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Wasatch & Jordan Valley Railroad (1872-1882)

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Overview

Prospectus:

Wasatch. & Jordan Valley Railroad Co.

of Utah.

This Railway has a single track of eighteen miles. The road commences at Sandy, a station on the Utah Southern Railroad, twelve miles south of Salt Lake City, and runs east up Little Cottonwood Canyon to Alta City, in the vicinity of which are upwards of 5,000 located mines-among which are the celebrated Flagstaff, South Star, and Titus, Vallejo, Last Chance, Little Emma, Hiawatha, Highland Chief, Prince of Wales, Grizzley, Lavinia, Utah, Davenport, Reed & Benson, &c.

The road was built to Granite in 1972, a station ten miles from Sandy. From this station all the rock is shipped for the new Mormon Temple in Salt Lake City, which is quite a source of revenue to the road, one that will increase each year; as the rock is of a very fine quality of granite for building purposes. The road changed hands in the summer of 1875, and the present owners pushed it on up the Canyon to Alta City, eight miles, completing it late in the fall of that year. Nine miles of snow shed have been constructed, at a cost of over $80,000, enabling the Company to operate this part of the road all winter. This road connects at Sandy with the Bingham Canyon & Camp Floyd Railroad, giving it direct communication with about thirty smelting furnaces located in that vicinity. Both roads are under the same management.

The capital stock, in shares of $100 each, is $500,000. The bonded debt consists of 355 gold bonds of $1,000 each, and amounting to $355,000. The bonds are dated May 1st 1873, having twenty years to run, with interest at 9 per cent. gold, payable semi-annually in New York, in November and May of each year. Two hundred thousand dollars of the bonds were sold by the Company previous to the panic of 1873, at par.

The Trustees of the Deed of Trust are Augustus Kountze, of Kountze Bros., 2 Wall Street, and William A. Hall, of Benedict, Hall & Co., Grand Street, New York.

The equipment consists of three mix-wheel locomotives, three passenger and two hundred and fifty freight cars, eighty horses and mules, sleighs, wagons, &c., &c. The line has four station houses. one engine house, repair shops, stables, boarding house, water tanks, track scales, &c., &c.; everything complete that is necessary for the business of the road.

Rates for Freight up the Canyon, 18 Miles $10.00 per ton of 2,000 lbs
Down (the canyon, 18 miles) 4.50 (per ton of 2,000 lbs.)
Passenger Fares 2.00 each.

 

  Receipts Expenses Net Earnings
Report For Six Months Ending December 31, 1875 $42,000.00 $24,985.00 $17,015 00
(Report For) The Year Ending December 31, 1876 115,816.56 63,487.70 592,327.86
(Report For The Year Ending) December 31, 1877 146,842.65 75,072.18 71,770.47

 

Estimated Receipts For 1878  
Earnings $160,000
Expenses 65,000
Net earnings $95,000

These actual results show clearly the ability of the railway to pay its interest, and a fair dividend on its stock. The interest in gold will amount to $32,000 per annum.

This railway shows a regular monthly increase of earning, and, inasmuch as constant new discoveries are being made of mineral alongside the railway, and new mines being opened, this increase may be always calculated upon. Another fact deserves attention, viz : the discovery of good coking coal in Utah, within 150 miles of the smelting works, (see testimony of quality noted below). -At present the smelting operations in the district are carried on by using coke brought from Pennsylvania, over 2,000 miles, which averages about $30 per ton. The opening of the Utah Coking Coal Fields will enable coke to be obtained at from $6 to $10 per ton. The effect upon this railway will be therefore to largely increase its traffic, as thousands of tons of poor ore are not now sent to be smelted but dumped at the mines; now, the completion of this railroad reducing the cost of transportation over 50 per cent., and with cheap fuel, all these lean ores will be sent along 'the railway to be smelted along with richer ore.

Salt Lake City, August 29th, 1876.

De Lacey Loucks, Esq., Secretary Utah Coal Mining And Coke Co.

Dear Sir:

I take great pleasure in reporting to you the success attending my practical test of the coke shipped me from the works of your Company. I used your coke exactly as I have been accustomed to use Connellsville, Pennsylvania coke, with the same charge of ore and flux, and with the same blast, and I am compelled to say that your coke is equally as good and answers all the purposes of lead smelting as the Pennsylvania coke,, and I heartily recommend your coke to all consumers.

Respectfully, yours,

G. Billing.

Per Franz Jungk, Germania Smelting Works.  

