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709First accident on the NCNG

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  • Andrew Brandon
    Dec 22, 2009
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      I have been slowly working my way through the Grass Valley Union for
      the years of 1875 to 1876. My prime goal is to flush out the early
      history of the road and build a timeline. While reading through I've
      found some fascinating anecdotes and other items relating to the
      construction of the railroad. The Union at the time seemed to be a big
      supporter of the railroad in Grass Valley, I have suspicion that the
      editor at the time was a bit of a railfan himself as not only does he
      go through lengths to help the railroad sell its shares, it chastises
      people for making late payments, corrects other local papers on their
      innacuracies and for the most part gives the best reports on the
      railroads progress. Other papers such as the Nevada Transcript or the
      North San Juan Times approach the coming of the railroad with a bit of
      skepticism, the latter paper often spread inaccuracies about the
      railroad, or suggested the residents of the "Ridge" (North San Juan
      area as it is still called today) use stage services down to
      Marysville rather than the expensive railroad.

      One of the more interesting things I've found is what I believe to be
      the very first accident on the Nevada County Narrow Gauge, this
      accident occurred during construction. I figured I would share this
      accident with the group. Further news articles will be posted on
      www.pacificng.com under the NCNG section in the future.

      Grass Valley Daily Union
      June 1st, 1875.

      Accident On The Railroad.- A day or two ago, a man named Frank
      Castigan, a boss on the narrow gauge, working on the Greenhorn
      approach to the tunnel, was severely injured by a blast. It seems that
      two holes had been put down to blast the bank, which were charged with
      giant powder cartridges. The holes were close together and were both
      fired at once, and Castigan supposing, from the report, that both had
      exploded approached the bank to observe the effect, when a second
      explosion took place, throwing the rock and dirt upon him and knocking
      him down. It was supposed for the time that the sight of his right eye
      was destroyed, but he was immediately taken to Sacramento, for medical
      treatment, by Mr. Turton, the contractor, who since reports that there
      is a good chance to save the injured eye.

      Another interesting article I found related to the Depot site in Grass
      Valley. I was hoping for a news mention of the site being chosen,
      sadly I did not find one. The scans of the paper I have been reading
      from are only partially readable and I have encountered many issues
      which have been completely unreadable. I am confident that further
      research at the library will turn up the announcement of the site
      being chosen. For now the first reference to the Bennett St. site is
      as follows:

      Grass Valley Daily Union
      June 4th. 1875.

      Depot Grounds.- The work of removing the buildings on Bennett street
      is commenced. Henry Stevens has removed Bishop's house, on the corner
      of Bennett and Cemetery streets, out of the way, and is at work moving
      the residence of the late C. F. Heney(?) forward. As soon as this is
      done the house now occupied by Edwin James will either be demolished
      or moved, as it occupies a portion of the ground that will be needed
      for the depot. Mr. Stevens informs us that he will have six or seven
      more carpenters at work to-morrow.

      -=Andrew Brandon=-
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