The Journal of San Diego History
Winter 1986, Volume 32, Number 1
Thomas L. Scharf, Editor

by Douglas L. Lowell
Graduate Student, University of California at Los Angeles

Photographs from this article

Part I described briefly the history of the struggle by the founders of San Diego to have a railroad constructed with a San Diego terminus. The formation of the California Southern Railroad led to a vast population expansion and land boom as men came to construct the line.

Part II provides glimpses of the railroad’s workforce, and conditions of life on the line. Much of the information on the workforce is limited to descriptions and anecdotes found in city directories, personal letters and newspaper accounts. These limited sources make it difficult to develop precise social scientific analyses, but nevertheless reveal a fascinating picture of labor conditions, housing and employee relations on. the railroad.

Life on the California Southern
Labor Force, Work and Unions

The populations of San Diego and National City swelled considerably with the influx of labor to work on the railroad. With 300 men working in and around the machine shops and an additional 1500 at work grading the rails, it is apparent that most of the labor streamed into National City from foreign parts. Nominal linkages of names are always difficult. Yet it appears that very few of these men lived in San Diego at the time of the census six years previously.

The 1880 census abstract reveals 248 people lived in National City, This figure includes outlying farm regions and masks the significant effect of the railroad on the city’s growth and development. The census listing for National City proper enumerates 44 dwellings with a total of 139 persons in 1880. Occupations and places of birth show clearly that the city was a new, farming community.

The predominant occupation listed is farmer. Over 50% of the men listed their occupations as farmers. A large percentage of the other occupations were subsidiary to farming. Sons of farmers listed themselves as farmers. Hired help were recorded as farm laborers. Sixty individuals listed their oc- cupations on the 1880 census. Thirty-one farmers. Nine laborers. Four carpenters and three horticulturists led the list. The only industry in the town may have been that of the single baker.

The farm laborers boarded with the farmers’ families. One 75 year old woman, head of household, had a farm family living with her as boarders. One widowed farmer lived with his daughter, son-in-law and two boarders. These examples reveal traditional housing patterns of families or recreation of a family setting by taking in boarders or relatives. The most intriguing boarder was N.B. Johnson. He listed his occupation as locomotive engineer. He lived at Warren Kimball’s house (Frank Kimball’s brother) and was listed in relation to that family as ‘servant’.

Migratory patterns of the heads of household and farm laborers give evidence of the newness of National City. Of the forty-four heads of household, none were born in California. They had migrated from ten states and four foreign countries. Nine heads of household were born in New York, and eight in New Hampshire. The Kimballs came from New Hampshire and may have sent word to friends there. Ohio and Massachusetts follow as the birthplace of four heads of household, each. Virginia, Pennsylvania and Connecticut come next with two each. The foreign born heads came from England (four), Canada (three), China (two) and France (one). Ira Floyd, farmer, aged fifty-nine is a fine example of the migratory patterns of farmers in the nineteenth century flow west. He was born in New Hampshire, and his wife Christiana was born in nearby Maine. Their children were born in Virginia and Massachusetts, and now the family lived in California.1

The 1886-87 San Diego County directory lists 233 names in National City. Ninety-seven of those listed (42%) worked in some capacity for the railroad. Only five of the men appear as likely inhabitants of San Diego in 1880. The directory lists C.E. Lamb, J.F. Patterson, W.E. Higgins, and W.F. Smith as working at the California railroad shops. Harrison Smith was a car cleaner at the depot. In the 1880 census, Charles E. Lamb, Walter Higgins and William F. Smith were sons of farmers who lived in their fathers’ households. Lamb was fifteen and Higgins fourteen, Both were listed as at school. Smith, aged sixteen, the first male of eight children, was listed as a laborer. John Patterson, aged twenty, was head of a household, with a young wife, aged nineteen, and three month old daughter. His occupation was farmer. Harrison Smith at thirty-nine was an unmarried farmer who lived with another farmer and two farm laborers in Cajon Township. In 1886 all worked for the California Southern in the National City shops.