The following gentlemen have knowledge of the property, having been over the line:

Sidney Dillon, President Union Pacific Railroad.
Jay Gould, Director Union Pacific Railroad.
Jacob F. Wycoff, 128 Pearl Street, New York.
Charles T. Cromwell, 34 Liberty Street, New York.
John Mack, 363 Fifth Avenue, New York.
Joseph U. Orvis, 30 Pine Street, New York.
Charles E. Orvis, 30 Pine Street, New York.
H. J. Morse, Of Morse, Kimball & Co., Exchange Court, New York.
Thomas J. Tilney, 2 Nassau Street, New York.
Gen. J. T. Wilder, Chattanooga, Tenn.
G. D. Whittlesey, Cashier First National Bank, New London, Conn.
Henry J. Nazro, Boston, Mass.
Phineas E. Gay, (Boston, Mass.)
Walker Bros., Salt Lake City, Utah.
L. S. Hills, Cashier Deseret National Bank, Salt Lake City, Utah.
H. S. Eldredge, Salt Lake City.
Thomas R. Jones, Banker, Salt Lake City.
J. E. Dooley, Banker, Wells, Fargo & Co., Salt Lake City, Utah.
Joseph Pool, President Manufacturers' And Merchants' Bank, New York.

Timeline

September 19, 1872
"Central City, Little Cottonwood, is to be known hereafter as Alta, according to the orders of the Postmaster General." (Utah Mining Journal, September 19, 1872)

October 15, 1872
Article on 'Long Tramway' to be built from the mouth of the canyon to Alta, by Hallidie & Co., San Francisco, apparently a rope or cable tram, with some sort of bucket. The ore traffic warrants it; one gentleman, coming down from Alta, met 81 teams going up, in the space of 14 hours! (Salt Lake Herald, October 15, 1872)

October 20, 1872
The building of the tram referred to on the 15th was begun on Friday, 18 Oct. (Salt Lake Herald, October 20, 1872)

October 24, 1872
Wasatch & Jordan Valley Railroad incorporated in Utah to build a line from Sandy to the mines located in Little Cottonwood Canyon. (Reeder, p. 170)

November 1872
Wasatch & Jordan Valley began work on repairing the old Utah Southern grade between Sandy and Little Cottonwood canyon, previously started by Utah Southern. (Reeder, p. 176)

(Utah Southern had begun the grade during the summer of 1872 as a means to get to the granite quarries at the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon, to transport blocks of granite for the construction of the Mormon Salt Lake temple.)

November 5, 1872
A report on the groundbreaking, yesterday, of the Wasatch & Jordan Valley, and some remarks on plans for the future. The road is to be a three-foot gauge; the W&JV has secured from the Utah Southern RR some 3-1/2 miles of grade made 'last summer' from Sandy towards the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon; 'The point selected for commencing the work yesterday, was at the eastern end of the grade heretofore made by the Utah Southern, three and a half miles from Sandy.' Seven miles of iron have been ordered. Mention is made, for some four column inches, of Colonel French's wonderful invention, to be used on at least one locomotive for the W&JV. (Salt Lake Herald, November 5, 1872; Deseret Evening News, November 5, 1872)

(Read more about the Hill Climber locomotive, also known as "Mr. French's Improvement")

November 6, 1872
Short item reports that grading the W&JV began yesterday. (Salt Lake Tribune, November 6, 1872)

November 30, 1872
Item headed "Little Cottonwood RR", which is of course the W&JV; Jennings is arranging the contracts, and grading is to start on Monday the 2nd. All the rail to build to Granite has been shipped; no greater distance to be attempted at the present. (Salt Lake Herald, November 30, 1872)

December 2, 1872
"Local Intelligence." "The grading on the railroad from Sandy up to Little Cottonwood commenced this morning." (Utah Mining Journal, December 2, 1872)

December 14, 1872
Iron for the W&JV is arriving, 19 cars so far, and another 11 are on the road between Salt Lake City and Omaha. (Salt Lake Herald, December 14, 1872)

December 17, 1872
Several cars of rail at Sandy for the W&JV, and ties are 'strewn along the line'. Three inches of snow fell Sunday the 15th. (Salt Lake Herald, December 17, 1872)

December 19, 1872
Grading on the W&JV is done nearly to the Davenport Reduction Works, or about one mile below Granite, and the surveyors have gone on beyond Granite some little ways. (Salt Lake Herald, December 19, 1872)

January 1873
Wasatch & Jordan Valley laid its first rail and by mid February the company had completed three miles of trackage. (Reeder, p. 180)

