Map of the Overland Railroad
Interesting United States railroad map at the end of the Civil War.
Rare early map showing the proposed route of the Central Pacific Railroad during a relatively early period of its construction.
The present map is one of the earliest maps to focus on the route of the Central Pacific and was clearly intended to illustrate some sort of report either on the progress of the route or access to the mining regions in Nevada from the West Coast.
One interesting place name which appears on the map is “Ostar City,” between Humboldt and Humboldt Wells, Nevada. While it is almost certainly depicted because it was an intended station on the route, we can find no record of an Ostar, or Ostar City, in Nevada (could it possibly refer to Star City, now an ex-mining ghost town?).
The map shows the route extending from Virginia Station to Cisco, California. The route reached Cisco on December 3, 1866 and Virginia Station on May 10, 1867. The map shows the Utah-Nevada Border as it existed between 1862 and 1866. As such, it would appear that this map was likely printed sometime in 1866.
Humboldt (Humboldt House or Humboldt Station) was intended as a drop point for miners headed to and from Humboldt City, Prince Royal, and the central Nevada mines in the vicinity. In September, 1866, it became a stage stop for historic William (Hill) Beachey Railroad Stage Lines. As the Central Pacific Railroad advanced from eastern California, it reached Humboldt House about September 15, 1868.
The name “Humboldt Wells” refers to a place which had been significant to overland travelers even before the railroad, an important watering point on the California Emigrant Trail.
The map also locates Great Salt Lake City and Ft. Bridger, although neither is on the railroad route. Further to the west, the railroad splits into the Union Pacific (bound for Council Bluffs), and the Union Pacific Kansas Branch, which passes through Denver City, on its way to St. Louis.