It has not been possible to definitively determine where the workers of the railroad lived. Housing was very scarce in National City in this period. Boarding rooms and the hotels were all full. People slept in tents and rented rooms in hallways by the night.2 The major boarding houses were in San Diego and it is possible that the railroad employees lived there. However the 1887-88 Directory lists the California Southern workers as living in National City, but gives street addresses for only a few of the ninety-seven listed employees. It is very possible that the employees of the railroad lived on the grounds. Those few who did have a street address following their names reinforce the possibility that the laborers lived and worked on the railroad grounds. The following is an example of the listing in the 1886-87 directory:

John Fitzgerald, foreman, Railroad shops, 7th Ave.
T. McCord, Conductor C.S.R.R., 2nd Ave.
J.J. Croshier, railroader
Ed Curtis, Railroad shops

One architectural oddity resulted from the housing shortage. Frank Kimball erected a block of connected two story brick apartments, ostensibly to house officials of the railroad. These buildings looked very much like brick row houses found in Philadelphia. They form an odd contrast to the surrounding stucco and plaster houses.3

The directories are most useful for describing the numerous occupations and jobs performed by railroad workers. Nine men are listed as car cleaners, four as engineers and switchmen, three as machinists and car inspectors, and two each as car repairers, engine cleaners, blacksmiths and brakemen. The shops also employed a boiler maker, boiler washer, hostler and car porter.4

Railroad manufacture and maintenance was a complex job. Wage statements give insight to a certain worker hierarchy on the railroad. The California Railroad Commission reported in 1888 on the wages paid by eleven railroads for eleven different occupations. Overwhelmingly the highest paid worker was the engineer.

Daily wages:

Occupation Number CSRR wage highest wage lowest wage average wage
Engineer 11 $4.44 $4.44 $2.50 $3.68
Conductor 11 3.03 3.59 1.97 2.82
Fireman 10 2.57 2.57 1.16 2.10
Brakeman 11 2.45 2.50 1.16 2.04
Machinists 9 $2.81 $3.75 $2.75 $3.18
Carpenters 10 3.00 3.75 2.10 3.11
Section Man 9 2.00 2.50 1.10 1.82
Laborers 9 2.00 3.00 1.58 2.09
Gen. Office Clerks 8 $2.60 $2.83 $1.87 $2.48
Station Agents 10 2.48 3.33 1.14 2.29
Telegraph Op. 5 2.64 2.64 1.79 2.19 5

These occupations can be separated into three general categories: those who worked on the trains, those who worked in the machine shops or on the rails, and those in administrative positions. It is clear that the skilled blue collar workers received the best pay. Indeed the engineers, machinists and carpenters did make up an aristocracy of labor. The head of the white collar force was paid significantly less than these blue collar workers. Pay may have been related to the strength of the carpenter and railroad Brotherhood unions. The previous chart clearly shows that the California Southern paid wages generally well above the average. Twice the California Southern paid the highest listed wage and only three times did it pay below the average. Its engineers, firemen and brakemen received pay which was at least 20% above average.

Engineers held a tremendous responsibility. At a time when electronic switching was virtually unknown, they had to guide their trains in all sorts of weather and at night with only eyes and instinct. They had also to understand all aspects of locomotive maintenance to keep their trains on time. A 1904 description of the engine driver claims:

A driver actually feels as if he were a part of the complete machine . . . He can smell a hot bearing and feel the breakage or displacement of any part. In order to become a first class driver a man must almost live on the engine till he becomes like a part of it, and he must run over the line till he knows it so well that he could tell where he is and at what speed he is running at any moment, even if blindfolded.6

The second man in the locomotive was the fireman. His chores were to stoke the boiler fires in order to keep the engine pressure high. Though an occupation of relative importance, the firemen were paid practically the same as day laborers. Apparently his brawn at moving heavy coal or wood was considered more important than his acquisition of knowledge of his job. The fireman and the engineer shared the locomotive cabin:

Seldom does a word pass between the driver and the fireman in the road … apart from the noise in the cab, which makes conversation difficult, each has his duties to attend to, and these take up his whole attention. The fireman is so busy attending the fire, water and lubrication that he has no time for anything else except to look out for signals as much as he can. Any neglect on the part of the fireman … lands the driver in difficulties for steam supply.7