January 3, 1873
"New Railroad.-- We learn from Mr. W. L. Payne, who is foreman for the Holt Bros. [of Ogden], that tracklaying on the Wasatch and Jordan Valley Railroad will commence on Thursday next. This line commences at Sandy station, on the Utah Southern, [and] will run to Granite, Alta and Flagstaff mine. The Holt Bros. have fifty men at work four miles from Sandy, where they have two heavy fills; one is forty-seven feet, and the other will take 70,000 yards of dirt. Mr. W. F. Fisher, of Richmond, is ahead plowing and scraping with a large number of men and teams, and everything is favorable for the speedy completion of the road. Messrs. Jennings, Hooper and Eldridge are particularly interested in this road,..." -- Ogden Junction of 31 December 1872. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, January 3, 1873)

February 21, 1873
The W. & J. V. has three miles of track down, in spite of the weather; "Their locomotive is 'en route' and may be expected any day." (Salt Lake Herald, February 21, 1873)

March 1, 1873
"Wasatch and Jordan Valley Railroad.

"The first locomotive for this road has been snow-bound at Evanston for a few days, and reached here yesterday. It was run out on the track in front of Mr. Jennings' residence, where it was inspected by a good many people. It is named the 'Chamois' and weighs seventeen tons. It was built by Messrs. Dawson and Baily, at the National Locomotive Works, Connellsville, Penna. Mr. Lantz, superintendent of the works, accompanied the locomotive through, having been four weeks on the journey.

"This locomotive is known as a 'Miniature Mogul,' has six three-foot driving wheels connected, and pony truck. The boiler is thirty-six inches in diameter, and eighty-nine inches long, and has 105 one and one-half inch tubes. The firebox is five feet long and eighteen inches wide, thus affording ample steam-generating capacity. The firebox is constructed entirely of steel, and the flue sheets are a half inch thick. The cab is a fine piece of workmanship, being made of solid black walnut. The crank-pins are of steel, as are the tires of the drivers. The cylinder is 11 x 16 inches. The tank is constructed of heavy iron, and has a capacity of 600 gallons. The ornamental work is of brass, and the engine presents an elegant appearance. Mr. Lantz accompanied it to Sandy yesterday afternoon, for the purpose of running it out on the track for which it is designed. He will remain at the Townsend House for several days and will receive orders for broad and narrow gauge engines. The National works are by far the largest builders of narrow gauge engines in the United States, and their great facilities enable them to compete successfully with all other makers. They adopt a principle in business which is sure to win; viz, to guarantee the perfect working of every locomotive sent out. Mr. Lantz hopes to secure the locomotive trade of Utah for the house which he represents, and it will repay those who think of ordering such machines to talk with this thoroughly practical mechanic during his stay in town.

"We are pleased to learn that the Wasatch and Jordan Valley road is nearly completed to Granite, and will shortly be running over about ten miles of track. The enterprise has been pushed with vigor in spite of the severity of the season." (Salt Lake Herald, March 1, 1873)

March 1, 1873
"Wasatch and Jordan Valley Railroad." (Salt Lake Herald, March 1, 1873)

The first locomotive for this road has been snow-bound at Evanston for a few days, and reached here yesterday. It was run out in the track in front of Mr. Jennings' residence; where it was inspected by a good many people. It is named the "Chamois," and weighs seventeen tons. It was built by Messrs. Dawson and Bailey, at the National Locomotive Works, Connellsville, Penn. Mr. Lantz, superintendent of the works, accompanied the locomotive through, having been four- weeks on the journey.

This locomotive is known as a "Miniature Mogul" has six three inch driving wheels connected, and pony truck. The boiler is thirty-six inches in diameter, and eighty-nine inches long, and has 105 one and one an half inch tubes. The fire-box is five feet long and eighteen inches wide, thus affording ample steam generating capacity. The fire-box is constructed entirely of steel, and the flue sheets area half inch thick. The cab is a fine piece of workmanship, being made of solid black walnut. The crank-pins are of steel, as are the tires of the divers. The cylinder is 11x18 inches. The tank is constructed of heavy iron, and has a capacity of 600 gallons. The ornamental  work is of brass, and the engine presents an elegant appearance. Mr. Lantz accompanied it to Sandy yesterday afternoon, for the purpose of running it out on the track for which it is designed. He will remain at the Townsend house for several days and will receive orders for road and narrow gauge engines. The National works are by far the largest builders of narrow gauge engines in the United States, and their great facilities enable them to compete successfully with all other makers. They adopt a principle in business which is sure to win; viz, to guarantee the perfect working of every locomotive sent out. Mr. Lantz hopes to secure the locomotive trade of Utah for the house which he represents, and it-will repay those who think of ordering such machines to talk with this thoroughly practical mechanic during his stay in town.

