad produced this black and white documentary in 1948 to promote the state’s wonders, and of course, encourage train travel. The film is a half-hour long but split into three parts. It only sometimes visits LH locations but is nonetheless an entertaining and nostalgic look at the state, tourism, and travel by steam engine almost 60 years ago.

1: Intro, Arches National Monument, horseback ride and spectacular rocks, Wasatch Mountains, Soldier Summit, Provo and Escalante Trail marker, Utah Lake, sugar beets, cherry blossoms. 10:18 min.

2: Copperton, Bingham (with horse-delivered mail), Utah Copper Company, worlds largest open cut mine, copper to electricity climax. 9:03 min.

3: Black Rock on Salt Lake, Saltair Pavilion and its Putt Putt railway, salt beds, highways to Ogden, cattle, sheep, train to SLC, D&RGW [Denver & Rio Grande Western]-WP station, streets, capitol, statues, Emigration Canyon monument, tabernacle, temple, cactus beehive (!), organ recital, ride home. 10:23 min.