Guide to the David W. Cunningham Diary Collection, 1883-1900

Special Collections & Archives

Oviatt Library

California State University, Northridge
18111 Nordhoff St.
Northridge, CA 91330
Phone: (818) 677-2832
Fax: (818) 677-2589
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Overview of the Collection

Collection Title: David W. Cunningham Diary Collection
Dates: 1883-1900
Identification: SC/DWC
Creator: Cunningham, David W., 1829-1916
Physical Description: 0.50 linear feet
Language of Materials: English
Repository: Special Collections
Abstract: David W. Cunningham kept a daily diary from 1883-1900. In them he recorded a variety of details describing daily life. Nine such diaries make up the collection. Entries are brief, taking about half of a page in the pocket diary.

Biographical Information:

David West Cunningham was born in Boston, MA December 24, 1829. After attending Harvard University he worked as a civil engineer. He is known primarily for his work on waterworks and railroads, including the Cochituate Aqueduct, the Manchester and Lawrence Railroad, and the Ogdensburg and Lake Champlain Railroad. He also worked for the Lowell (MA) Waterworks, the Stillwater (MN) Water works, the Tarkio Valley (MO) Railroad, and consulted on the Minneapolis Waterworks.
After leaving the American northeast Mr. Cunningham spent six years in Chile, moved to Texas following the US Civil War, farmed in North Dakota, and finally retired in Los Angeles in 1895. He married three times, his first and second wives predeceasing him. Mr. Cunningham died in his Montrose, California home May 11, 1916.

Access Terms

This Collection is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.

Genre/Form of Material:


Administrative Information

Processing Information:

April Feldman, 2014

Conditions Governing Use:

Copyright for unpublished materials authored or otherwise produced by the creator(s) of this collection has not been transferred to California State University, Northridge. Copyright status for other materials is unknown. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.) beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owners. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

Conditions Governing Access:

The collection is open for use.

Scope and Contents

David W. Cunningham kept a diary from 1883-1900, nine of which make up the collection. Cunningham moved to Los Angeles in 1895. Earlier diaries are from Kentucky. He records a variety of details, most describing daily life. Entries include the price of train tickets and cigars; he tells of buggy rides from Los Angeles to Hollywood and notes the Christmas Day earthquake of 1899. Entries are brief, taking about half of a page in the pocket diary.

Collection Contents

Box 1, Folder 1


Box 1, Folder 2


Box 1, Folder 3


Box 1, Folder 4


Box 1, Folder 5


Box 1, Folder 6


Box 1, Folder 7


Box 1, Folder 8


Box 1, Folder 9