We are pleased to learn that the Wasatch and Jordan Valley road is nearly completed to Granite, and will shortly be running over about ten miles of track. The enterprise has been pushed with vigor in spite of the severity of the season.

March 7, 1873
"Gone East. -- Mr. J. A. Lantz, superintendent of the National Locomotive Works, Connellsville, Penna., leaves this morning for the east, having seen the new narrow gauge locomotive brought west by him for the Wasatch and Jordan Valley railroad successfully running on the track. It has been running now for three days, with ease on their maximum grade, and gives the utmost satisfaction. Mr. Lantz expects to return to Salt Lake in a couple of months, or less, bringing with him another locomotive. Steam to Granite will be the mode of traveling there in a short time." (Salt Lake Herald, March 7, 1873)

March 12, 1873
"Tracklaying recommenced yesterday on the Wasatch & Jordan Valley Railroad, the iron being already down for three miles; and they expect to reach Granite in ten days. The grading is done up to the Davenport Smelter; the ties and iron are on hand; and the new locomotive, which is spoken of in the highest terms, is running finely. Railroading to Little Cottonwood will soon be in order." (Salt Lake Herald, March 12, 1873)

April 1873
Wasatch & Jordan Valley completed five miles of track, from Sandy to the Davenport Smelter and on the 28th the road was completed to Granite, the site of the granite quarries. (Reeder, p. 181)

April 1, 1873
"The Wasatch and Jordan Valley Company have laid about five miles of track, and are now running construction trains from Sandy that distance eastward, as far as the quarry from which the Temple rock is obtained and close to the Davenport Smelter." (Deseret Evening News, April 1, 1873)

April 3, 1873
Track on the W&JV is now laid to the first granite quarry, opposite the Davenport smelter, and about 3/4ths of a mile below Granite. (Salt Lake Herald, April 3, 1873)

April 5, 1873
The first granite rock for the temple to be carried out via the railroad was done "yesterday," on the excursion at which Brigham Young was present. The item mentions that the line has one locomotive, one mail and baggage car, and ten flat cars; under construction at Connellsville are two first class passenger cars, ten more flat cars, "...and another engine, which will possess Colonel French's invention to aid in climbing very steep grades." 30-pound iron rails are used on the road; the present engine has six drivers and weighs 17 tons. (Deseret Evening News, April 5, 1873)

The first piece of granite hauled from the quarry by rail was brought yesterday on a flat in the train which President Young and party traveled. It was an arch stone 5-1/5 feet long, 3-feet wide and 2-feet thick, and weighed 3-3/4 tons. (Deseret News, April 5, 1873, courtesy Chuck Panhorst) (A photo by C. R. Savage, apparently taken on the day of President Young's trip, shows a scene at Granite, the transfer point between steam trains and mule-powered trains for both passengers and empry ore cars. The photo shows a mule powered train blocking the view of a steam train.)

April 17, 1873
A special excursion yesterday the 16th, by invite only, to see the new W&JV railroad; final grading and tracklaying is approaching Granite; the necessary timbers for the bridge across the creek are on hand, and the sills for same were being put in on the 16th. There are places on the line where the grade reaches 224 feet per mile. (Salt Lake Herald, April 17, 1873)

April 27, 1873
"Passenger Cars. -- Two passenger cars for the Wasatch and Jordan Valley railroad arrived last night, but without the trucks, which are expected on Monday." "Railroad Running. -- The Wasatch and Jordan Valley railroad will commence carrying passengers and freight tomorrow, between Sandy and Granite; trains connecting with those of the Utah Southern. The fare and freight tariff will be found advertised in the local columns." (and so it was; passengers 75¢, and freight at $1.00 per ton) (Salt Lake Herald, April 27, 1873)

May 1, 1873
The first shipment of bullion out of the Davenport smelter, by rail over the W&JV was "yesterday," value of $1,100.00. The passenger cars, referred to as 'Juvenile Pullman cars', are in service, so I guess the trucks arrived as scheduled. (Salt Lake Herald, May 1, 1873)

May 18, 1873
Article on the W&JVRR, which is mostly the usual, but it also has this: "...the traveler steps into the handsome little car - one of the handsomest imaginable - named the 'Granite', behind a lively little locomotive, for a dash up the Narrow Gauge." In addition, the W&JV "...will have another locomotive and more rolling stock here shortly..." (Salt Lake Herald, May 18, 1873)

