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Santa Cruz Railroad schedule, from Santa Cruz Sentinel, June 17, 1876

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Santa Cruz Railroad schedule, from Santa Cruz Sentinel, June 17, 1876

IN CONTEXT

This object appears in the following sections:


Community Dreams: Santa Cruz, California, 1876
Community Dreams: Santa Cruz, California, 1876 — Politics and Promotion

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Santa Cruz Railroad schedule
Currently on display
Not a part of the official Smithsonian Collection
After the Santa Cruz Railroad began running regularly between Santa Cruz and Watsonville, the local paper, the Santa Cruz Sentinel, published the rail schedule. Trips between Santa Cruz and San Francisco, which used to take days if undertaken over land, took a matter of hours by rail. As the paper put it on June 10, 1876, under the headline, "Distance Annihilated": "Nearer to thee, nearer to thee-San Francisco, are we getting. Two years ago it was a hard drive of two days by stage to reach the metropolis. Of course the actual distance to San Francisco was the same then that it is now. The shortening of distance is seeming rather than real, the difference being in the increased facilities for travel....Five years ago the Southern Pacific Railroad extended their road to Gilroy, and stage connection was made with that place via Watsonville. When the cars reached Watsonville our people were delighted. When the narrow-gauge closed the gap between the place just named and Santa Cruz they yelled in their muffled way. Now that they can leave at 4 o'clock Monday mornings and be at the centre of Pacific Coast population at 9 o'clock, their joy is too great for expression. But such is a fact, as will be seen from the new time table this day published."
Physical Description
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Details
Date Made:
June 17, 1876
Locations:
California
Note:
Santa Cruz
History
Although some Americans disparaged and protested against the growing power of railroad companies, for many, the ability to travel year round, over land, at the speeds that locomotives could reach, was a symbol of American progress. California's first railroad opened in the 1850s, but in 1869, the state became part of the national rail network. In 1876, the year the Santa Cruz Railroad opened for full service, the nation celebrated its centennial, and the railroad system was often invoked as a symbol of the great progress the country had made from its humble beginnings as a cluster of colonies, clinging to the eastern coast of the vast continent.

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