Thomas Kennedy Gray- always called Edd, was the son of James St. Clair, and Annie Kennedy Gray, and was born in Pittsburgh, June 29, 1866. He was educated in private schools, and attended the Western University of Pennsylvania, (now the University of Pittsburgh) but did not graduate. When a young man he was interested in music, and was a musician of some ability. He was also much interested in photography, and was a charter member of the Pittsburgh Amateur Photographic Society. His work was rated among the best in the society, and he carried off many of the prizes in exhibitions. The invention of dry plates had made photography much easier than the old wet plate process, so it became a very popular pastime. However, present day photographers with their rolls of films, and easily carried Kodak's would look doubtfully at the load of equipment the amateur photographers in 1885 carried cheerfully.
In the spring of 1885 he went to Washington Territory to join his uncle, William H. Kennedy, who was Assistant Engineer on the Northern Pacific Railroad. He was located in a camp in the Cascade Mountains on the Green River.
After spending a year in Washington Territory, he returned to Pittsburgh with some very successful photographs, showing the beauty of the country, and the construction work of the Northern Pacific Railroad done under the supervision of William H. Kennedy. After spending a few years in Pittsburgh, he went West again, and was engaged in railroad work with his uncle, at this time Chief Engineer of the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company. He spent a number of years in the West, which he much preferred to the East.
In 1905 he was with Mr. J.Q. Jamieson doing construction work on the Western Pacific Railroad in California, and was located at Clio, a small but picturesque little settlement in a valley in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
When he returned to Pittsburgh in 1907 he brought with him quantities of photographs he had taken. When working on the Western Pacific he spent part of the time in San Francisco and he was very enthusiastic about this city preferring it to any other as a place of residence. Later on when he had retired from business, he compiled a book describing the astonishing development from its spectacular beginning to the wonderful city at the present time. He went to considerable trouble securing pictures and maps, and his compilation is a valuable and interesting account of a most fascinating city.
When he returned to Pittsburgh in 1907 he was connected with the Graham Nut and Bolt Company until 1923, when he resigned and devoted his time to his private business. Every year he made a trip west to attend to business connected with his ranch in Washington, and at the same time visited his many friends in that part of the country. So as a result of his admiration for the West he spent much time collecting a library of Western Americana.
Always a great reader, he was well informed on questions of the day, political and otherwise, and almost always his prophecies proved to be correct.
He died October 25, 1934, of Chronic Bronchitis from which disease he had suffered for a number of years.
[Note: while the author of the letter and short diary below are reputed to be from Thomas Kennedy Gray, nicknamed 'Edd,' in the diary the author refers to someone else named 'Edd' specifically, in more than once instance. Also, if the stories are correct, an east coast museum or historical society may have Mr. Gray's Stampede Pass photographs - or, the collection normally attributed to Andrew Gibson, whom we've already seen [and who does not ever mention taking photographs of Stampede], may in fact be that of Mr. Gray. This collection of large format black and whites is at the Yakima Valley Museum and Historical Society, Yakima, WA.]
NORTHERN PACIFIC R.R., CASCADE DIVISION
Camp at Green River, Washington Territory, July 6th, 1885.
We left camp bright and early Saturday morning for our trip up to Grass Mountain. We had a horse to pack our blankets, grub, etc., and the only things we had to carry were the camera outfit, and our fishing poles. I guess it was about half past six or seven o'clock when we started out. We were to take our dinner at Skunk Camp, six miles or so from camp. The last three miles was over a part of the trail I had never been over. About two miles from Skunk Camp is a place called Eagle Gorge. There is an immense jam of logs gorged across the river. The place is very pretty but you can't get at it to take photographs. I only took one from there. It was about ten o'clock when we got to the Gorge. The fishing was splendid. I had given my pole to Harry who went on to camp with the horse. I was very sorry for it as I would have liked to have it very much. Lincoln and Edd took them and in a half hour had a big string of fish, more then we could eat at dinner.
