Railroad Repeats

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Colfax from the South     39°5'52.38"N, 120°57'15.6"W


This is another view of the same teamster's camp that Hart photographed in "Teamster Camp at Colfax" (17/37). When we put together Hart's three photos of Colfax, we have a nearly 360° view of the town. In agricultural regions the railroads tried to locate stations or sidings according to the distance a farmer could travel by wagon in one day. Generally farmers with wagons fully loaded with grain could travel only eight miles in a day: four miles to the station and four miles to return home before dark. Colfax was a commercial hub for rural farmers transporting their goods to market. The freighter's wagons and the mules in the foreground show the freight arriving at the station but in fact the railroad carried precious little freight in the 1860's.


With the teamsters gone, there's not much of interest in today's view of Colfax from the South. Modern Colfax is a small town within the greater Sacramento Metropolitan area. The freight depot seen today is not the same one we see in the 1869 photo. This depot was built in 1880 and has been moved twice since then. Today, the building contains shops and one of the only remaining freight depots in Placer County (City of Colfax Website). At one time, the depot served both the Central Pacific Railroad and the Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad.