Proposed Alignment of the Transcontinental Railroad - Section 1

Section 1 of 4 of the Central Pacific Railroad: Proposed Alignment (1861), also known as the "Judah Map"

Central Pacific Railroad: Proposed Alignment - Section 1 (1861) by Secretary of State Records, Filed Documents Maps and Plans Filed with the Secretary of State (MC1:11-2 [169]), California State ArchivesCalifornia State Archives

This section of the map covers 18 railroad miles. It begins at Barmore Summit, and ends at "Clipper Gap," which is approximately 6 miles north-east of Auburn, CA.

Signatures of Central Pacific Railroad President, Leland Stanford, and Chief Engineer, Theodore Judah

Barmore Summit
"Barmore Summit" is actually a misprint, which was repeatedly perpetuated in accounts of the railroad. The location was called "Balmore's" and existed near Virginia, CA (east of Lincoln).

Doty's Ravine
The proposed railroad route crossed several ravines, such as Doty's Ravine and the nearby Sailor Ravine, often named after early settlers.

Dry Creek
Dry Creek is located just north of the present day city of Auburn. The creek is known to overflow and sometimes threaten nearby communities with flooding.

Table of Alignments
Theodore Judah's detailed Table of Alignments appears on each section of the map, and outlines the distances between each point along the route.

Auburn & Nevada Stage Road
Throughout the 1850s and 1860s, a common mode of transportation between California communities was the stagecoach. This stage road moved passengers, mail, and goods on a bumpy and often dangerous trip from Auburn to Nevada City. Many stage lines would later evolve into the highway systems that we use today.

Although labeled Neils on this map, this rural community went by the name Nielsburg (often misspelled as Nielsburgh, Nealsburg, or Neilsburg). It's namesake was the town's first postmaster, Arthur C. Neill. The community quickly declined after the end of the California gold rush, and is now largely abandoned.

Clipper Gap
This section of the map ends at Clipper Gap, about 6 miles northeast of Auburn. Now a small community, Clipper Gap was once a thriving industrial center where lime, iron ore, black powder, and produce were shipped in great quantities on the Transcontinental Railroad.

View section 2 of the map, covering Rattlesnake Bluffs to the Sierra Nevada Summit.

NOTE: The full map is made up of four sections. They are presented here in the order in which they appear on the original hand-drawn map, not in geographic order. Section 4 of the map covers a geographic area that actually falls between sections 1 and 2.

Credits: Story

All images from records of the California State Archives
Digital exhibit by Beth Behnam and Michelle Howard (2019)

Imaging by Stanford University (2019)

California State Archives
A Division of the California Secretary of State's Office
1020 O Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
Reference Telephone: (916) 653-2246
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Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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