Posts Tagged ‘Transcontinental Railroad’

Forrest on Lincoln & Transcontinental RR “walk”

October 8, 2010

In honor of the Transcontinental Railroad, Forrest has been taking a virtual walk along its route (ala Forrest Gump), following the westward progress of the Union Pacific from Omaha to Utah. He began April 16 and has logged 1372 miles as of this morning. He writes about the towns and people along the way, often coming upon parts of the Lincoln Highway, which paralells much of the route. Check it out here:

He writes:

When the U.S. government named two companies to build a transcontinental railroad in 1862. no meeting point was set. Enormous financial rewards—paid out per mile of completed track—propelled both sides into a grueling seven-year race across daunting terrain of the states of Nebraska, Wyoming, Utah, Nevada, & Califorina. When completed the railroad connected a post Civil War nation, forever changing the American West. For the next 6 months & 1500 miles Forrest will follow this important and historical route that our ancestors followed so many years ago.

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?