California Railroad Employment Records, 1862-1950. 579 volumes. California State Railroad Museum Library, Sacramento, California.
This collection of employment records from railroad companies operating in California includes pay lists, blacklists, and seniority lists. Many of the employees on these lists were Asian immigrants who came to build the railroads. This collection contains payroll records for the Southern Pacific, its subsidiaries, and additional railroad companies. It also contains the San Joaquin Division Seniority List from 1878-1917 and the Blacklist Book from 1887-1892, which contains employees who had been blacklisted from working on the railroad, as well as records from the Sierra Railway Company of California from 1899-1937. See the browse menu for details on the list of available records in this collection, listed by company or division, then year.
Between 1862 and 1919, railroads changed life in California. The Central Pacific Railroad and Union Pacific completed the first transcontinental railroad, linking Sacramento and Alameda with the East Coast, in 1869. In 1876 the Southern Pacific ran the first train from San Francisco to Los Angeles. The Southern Pacific also completed the second transcontinental railroad in 1881, linking Los Angeles with San Antonio and Houston.
The index of these records is searchable by name, date, and railroad, and the records contain:
- Pay date
- Roll date
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