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Guide to the Virginia & Truckee Railroad Company records, 1872-1950
BANC MSS P-G 231  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Brief Corporate History
  • Scope and Content

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Virginia & Truckee Railroad Company Records,
    Date (inclusive): 1872-1950
    Collection Number: BANC MSS P-G 231
    Creator: Virginia and Truckee Railroad
    Extent: Number of containers: 17 cartons, 26 packages and 8 vol.
    Repository: The Bancroft Library
    Berkeley, California 94720-6000
    Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
    Abstract: The records consist of correspondence, 1872-1950; six letterpress copybooks supplementary to those in the Yerington Papers, 1880-1924; account books, 1876-1895; receipts, 1877-1879; check receipts, 1873-1891; station accounts, 1874-1929; invoices, 1876-1919; waybills, 1874-1916; and maintenance records, inventories, time books, and financial and operating records.
    Languages Represented: English

    Information for Researchers


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Virginia & Truckee Railroad Company records, BANC MSS P-G 231, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Brief Corporate History

    The Virginia & Truckee Railroad Company was incorporated in Nevada on March 5, 1868, by principals of the Union Mill & Mining Company and the Bank of California. The standard gauge railroad was conceived to provide more efficient and economical transportation between Comstock ore-producing mines around Virginia City, Nevada, quartz reduction mills along the Carson River below Dayton and lumber yards located near Carson City. The initial 21-mile track between Carson and Virginia City was completed in January 1870 and the remaining 31-mile line was finished late in 1872 between Carson City and Central Pacific Railroad tracks at Reno, Nevada.
    At Carson City, the railroad built a massive complex of repair shops which serviced the needs not only of the Virginia & Truckee but also of hundreds of mines, mills, railroads, and small businesses throughout the Pacific states and Mexico. With headquarters at Carson City, Vice-President Henry M. Yerington directed the activities of the Virginia & Truckee and several dozen affiliated companies, including the 300-mile narrow gauge Carson & Colorado Railroad. From Carson City the last 15-mile extension south to Minden was constructed during 1905-1906 to tap the fertile agricultural resources of the Carson Valley.
    With the decline in Comstock mining activity and the influx of automobile and truck competition, the Virginia & Truckee started a gradual decline during the early 1920s. The tracks between Carson and Virginia City were removed late in 1941 and the last scheduled revenue train operated on May 31, 1950, between Minden and Reno.

    Scope and Content

    The correspondence and records of the Virginia & Truckee Railroad Company came to The Bancroft Library by purchase from Grahame H. Hardy in 1948, 1952, and 1957; by purchase from Howard Hein in June 1953; by gift of Louis B. Siegriest in February 1954; and by gift of Stephen E. Drew in March 1972. The collection comprises 17 cartons and 34 oversize packages and includes correspondence and financial records dating from 1872 through early 1950. Much of the material relates to the activities of the Carson City shops and the Carson & Colorado Railroad for the period 1880-1900.
    The collection includes correspondence, 1872-1950; legal and corporate financial material, 1876-1950; passenger accounts, 1877-1930; freight accounts, 1872-1929; station agent accounts, 1876-1922; freight receipts, 1874-1895; train registers and orders, 1873-1921; equipment and shop records, 1874-1950; engineering notes, 1915-1916; roadmaster statements, 1881-1883; time books, 1873-1878; miscellaneous financial material, 1874-1890; check stubs, 1873-1891; miscellaneous station accounts, 1875-1917; invoices, 1876-1919; and way bills, 1874-1916.
    The papers as a whole are described in greater detail in the Key to Arrangement which follows.