The fireman had to be careful not to feed too much coal at once. Overloading the engine would result in partially burnt coal, the remainder blowing out of the smokestack. The fireman had to watch the color of the smoke. Black smoke kept to a minimum meant that he was not wasting coal. 8

Following the superior role of the engineer was that of the master mechanic and major builder in the machine shops. The railroad shops in National City were the pride of their town. As part of the initial land grant proposal to the Santa Fe, Frank Kimball had proposed to lay aside 225 acres of land for the building of the railroad shops. The California Southern built mechanic and blacksmith shops, a company store, round house and warehouses. By October 1881, 300 men were employed in and around the National City shops.9 Around the shops were situated rails, bridges, timbers, ties, piles of car frames, bolts, bars and pipes. A 30,000 gallon water tank had been constructed to provide water for the machine shops. At the hey-day of the shops from 1886-1888, they had the capacity to completely overhaul locomotive engines. Iron planing machinery was added in 1886. That December the California Southern ordered ten new engines from Baldwin Locomotive works in Philadelphia. The railroad had contracted for an additional thirty flat and thirty coal cars. A new wharf was under construction and a creosoting plant had been built in the rail yards.10

The construction and maintenance of locomotive and railway cars were no mean tasks. In the construction of locomotive engines precision measurements were needed to maintain the pressurized boiler system, and the gear ratios which transmitted the power of the pistons to the forward motion of the wheels. This simple transference of energy from a straight moving piston to a circular moving wheel needed a tremendous knowledge of rotational energy, torque and gear systems. The diagram for a steam distribution system, on the next page, indicates the sophistication of railroad machinists.

At the National City shops carpenters were needed for bridge building, completion of the wharf and car construction. Baggage, express and ‘silver palace’cars were built at the shops.11 Cabs for the engines were made out of ash. The Union boasted of the well made mail cars of the California Southern;

It is safe to say the mail apartment, in aristocratic appearance and arrangement, excels any mail car on this coast, if not anywhere in the world.12

A mail car was composed of three compartments-mail, express and baggage. Carpenters also worked with the labor force on bridge construction. Temporary bridges called ‘cribs’ were built, and over these the tracks were laid. The carpenters followed later to complete the permanent structure. This allowed the track laying to be continued unimpeded with bridge construction.13

The creosoting plant was built to protect the new wharf from the ravages of the toredo. In warm coastal waters this sea mollusk bore into the wood and weakened its structure. Coating the wood with creosote made it impervious to the toredo. The wharves at Galveston, New Orleans and National City were the first to use the creosote process on wooden pilings. The National City Record gave an exact description of the creosote plant in 1887:

The plant consists principally of a large tube of boiler iron about 60 feet long and large enough to take on four piles at once. The piles are loaded to a carriage and run into the tube, One end of the tube is fitted with a door that screws up tight on rubber gaskets. Alongside this tube is a dead oil tank, with steam pipes running through it to heat the oil … The piles are run into the tube and the door is sealed; a vacuum is created and the warm dead oil is pumped and forced up to a pressure of two hundred pounds and over to the square inch. The pressure is kept up for twenty-four hours, when what oil does not enter the pile is run off again into the tank.14

The process doubled the cost of the wooden piles, but increased their lifespan indefinitely.

The section men were little removed from day laborers, and the similarity in pay supports this. The California Southern hired laborers for railway construction, and section men for daily maintenance of the rails. A ‘section gang’ would be composed of a white foreman and six laborers, frequently Chinese, who would care for five miles of track. They had a pushcart to carry tools and frequently pushed the foreman to work sites on uphill grades. Sometimes they would all ride the cart downhill.15

The tremendously important back-breaking construction work was the worst paid. In 1881 at the commencement of the construction of the Calif ornia Southern, day laborers received between $1.00 and $1.75 per day. The Union printed occasional first-hand descriptions of railroad construction. These create a patchwork picture of life on the line:

In advance we found the surveyors leveling up the track, followed closely by the men placing the ties, then the shovel brigade smoothing the ground, and adjusting the ties; then the long, heavy rails are drawn on rollers from the car; and the bolts are distributed, rails are adjusted to the gauge, and the spike drivers, with remarkable precision, send their spikes to their places with a few well directed blows.16

