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Guide to the Sierra Railroad Records, 1896-1955
BANC MSS 69/50 c  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Scope and Content
  • Brief Corporate History

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Sierra Railroad Records,
    Date (inclusive): 1896-1955
    Collection Number: BANC MSS 69/50 c
    Creator: Sierra Railroad
    Extent: Number of containers: 5 boxes, 5 cartons, 10 volumes, 2 oversize folders
    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: Boxes 1-5 and oversize folder 1 : Fragmentary collection, consisting of correspondence files of various officers of the company; minutes of meetings of directors and stockholders (2 v.); by-laws; copies of annual reports (3 v.); timetables; equipment rosters and specifications; freight circulars; legal and financial papers; bills and receipts for equipment and supplies; maps; clippings, etc. Also included: material relating to the Jamestown and Yosemite Railway Company, and to the Hetch Hetchy Railroad.

    Cartons 1-5, v. 1-10, and oversize folder 2 : Mainly records for operations at Jamestown office.
    Languages Represented: English

    Information for Researchers


    Collection is open for research, except for the following:

    Carton 1: Unavailable for use due to fire, smoke and water damage. Transcripts of the letterpress copy books found in Carton 1 are available for use in Carton 5.

    Cartons 2-4: Restricted use due to fire, smoke and water damage, which requires conservation treatment. Permission of the appropriate curator required for use. Inquiries concerning these materials should be directed, in writing, to the Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library.

    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], Sierra Railroad records, BANC MSS 69/50 c, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Material Cataloged Separately

    Photographs have been transferred to the Pictorial Collections of The Bancroft Library (BANC PIC 1969.033--PIC)

    Scope and Content

    This collection of some 1600 pieces and 15 volumes was acquired primarily by purchase from Holmes Book Store in November, 1968; some items purchased from Holmes and Joe the Bookie in September 1967; some items a gift of Stephen E. Drew in October 1972. The collection spans the period 1896 to 1955 documenting especially the first six years of construction and operation as well as affairs relating to the Yosemite Short Line Railway, the Don Pedro and Melones Dams and operation over the Hetch Hetchy Railway.
    The collection consists of five boxes and an oversize portfolio. Boxes 1 and 2 comprise correspondence from June 1897 to August 1949, divided and alphabetically arranged for each Sierra officer: President, General Manager, Assistant General Manager, Superintendent, Auditor, General Freight and Passenger Agent, Purchasing Department, Trainmaster and a small miscellany. Boxes 3 and 4 contain miscellaneous material for the period 1896 to 1955 alphabetically arranged in folders. Box 5 contains miscellaneous bound volumes and an oversize folio holds a map and train registers of the Sierra Railway and Hetch Hetchy division.
    A brief roster of prominent Sierra officers and station agents with a listing of some of their approximate years of service is included at the end of the key to facilitate the use of correspondence and initialed notes.
    Following is a detailed listing of folder and volume contents.

    Brief Corporate History

    The Sierra Railway Company of California was incorporated on February 1, 1897 and completed its initial 57 mile main line from Oakdale to Tuolumne on February 1, 1900. Construction was accomplished by various contracts with the West Coast Construction Company, a New Jersey corporation. A 20 mile extension from Jamestown to Angels was operated from September 1902 to March 1939 and temporary extensions were laid during the early 1920's for work on the Don Pedro Dam of the Turlock and Modesto Irrigation Districts and the Melones Dam of the South San Joaquin and Oakdale Irrigation Districts.
    Fostered by the Sierra Railway, the Jamestown and Yosemite Railway Company was incorporated on December 31, 1904 as the predecessor to the Yosemite Short Line Railway Company which was incorporated on June 21, 1905 as a short-lived 30" gauge rail line from Jamestown; the right-of-way was later utilized in part from 1918 to 1925 for the 68 mile Hetch Hetchy Railroad of the City and County of San Francisco. The Sierra operated 59 miles of the Hetch Hetchy road under contract with the City of San Francisco as a division of the Sierra Railway from May 1935 to September 1938.
    Following receivership on May 5, 1932, a new Sierra Railroad Company was incorporated on July 10, 1935 and it purchased the faultering Sierra Railway Company of California on March 31, 1937 at a foreclosure sale. The Sierra Railroad Company presently continues in daily operation as a common rail carrier operating between Oakdale and Tuolumne with General Offices located at Sonora, California, following their removal from Jamestown effective December 1, 1966.