[Original photograph]. Group Portrait taken at completion of Mount Tamalpais and Muir Woods Railway.
by [Railroads, California] Charles E. GREEN.
Mt. Tamalpais,: c. 1896-98., 1896. 29.2 x 22.5 cm. Albumen photo mounted on card. Inscribed "On Mt. Tamalpais across the bay from San Francisco. C.J.S. [?] with the RR Commissioners." Very good. Group Portrait of about 43 persons, possibly tourists accompanied by the Railroad Commissioners [including 2 women], plus on the left, two open railway cars, filled with people. This photograph was taken at the opening of the route which was in 1896. The railroad commissioners at the time were H.M. La Rue, James I. Stanton, and William R. Clark. 40 men*, 2 women, and 1 young man, all well-dressed, stand and sit on a sunlit platform beside the railway. Inside the railcars additional women and children are obscured by shadows. [* 10 show a badge or citation[?!] on their coats – not known what these represent]. "The Mill Valley railroad operated from about 1896 to 1930. It included about 8.2 miles of winding track and was advertised as "the crookedest railroad in the world."" – Adrian Rodriguez, Marin Independent Journal 03/17/2018. [http://www.marinij.com]. Note: Frank Ransome was the official photographer for the railroad, nearly his whole life. He signed his work on the verso, not viewed on this piece (mounted on cardboard), but additionally this does not appear to be like any of his known work, as judged by Tamalpais railroad historian Fred Runner. Runner also notes traces of the weather station built in 1898, but cannot be viewed here as the summit is not shown. Either the image is 'opening day' with a group including the RR Commissioners, or it is 2 years later and the entire group is made up of tourists enjoying the ride – but this does not explain the inscription alluding to the presence of the RR Commissioners (appointed by the state). "Important groups came to Tamalpais. William Kent brought groups of congressmen to Tamalpais to show them what a public nature park might be. Muir Woods was his creation and he was an important co-author of the "Organic Act" that created the National Park Service in 1916, to fund, run and manage the National Parks of America." – Correspondence with Runner. See: Fred Runner, Images of Rail: Mount Tamalpais Scenic Railway, Charleston, SC: Arcadia, 2009.
(Inventory #: GG01662)
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