The rails were laid at a rate of 3/4 of a mile each day. Most of the difficult work on the railroad was performed by Chinese labor transported from San Francisco. The laborers lived in huts of brush or old tents or constructed living quarters of any available material. They picked and blasted the rock of the canyons and carried away the debris in baskets.17 The Union describes one such blasting procedure:

The big cut on the second summit was 54 feet high, 18 feet wide at the bottom and 45 feet wide at the top. A car went from the blasting site to dump the dirt down the deep gorges. Each cart carried over three tons of dirt.18

The labor camp at Temecula canyon housed over 2000 men. Temecula Canyon provided the most difficult work. A passageway between sheer rock cliffs provided a natural water outlet for inland rain storms. Much blasting of rock, and careful grading of the road was needed to build the line through the canyon:

There were seven miles in the upper canyon through rock with almost perpendicular cliffs. A grade of over 140 feet per mile was required for three miles, the summit being 970 feet in elevation.19

The severe storms of 1884 washed out the timber and rails in the canyon. Bridges and ties were reported over 100 miles out at sea.20 Later that year feverish building recommenced to reconstruct and expand the Californi Southern.

Active hiring of Chinese labor began once again. The Union kept careful count of the number of laborers who took San Francisco steamships to San Diego to be sent north to the construction sites. In August 1884, seventyfour Chinese were brought from San Francisco. This increased the road force to 150 men.21

Chinese labor was obtained through a contracting system. The railroad hired Chinese contractors to provide them with labor. The contractors guaranteed a certain number of workers, paid for their passage and frequently provided them with food. The rebuilding of the railroad enabled one Chinese immigrant, Ah Quin, to amass a small fortune.

Ah Quin came to the United States from Canton at the age of twenty in 1868. He was educated at a Christian Missionary school and learned to speak English. Quin originally moved to San Francisco, but lived in various northern Californian cities and Alaska, working as a servant or cook. He met some San Diego businessmen in 1878 who were impressed with his bilingual abilities, and his adoption of western clothing. They asked him to come to San Diego as a labor contractor in 1880 to help organize a workforce for the railroad.

Ah Quin arrived in San Diego that November. He opened a general store in town and sold food to his men on the line. The diet of his contracted workers in these camps was primarily rice, potatoes and fish. In 1884 Ah Quin made many trips to San Francisco and Oceanside to amass a workforce for construction of the railroad.22 It was difficult to find workers during the summer of 1884, for most of the Chinese labor in San Francisco refused to leave during the harvest season.23

By September of that year 500 men and thirty teams were at work rebuilding the railroad through Temecula canyon. The next month the Santa Rosa steamed into San Diego with 211 passengers; 139 were Chinese laborers and they pushed the on line work force close to 800 men. In December the work of rebuilding the line to San Bernardino was completed. Most of the labor was paid off. Some were sent to work on the extension to the Atlantic & Pacific. Ah Quin had a six month contract for labor with 370 laborers under him for the California Southern.24

A further example of the difficulties of Chinese labor contracting occurred in 1887. Ah Quin had transported twenty-four workers from San Francisco. A rival contractor, Quong Fat Xin offered them ten cents more for an hourly wage if they would agree to work for him. Quin confronted Quong. A riot was narrowly averted when Quong agreed to pay Quin for his expenses in procuring and transporting the workers.25

Accidents were a not infrequent occurrence to the men on the line. Moving heavy equipment and machinery by hand was a dangerous business. Frequent mishaps occurred with sliding cars that should not have been moving. The Railway Commissioners asked for complete accident information for the 1888 report. Twenty-nine accidents occurred on the rails of the California Southern that year. Twenty people were injured and nine were killed. Six of the injuries occurred while trainmen attempted to couple or uncouple cars. This was a treacherous task until improvements at the end of the 1880s. The ‘link and pin’ was the earliest type of coupling. It was composed of: ” . . . a drawn bar that fits into a slot, and a pin that holds it there . . . Careless use of this manual couple has resulted in the loss of many hands.”26 Two brakemen and a conductor on the California Southern had their hands crushed making couplings. Another brakeman sprained an ankle and a switchman had his hip bone fractured. On October 22, 1887, Charles Whitehead, switchman, pulled the coupling pin and had his hand crushed.

The first improvement was the ‘knuckle coupler’, an automatic coupling device, which looked like two closed hands.27 The second improvement was a change in car design. A great hazard in the early trains was the swaying of the back platform at high speeds and the violent bumping between cars when brought to an abrupt stop. In 1887 Henry Session, Supt. of the Pullman Company, patented the vertical end frame. This acted as a bumper between cars. This led to trains no longer appearing as separate cars, but as one long jointed snake. In all probability the prevention of bumping between cars lessened the risk of injury during coupling.

Other accidents on the line were diverse and seem not to have been caused by any particular tricky flaw in railroad design. Three men were injured attempting to board a moving engine. Interestingly, all three suffered a ‘crushed foot.’ There may be a correlation between the foot bar to the engine and the location of the locomotive wheels. The other injuries were too diverse to be grouped together-faulty rails spread to cause an engine to overturn; a laborer was hit by falling equipment.

The most thorough description of an injury reveals further the plight of railway firemen. On February 10 George Eby was burned about his face and body. The smoke stack of the locomotive had clogged. Consequently the engine exhaust backed up and came through the firebox door when it was opened to add fuel.

In August of 1887 the California Southern made an arrangement with the county hospital to care for sick and injured employees. The payment for hospital care would come from a stipulated amount paid for monthly by all railroad employees.29 The railroad had planned to construct its own hospital. This was an interim measure.

Unions began to take an active role in San Diego at the end of 1886. The Carpenters Union took a powerful stance in making demands on their employers. In September the Carpenters Union decided on a nine hour work day. Fifteen of seventeen city contractors agreed to these conditions.

Carpenters had crowded to San Diego to work on the Hotel del Coronado. They refused to work 10 hours daily and asked the local union for support. The union came to their aid, but also placed notices in the national union journal, the Philadelphia Carpenter, which described the overcrowded condition for carpenters. The union stated that no others should use the cheap railroad rates to come to San Diego. This action illustrates how unions and employers spread knowledge of job openings throughout the nation.

The Hotel del Coronado used non-union labor. But the boom in San Diego enabled full employment for carpenters. The local union branch grew to 500 members, The union wanted hours from 7 am to 12 pm and 1 pm to 5 pm daily. There was no complaint of the daily wage. Experienced men earned between $3.00 and $4.50 daily.30

Labor organizations became active for the 1887 elections. A trades union meeting was held to establish a platform with ten unions represented. The most powerful unions were the Longshoremen’s union, Carpenters union and the Knights of Labor. [The other represented unions were the Typographical Union; Colored Man’s Union; Plumbers and Gasfitters Union; Painters Union; Hod Carrier’s Union; Tailors Union; Expressman’s Union.]

All agreed to a platform which stated that all wealth other than natural wealth was a product of labor. The government must protect individuals from monopolies. Companies must pledge not to hire Chinese labor. The city should create public parks, and all the Unions would support a nine hour day.31

The first major strike by employees of the California Southern occurred early in March, 1883. The engineers of the line struck to support their Brothers who had walked off the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy railroad. The Burlington strike was the first great work stoppage by any of the Brotherhoods.

The Chicago, Burlington & Quincy Railroad was one of the most powerful railroads in the country. The entire Burlington system included over 6000 miles of roads. In 1888 the earnings of the railroad had fallen off. There were management problems, and the Brotherhoods of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen struck in 1888. The dispute between the Brotherhoods of Locomotive Engineers and Firemen began with the Burlington line in 1886. A list of grievances was presented to the general manager, and a strike was averted by the meeting of all demands save the two major ones. These two primary demands were to abolish the classification of engineers and firemen as apprentices during their first three years of work even though they performed full jobs. The second demand was to create a pay scale based on mileage traveled along the line. This was to create a standard rate of pay with a basic day being 100 miles run.