July 19, 1873
"Wasatch and Jordan Valley Railroad" "The grading. on this line is done to about Fairfield Flats, some three miles above Granite,... Day before yesterday the iron was shipped for this portion of the road, from Cleveland; and two new locomotives are also on the way, one of which has French's patent attachment for climbing. This invention has been tested at Connellsville, where the locomotive was built, and advices from there received here are to the effect that it is a great success. A large number of flats and other rolling stock is now en route for the line..." (Salt Lake Herald, July 19, 1873)

August 17, 1873
Two cars of iron and one of fishplates and bolts have arrived for the W&JV, with 12 more en route. Road is graded for 2-1/2 miles above the present terminus, the ties are laid and ironing will commence on the 18th, or tomorrow. (Salt Lake Herald, August 17, 1873)

August 19, 1873
The aforementioned 12 cars of iron and such have arrived. (Salt Lake Herald, August 19, 1873)

August 20, 1873
The W. & J. V. has received 12 car loads of iron. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, August 20, 1873)

August 27, 1873
The track of the W. & J. V. is laid 2-1/2 miles beyond (above) Granite, and the winter terminus will be reached soon. (Salt Lake Daily Herald, August 27, 1873)

September 1873
Wasatch & Jordan Valley completed to Fairfield Flats. (Reeder, p. 182)

September 6, 1873
"Resources of Utah." "Statistics of Progress during the Year 1873 -- Summary for Six Months ending June 30th." (Utah Mining Gazette, September 6, 1873)

February -- "The Wasatch and Jordan Valley Railroad Company completed three miles of track-laying."

March -- "The Wasatch and Jordan Valley Railroad, completed to Granite, a distance of six and one-half miles.

April -- "The Wasatch and Jordan Valley Railroad. This road commenced running passenger and freight trains between Sandy and Granite on Monday, April 28."

September 13, 1873
"Resources of Utah." "Statistics of Progress during the Year 1873" July -- "The Wasatch and Jordan Valley Railroad, was in a very prosperous condition, and doing a large and lucrative business. The grading to Fairfield flats, three miles above Granite, was completed. Twelve car loads of iron rails had arrived from Cleveland, also a large number of 'flats,' and other stock sufficient to complete and equip the road to the point at which the grading is finished." (Utah Mining Gazette, September 13, 1873)

September 13, 1873
Passengers and freight carried over the W. & J. V. R.R., May 1st to August 31st, inclusive:

Passengers carried,.... 12,048 (average 98 per day!)

Ore & bullion, pounds,... 14,526,000

Miscellaneous, " ... 2,842,000

17,366,000 (avg. 141,187#/day!) (or 70 tons a day.) (Utah Mining Gazette, 13 September 1873)

September 17, 1873
"The Wasatch and Jordan Valley R. R.," being an article about the trip made yesterday over the aforesaid road by Brigham Young and others of the local notables. At present the road ends at Fairfield Flat, one and one-half miles above Granite. The extension to Alta is to be built in the coming year, to climb which "...the Company have purchased, or ordered, a locomotive of the patent improved climbing variety, manufactured by French, of Virginia, which, it is said, is capable of making ascents of four hundred feet gradient to the mile, the climbing apparatus acting as a brake on the down grade." (Deseret Evening News, September 17, 1873)

September 21, 1873
The W. & J. V. will open tomorrow for the transportation of freight and passengers to Fairfield's Flat, which will be the terminus for the winter. (Salt Lake Herald, September 21, 1873)

September 23, 1873
Letter from "Mathiot." "Little Cottonwood Canyon." "Climbing the Rockies in Little Narrow Gauge Cars." "Improvements in Prospect on the Line..." "Alta, Sept. 20th, 1873." "I wonder if a majority of the citizens of Salt Lake are aware of the facilities for getting to Alta,... I fancy not, or there would be more tourists..." "From Salt Lake to Sandy in one hour, and you then take the Wasatch and Jordan Valley Narrow Gauge Railroad to the mouth of Little Cottonwood Canyon. This little road, eleven miles in length,... The gauge is three feet, and the engine with a train of cars ascends the heavy grades on the route with perfect ease. Soon after leaving Sandy there is a grade of 225 feet, which increases to 287 feet. Granite is 1,100 feet higher than the starting point at Sandy; the present end of the road is 1,500 feet higher,..." "We are informed by Mr. A. Benson, Superintendent of the road, that it is paying largely... The freight on ore over the eleven miles is one dollar per ton,... There is near Granite a back switch of two miles in length, and connections are likewise made with the Davenport Smelter, Flagstaff and other reducing works at the mouth of the canyon." "A mountain engine of an entirely new description is being constructed in Connellsville, Pa., with supplementary driving wheels, which can be made to grip the rails and walk up a grade of 1,000 feet to the mile. It will be tried for the first time on this road, and the result will be looked for with interest by other narrow-gauge railroad companies who propose constructing lines through the mountains. The building of the W.& J.V.R.R., as well as originating the enterprise in the first place, is due in a great measure to the energy and business management of Hon. Frank Fuller." (item continues) (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, September 23, 1873)

