Life on the railroad - especially in its early days - was hard. The physical labor was exhuasting, there were long hours away from the family, and it was dangerous. Men were frequently injured, often fatally. But the railroad connected our country and made east/west travel much more accessible.
I have absolutely no idea who these men are or where the photo was taken. The original photo was found in a very old family album which I borrowed from my cousin (and need to finish scanning!). On the back of the photo it says, "fa. rat[words covered by black paper stuck from photo album] was taken before I got sick. No good."
I'm not aware that any of my paternal family worked for the railroad. Perhaps one of these men is a cousin? A family friend? How did he get sick? One or all of these men is somehow connected to my grandparents or great-grandparents... I just wish I knew how.
Unknown Railroad Workers. Photograph. Undated. Digital image. Privately held by Elizabeth O’Neal, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Santa Barbara Co., California. 2009.
Article composed for the 12th Edition, Smile for the Camera: A Noble Life. Print this post