The Engineers and Firemen struck in 1888 with the same two demands. 97 % of the men on the line struck. On March 15 the firemen and engineers of the Santa Fe walked to support the Burlington strike.32

The strike on the California Southern became official on March 16, 1888. All the engineers stationed in San Bernardino called in sick. Santa Fe officials had foreseen this. One week earlier they gave an order to accept no perishable freight. The engineers refused to move either passengers or freight. Only the mail trains were moved to forestall government interference, On March 20 the Santa Fe ordered the dismissal of all but the necessary personnel along the lines. Fifteen men were laid off in San Diego and National City.

Workers for the California Southern repeatedly claimed that they had no problems with the local railroad, but had to strike through sympathy with their fellow workers:


… we are like all other people who are bound together by the ties of friendship … the railroads of this country cannot compel us to go to work so long as they mistreat our members in any portion of the country.33

General Manager Dan McCool of the California Southern countered with a memo which claimed that the engineers had violated their contract with the Santa Fe by striking without the agreed 30 days notice. He also suggested that the best way to punish the Burlington railway would be to help its competitors.34

The strike was held in an amiable atmosphere as both the Santa Fe and the local Brotherhood waited for word to resume work. The engineers in National City waited to hear from the Brotherhood headquarters in San Bernardino. However limited violence was once threatened. Master Mechanic Boutelle and station agent Allen attempted to run a switch engine in the National City Yards:


a delegation of the striking engineers waited upon them and threatened to throw them into the bay if they did not get off the engine.35

By March 21 the strike had been called off on the Santa Fe line and the California Southern. The Burlington strike officially lasted until January 1889, but had clearly been lost by the end of March 1888. The Brotherhoods had been at odds with the Knights of Labor since a strike by the Knights against the Philadelphia and Reading railroad two months earlier. The Brotherhoods refused to walk and they replaced the striking Knights. In return the Knights offered their services to the Burlington line. The Order of Railway Conductors also remained loyal to the line. By the end of March the Burlington had replaced most of its striking men. The strike failed, but the loss of funds by the railway was so great that railroad management attempted to forestall serious strikes through the remainder of the century.36

A local two day strike occurred on the California Southern at the end of 1888. A brakeman on the San Bernardino and Barstow line was laid off and replaced by an easterner. The brakemen complained that this violated the usual order of promotions. The railroad could not hire new brakemen for the engineers claimed they would not drive the trains with a ‘scab crew.’ The workers remained on the company grounds and played baseball while waiting for the problems to be resolved.37

Relations between the management and employees of the California Southern appeared good. On December 29, 1888 the Union reported that a switch crew was to be laid off. A representative of labor spoke to the general manager who relented and allowed the men to keep their jobs. In June of the following year an order to reduce the payment of baggagemen and brakemen by $5 per month was rescinded:


This action of General Manager Dan McCool has made him very popular with the boys, and they are now ready to swear by him.38

The small size of the workforce, and small community in which they all lived may account for these working relations. At the end of 1888 the machine shops employed 200 men with a wage of $10,000 monthly. National City had a population of over 1500 residents.39 Land sales were up and Southern California was about to enter into a period of tremendous growth.


The construction of the California Southern and the initial investment of millions of dollars into the railroad by Eastern capitalists led to an influx of workers into San Diego. Building construction began in order to house the skilled mechanics, carpenters and engineers of the line. These workers brought with them a wide variety of skills from car construction and bridge masonry to exact measurement of boiler systems and locomotive repairs. Life on the railroad was dirty, dangerous and fraught with accidents, but the California Southern paid their skilled workers well-often 8 to 20% above the average wage for these crafts. Wages and race reveal a hierarchy on the line. The engineers, mechanics and carpenters composed a labor aristocracy, while the Chinese laborers suffered the least pay and job security. The names of the workers of the California Southern in the city directories clearly show that no Chinese worked at the National City shops. Though the data on unions is weak, it is clear that the firemen and engineers of the line belonged to the railroad Brotherhoods and briefly joined in the Burlington strike of 1888.