September 27, 1873
"Local Summary." "The Wasatch and Jordan Valley Railroad opened for business as far as Fairfield Flat, Little Cottonwood, on Monday." (Utah Mining Gazette, September 27, 1873)("Monday" was September 22, 1873)

October 8, 1873
A W&JV carload of charcoal burns up at Sandy. (Salt Lake Tribune, October 8, 1873)

October 11, 1873
"On and after Monday, October 13th, the Wasatch and Jordan Valley Railroad Company will run one train only, daily, from Sandy to its terminus, so as to connect with Utah Southern trains from Salt Lake City in the morning and to the City in the evening. Parlin & Thompson will run stages and saddle horses to connect with these trains only. Passengers will govern themselves accordingly." (Utah Mining Gazette, October 11, 1873)

October 17, 1873
There has occurred what the paper claims is the first accident on the W. & J. V., in an engine running off the track above Granite. (Salt Lake Herald, October 17, 1873)

October 31, 1873
A turntable has been made for the W&JV at the Utah Central shops, the wheels for which were cast at Davis and Sons Foundry. (Deseret Evening News, October 31, 1873)

November 11, 1873
"Accident to a Freight Train." "An accident happened to a freight train between Granite and Sandy yesterday, occasioned by a cow on the track, which threw the locomotive off. No one was hurt, but the passenger train was delayed some time, and the passengers were compelled to alight and walk half a mile to Sandy." (Salt Lake Tribune, November 11, 1873)

November 19, 1873
"The Wasatch and Jordan Valley road is building a large roundhouse at Sandy, for the accommodation of their engines." (note use of plural in engines) (Salt Lake Tribune, November 19, 1873)

January 24, 1874
A Utah Southern baggage car, loaded with charcoal (of all things), tipped over yesterday afternoon, "in crossing the narrow gauge track of the Wasatch & Jordan Valley Railroad." (Deseret Evening News, January 24, 1874)

March 21, 1874
Resources of Utah - Statistics for 1873: "Narrow Gauge Railroads." "Wasatch & Jordan Valley Railroad: "The heaviest stockholders in this road are officers of the Emma Mining Company, Little Cottonwood." (Utah Mining Gazette, March 21, 1874)

July 28, 1874
A new timetable for the W&JV as of the 28th, today: leaves Sandy at 8:40am and 5:30pm; leaves Fairfield at 7:00am and 3:45pm. (Salt Lake Herald, July 28, 1874)

April 27, 1875
Public sale of railroad stock, by the W&JVRR, to satisfy unpaid and long overdue assessments on same. (Salt Lake Herald, April 27, 1875)

June 1875
C. W. Scofield took control of Wasatch & Jordan Valley Railroad by purchase of stock. The Wasatch & Jordan Valley was not making enough revenue to pay the operating expenses and the interest on the construction bonds. By September, with Scofield's financial resources, the railroad completed an eight-mile mule tramway from Fairfield Flats to serve the mines at Alta. (Reeder, p. 184, 185)

(Two years before, in June 1873, Scofield had taken control of the Bingham Canyon & Camp Floyd.)

June 24, 1875
"The Wasatch and Jordan Valley railroad has changed hands, the owners of the Bingham Canyon and Camp Floyd road having purchased the stock and taken possession of the former line. The new owners have already put a force of graders at work on the proposed tramway from the terminus of the road, Fairfield Flat, to Alta; and the order for the rolling stock for the extension has been given." (Salt Lake Herald, June 24, 1875)

June 26, 1875
"The Wasatch & Jordan Valley railroad has been purchased by the Bingham Canyon railroad company, which is now engaged in constructing a tramway or horse railroad from the end of the Wasatch and Jordan Valley railroad to [Alta]. It will be pushed to a speedy completion,..." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, June 26, 1875)

August 18, 1875
Tracklaying on the W. & J. V. tramway has reached Tannersville, and there is enough iron on hand to reach Alta. (Salt Lake Herald, August 18, 1875)

September 4, 1875
"Little Cottonwood Tramway" Item reports that it is rapidly nearing completion to end at Alta; the grade is complete to Central, and track is but 1-1/2 miles from Alta, and will likely be completed by the end of next week. (Salt Lake Herald, September 4, 1875)

