History of the Real
(our Name Sake)
by Norman E. Hansesn
Establishing the Line
Work began on a
Monday in April 1874 with no ceremonies by C.S. Abbott. John F.
Kidder was retained as the Chief Engineer and Superintendent of
Construction already having done surveys for a prior railroad
proposal. Track gangs reached Salinas on October 9th with only
a few items yet to be completed. Captain Kidder left on the 10th to
make surveys for a proposed narrow gauge railroad out of Hollister,
California. On January 11, 1875 directors were elected confirming
Carl S. Abbott as president, David Jacks as Treasurer, and Joseph W.
Nesbit was confirmed as Superintendent of the railroad. By the 16th
of January, John F. Kidder and his assistant C.P. Loughridge had left
for Grass Valley, California having finished the survey for the
Hollister and San Juan railroad project.
Two work cars were removed from the roster of the M. & S. V. railroad in 1877 possibly going over to the Santa Cruz railroad. On September 4, 1879 it was announced by the "Salinas City Index" that the Southern Pacific had purchased the Monterey and Salinas Valley railroad with the office being transferred from Salinas to San Francisco. Work was immediately begun on ripping up the track with all the narrow gauge property, rolling stock, rails, & etceteras going to the Nevada Central at Battle Mountain, Nevada. Combine Car No. 1 arrived on the property on December 20, 1879, and the mortgage on the M. & S. V. was sold at public auction on December 22, 1879 by the Pacific Improvement Co. who was a wholly owned subsidiary of the Southern Pacific. The Pacific Improvement Co. was charged with the construction of the Hotel Del Monte. Control of the railroad was handed over to the Monterey Railroad Company.
Mr. Joseph W. Nesbitt, former Superintendent of the Monterey and Salinas Valley railroad had taken up an offer on San Luis Obispo and Port Hartford railroad and as reported by the "Salinas City Index" for Thursday, January 10, 1878 after an illness of three weeks, died at his residence on January 7, 1878 at the age of 45 years.
by: Norman E. Hansen