The story of the railroad and the growth of the cities is one that has been repeated in many parts of the country. The stockholders in roads, canals and railways often discovered that the holders of the property near the improved sources of transportation prospered while the transportation services did not. Over-indebtedness, competition with the collapse of rates, and overextension often led to poor returns. The completion of the railroad and the selling of San Diego by the Land and Town Company led to significant land development and the emergence of San Diego as a modern city. However the prosperity of the California Southern did not mirror the growth of San Diego. The directors of the Santa Fe realized that Los Angeles was the marketing center of Southern California. Subsequently they gradually moved the management offices and machine shops of the railroad to San Bernardino in order to have greater leverage in the competition for the Los Angeles shipping and transport business.

Despite the growth of the town and back country, San Diegans remained bitter about the loss of the California Southern. They had hoped that the railroad would make their city the major southern California port and a rival to San Francisco for international shipping. These hopes were squashed with the removal of the main offices and railroad yards to San Bernardino. Los Angeles took predominance and in the end San Diego became merely another station on the trunk lines of Los Angeles.



1. 1880 Census, Microfilm, National City. On file at University of California, San Diego.

2. Irene Phillips, National City, Pioneer Town, (National City: South Bay Press, 1960), p. 27.

3. Ibid.

4. San Diego County Directory, 1886-1887, at San Diego History Center Research Archives.

5. California Railroad Commission Report, 1889.

6. P.B. Whitehouse, ed., Railway Anthology, “Locomotive Engine Driving,” from the Locomotive Magazine, 1904, Shepperton, Surrey, c. 1965, Ian Allan, p. 20-21.

7. Ibid., 21-24.

8. Joseph A. Noble, From Cab to Caboose: Fifty Years of Railroading (Tulsa: University of Oklahoma Press, 1964), p. 175.

9. San Diego Union, October 2, 1881.

10. San Diego Union, October 3, 1881; December 4, 1886; February 28, 1888.

11. San Diego City Directory, 1886-1887, pt. III, p. 4.

12. San Diego Union, June 8, 1883.

13. San Diego Union, February 14, 1882.

14. National City Record, February 10, 1887.

15. R.P. Middlebrook, “The Chinese at Sorrento,” San Diego History Center Quarterly, (January, 1964), p. 10.

16. San Diego Union, October 13, 1881.

17. Middlebrook, “The Chinese”, p. 10.

18. San Diego Union, May 13, 1881.

19. Railway Historical Society of San Diego, The Dispatcher, May 16, 1964, Issue #46.

20. Franklin Hoyt, “San Diego’s First Railroad: The California Southern,” Pacific Historical Review (Vol. 23, 1954), p. 141.

21. San Diego Union, August 13, 1884.

22. Andrew Griego, ed., “Rebuilding the California Southern Railroad: The Personal Account of a Chinese Labor Contractor, 1884,” Journal of San Diego History (Fall, 1979), p. 327-337.

23. San Diego Union, August 29, 1884.

24. San Diego Union, October 4, 1884, December 20, 1884.

25. San Diego Union, October 12, 1887.

26. Dolan Eargle, Jr., TICKETS PLEASE … : All about California Railroads (San Francisco: California Living Books, 1979), p. 44.

27. Ibid.

28. California Commission Reports, 1888, p. 143.

29. San Diego Union, August 4, 1887, August 24, 1887.

30. San Diego Union, September 1, 1886; August 26, 1887.

31. San Diego Union, October 4, 1887.

32. Nick Salvatore, Eugene V. Debs; Citizen and Socialist, (Chicago: University of Illinois Press, 1982), p. 73-77. Donald L. McMurry, The Great Burlington Strike of 1888, (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1956), p. 38, 40.

33. San Diego Union, March 19, 1888.

34. San Diego Daily Bee, March 19, 1888.

35. San Diego Union, March 21, 1888.

36. Salvatore, Eugene V. Debs, p. 77; also John R. Commons, History of Labour In the United States, Vol. II (New York: Macmillan Co., 1921), p. 474-5.

37. San Diego Union, November 2, 1888, November 3, 1888.

38. San Diego Union, March 26, 1887.

39. Glen S. Dumke, The Boom of the Eighties in Southern California (San Marino: The Huntington Library, 1966), pp. 9, 24.

Photographs from this article are from the San Diego Historical Society’s Title Insurance and Trust Collection.