September 14, 1875
"Alta by Rail", completion of the tramway that joins Alta with the terminus of the W&JV, opened on Sunday last, the 12th. "Several passenger cars for the tramway are now on the way from the east, and it is expected will soon be put upon the road." C. W. Scofield plans to put a shed over the entire eight miles, at an estimated cost of 60 or 70 thousand dollars. "It is not many weeks ago that he became the owner of the W. & J. V. ..." (Salt Lake Herald, September 14, 1875)

October 25, 1875
A report of a considerable wreck on "the tramway of the Wasatch and Jordan Valley Railroad, which extends from Fairfield Flat to Alta." It seems that a brakeman on a descending car thought that his brakes would not hold, so he jumped off the car, which promptly took off like a shot, crashing into other cars, mules (killing four of them) and finally ending by pushing the remains of cars, mules and freight out the side of the snowshed. The brakeman took up work elsewhere. (Deseret Evening News, October 25, 1875)

April 8, 1876
The Alta tramway opened up, partially, on the 6th, as far as Tannersville. The first passengers of the season rode up on the 7th. (Salt Lake Herald, April 8, 1876)

June 6, 1876
The Alta Tramway is cleared of snow and in use to Central City, or about 1/4 mile from (below) Alta depot. (Salt Lake Herald, June 6, 1876)

August 17, 1876
The Alta Tramway is being covered with a snowshed. (Salt Lake Herald, August 17, 1876)

January 10, 1877
"The horse tramway to Alta is again clear, and the cars running." (The Utah County Enquirer, Provo, January 10, 1877)

March 10, 1877
The Alta tramway is blocked by snow again; is the only road to Alta. (The Utah County Enquirer, Provo, March 10, 1877)

October 7, 1877
An item on "Little Cottonwood" refers in passing to "...the box cars of the W. & J. V. R. R." (Salt Lake Daily Herald, October 7, 1877)

February 21, 1878
"About two hundred feet of the Alta tramway shed was swept away by a snow slide on Tuesday morning. Trains ran through from Wasatch yesterday, the passengers walking over the slide were taken to Alta on cars run down for that purpose." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, February 21, 1878)

May 26, 1878
The rails of the defunct American Fork Railroad sold to Wasatch & Jordan Valley. Trains to dismantle the AFRR were to begin removing the rails "tomorrow," with the work to continue for about 10 days. (Salt Lake Tribune, May 26, 1878)

June 1, 1878
"Sandy" items - "There is a likelihood that the track taken from the American Fork Railroad will be laid from some point on the Wasatch and Jordan Valley road to Big Cottonwood. Major Humphrey, the superintendent, has an eye to making business and money for the company." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, June 1, 1878)

August 2, 1878
"Alta in Ashes," as it burned yesterday. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, August 2, 1878)

August 2, 1878
Alta has burned again. (Ogden Junction, August 2, 1878)

December 14, 1878
"The Tax Cases", brought by the W&JV and the BC&CF, to obtain an injunction restraining the tax collector from selling railroad property for the payment of delinquent taxes. (Salt Lake Herald, December 14, 1878)

February 6, 1879
Decision yesterday in the tax W&JV and BC&CF case; taxes for 1878 are to be paid, but the taxes for earlier years may be passed; injunction stopping the collector stands. (Salt Lake Herald, February 6, 1879)

Consolidated with Bingham Canyon & Camp Floyd

April 29, 1879
Bingham Canyon & Camp Floyd and Wasatch & Jordan Valley were consolidated to form a new Wasatch & Jordan Valley Railroad. (Reeder, p. 168, 169)

(Some historians doubt that the consolidation took place. However, the fact that Scofield controlled both roads, along with the Utah & Pleasant Valley, should be just about the only argument needed. Also, Scofield filed all necessary documents with both the Auditor of Public Accounts and the Utah Territorial Secretary showing that the roads were consolidated. These files are available in the Utah state archives.)

(Historian Robert LeMassena writes on page 83 of his Rio Grande...to the Pacific of the 1881 D&RGW purchase of W&JV: "How this consolidation [D&RGW and W&JV] was accomplished was not revealed until a court case in 1916. The evidence showed that these two railroad companies [W&JV and BC&CF] had concocted a fraudulent combination in 1879 for the purpose of selling additional bonds, with the unannounced intention of defaulting upon their original ones. As was to be expected, the two companies were foreclosed and sold, Palmer and his associates purchasing them. The court records did not disclose who perpetrated this nefarious scheme, but it smacks of the crafty Jay Gould, who had obtained a controlling interest in Palmer's D&RG during 1878 and 1879.")

