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126Re: Some Questions

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  • Curtis S. Ferrington
    Oct 29, 2001

      Colfax started life as Central Pacific RR Camp #20 along the
      construction of the Transcontinental RR Eastward out of Sacramento.
      As it turned out the area was the highest flat spot the CP could find
      to use as a staging ground for the construction up into the Sierra

      During the construction of the Railroad, Camp #20 was visited by US
      Vice-president Schuyler Colfax, who the people of area really took a
      liking to. You can guess what they did to show how much they liked

      Local quartz and gold mines in the towns of Nevada (as it was called
      before Nevada City) & Grass Valley began shipping their ores on the
      CP, which brought in quite a bit of business. Enough business that
      the CP when ahead to design and built a township in 1864(?). Between
      the mines, agriculture and the railroad plenty of people moved into
      the area. This is the business that supported the Narrow Gauge being

      As already said, Colfax was the last flat spot before tackling the
      summit, and the first flat spot coming down the summit, making it the
      first and last chance the railroad had to add and remove helpers
      (like Greg said) as well as organize trains. This is the function it
      still serves today, but to a lesser extent that it had been in the
      days of steam.

      Curtis F.
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