January 1, 1880
A long letter on "Little Cottonwood," written from Alta, December 30, 1879; comments upon the quarries "...along the Wasatch and Jordan Valley Railroad. Passing onward, we soon come to a hotel and outbuildings designated as Wasatch. This is the terminus of steam navigation and here we change cars for Alta via the Tramway. This latter is a continuation of the narrow-gauge, and is a well-built and thoroughly ballasted road with steel rails and comfortable open seat cars, requiring for the upward trip a propelling force of almost three mule-power. For the downward passage, however, gravitation has to be held in check to keep the speed within the limit of safety. We soon enter the snow sheds, and are consequently debarred from viewing some of the most pleasing scenery in Utah." "Once within the snow sheds we wrap our patience as a mantle about us and imagine ourselves comfortable during our two-hours ride to Alta..." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, January 1, 1880)

January 7, 1880
Article on "The Coal Outlook"; the railroad still stuck in the snow; the U&PV is 'connected', as the paper puts it, with the W&JV and BC&CF lines, and supplies all of their coal, somewhat to the irritation of the locals. (The Territorial Enquirer, Provo, January 7, 1880)

July 23, 1880
"C. W. Scofield's Creditors" - Scofield owes some $95,000 to Clark, Post & Martin for rails; $11,050 owed to Howland & Aspinwall, on what not stated, but they owned the American Fork Railroad, etc.; and many others. Scofield's reported assets included the physical property of the various railroads, and sundry stocks and bonds, but the list did not go into any details. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, July 23, 1880)

October 17, 1880
An article of one and one-half columns on the decision in the Aspinwall vs. Scofield suit (Aspinwall was the president/owner of the American Fork Railroad, and Scofield the president/owner of the Wasatch & Jordan Valley and Bingham Canyon & Camp Floyd, as well as the Utah & Pleasant Valley; the suit was over the non payment of some $11,000 for railroad materials Scofield obtained of Aspinwall); as the original judgment against Scofield was obtained by the plaintiff in the New York Supreme Court, and not made a part of the current (Utah) proceeding, decision is against plaintiff. This is said to be an important precedent. (Salt Lake Herald, October 17, 1880)

(Utah & Pleasant Valley was apparently reorganized and refinanced in February 1881. This reorganized company may have been when Scofield began to operate his three companies, including the merged Bingham canyon & Camp Floyd and Wasatch & Jordan Valley, as a single enterprise, and could be a reflection of Jay Gould's influence as a new source of financial backing; Palmer may be equally involved by this time since Gould was also in control of D&RG.)

May 11, 1881
"City Jottings." "The case of Geo. Crismon, et. al., vs. the B.C.& C.F.R.R.Co. was the only matter before the U. S. District Court yesterday." (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, May 11, 1881)

May 12, 1881
"Third District Court," Wednesday May 11th - Crismon vs. BC&CF - the defendant moved for non-suit; granted, with exception: plaintiff has 60 days to file for new trial. (Salt Lake Daily Tribune, May 12, 1881)

August 3, 1881
"On Monday one engine, one coach and some six freight cars were sent from the Bingham Canyon Railroad to the Pleasant Valley line." ("Monday" would have been August 1, 1881.) (Salt Lake Herald, August 3, 1881)

August 1881
Wasatch & Jordan Valley in foreclosure. (Reeder, p. 192)

December 31, 1881
D&RGW bought the Wasatch & Jordan Valley (which was the 1879 consolidation of the old Wasatch & Jordan Valley and the Bingham Canyon & Camp Floyd) (Reeder, p. 192)

(Wilson, on page 71, says D&RGW bought the Bingham Canyon & Camp Floyd on September 1, 1881.)

(Athearn, on pages 115 and 116, says D&RGW bought the Bingham Canyon & Camp Floyd and Wasatch & Jordan Valley "Toward the end of the year...")

(Read more about Wasatch & Jordan Valley, and Bingham Canyon & Camp Floyd -- after the combined roads were sold to William Palmer and his Denver & Rio Grande Western)

(Read more about the operations and later history of the Sandy Branch -- including the Alta Tramway after W&JV was sold to Denver & Rio Grande Western)

Locomotives

(Read more about the locomotives used by Wastatch & Jordan Valley Railroad)

Map

(Google Map of the Wasatch & Jordan Valley Railway)

More Information

Clarence Reeder's research -- Clarence Reeder's research about Wasatch & Jordan Valley Railroad

Corporate Information for Wasatch & Jordan Valley Railroad

Scofield Railroads -- Information about the three railroads controlled by Charles W. Scofield, and later sold to D&RGW in 1882-1883.

Wasatch & Jordan Valley entry from George W. Hilton's American Narrow Gauge Railroads (Stanford University Press, 1990)

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