It was a little after eleven when we left for Skunk Camp. Skunk Camp is where the party was camped last year, and got its name from the skunks around it. It is about two miles from Eagle Gorge.
When we got to the camp we built a fire, boiled some coffee, cleaned, and fried the fish and ate our lunch which we had carried as we do going to work, tied up in a handkerchief and tied to our back suspender straps. The fish Williams cooked, and they were splendid, crisp, and a delicious flavor. After dinner we washed up the dishes, after which we went fishing. The fish wouldn't bite good but nevertheless we got as many as we could eat for supper. We got tired of fishing and went in swimming. The water was awful cold at first but after a while we got used to it. I can swim about ten strokes. About three o'clock we went back to camp and made another start for Grass Camp, three miles farther on. We got to Grass Camp about five in the afternoon. We passed two or three ranches on our way up; the ranchers had a good many acres cleared and they had some first class peas, potatoes, etc., planted.
When we got to Grass Camp the first thing we did was to put up the fly tent. While some were putting up the fly the others were making a fire, cleaning the fish and unpacking the horses. At six we had supper and I ate like sixty. The fish tasted splendid and it seemed as if I never would stop eating them. At last we let up, and after unrolling the blankets we went fishing, and such fishing. Your fly would no more than touch the water than it would be grabbed by a hungry trout and often you could see two or three jump up after it at once. We stopped fishing at about half past eight and had loads more fish than we could eat for breakfast, so on our way home the next day we left them at one of the ranches. When we got to camp 'Smith and I went into the cabin built there, and changed the plate holders. You will wonder why we didn't sleep in the cabin instead of bringing a tent and sleeping on the ground, but tramps and Indians and everybody else sleep in it and it is pretty full of inhabitants, so we didn't venture into it. We had been warned ever since we got to camp that we were going to be bothered with the gnats and mosquitoes, but Great Scott, we never imagined they would be so bad until we got into bed. They bit you everywhere. I slept better than any of the boys, and I am sure that I didn't sleep more than an hour all night if I slept that long. We got up at half past three in the morning and had breakfast and everything packed up ready to go back, when we got down from the mountain at five.
From Grass Camp up to the top of Grass Mountain is six miles and up hill on a steep grade all the way,-we only thought it was three. It was one of the longest climbs I have ever had; it put me in mind of the climb up Cameron's Cone in Colorado, but only it was a great deal tougher climb. As we got near the top the trees grew less and less dense, until at last the trail began to wind through grass and flowers, red, blue, yellow, white and purple. It looked beautiful-just like a country garden. I could hardly realize that I was not walking through someone's garden instead of being way up on a lonely mountain. At last we came to a place where we could see Mt. Tacoma, but could not get a good view of it, and it was mile from the place where we first got a view of Mt. Tacoma to where the view burst upon us. I was pretty well tuckered out when we got to the top but the view was simply grand. Old Mt. Tacoma with its snow capped head looming up thousands of feet above the rest of the mountains, different chains of mountains stretching away everywhere made a beautiful scene. I took two pictures of Mt. Tacoma right after one another so if one turned out bad the other might be good. I wish they were developed, but I feel too tired tonight to do it. The top of the mountain is covered with hundreds of acres of grass and flowers. There are no trees on the top. The Indians sometimes bring their horses up to graze. We took two canteens of water up as there was no water after we left Grass Camp. Just before we started down we drained the last few drops from our canteens, but only got enough to wet our mouths so to speak, and I can tell you I was awful thirsty before we got back to camp, and when I got down to the stream I consumed a terrible amount of water. We got to the top about half past eight, and left about a quarter to ten or, ten o'clock and got to camp by eleven. We came down the mountain like a blue streak. We got dinner over and everything packed up to start back to camp when McAlister and Bliss came up with the pack train to bring the tents back, and things left by the nobs. McAllister wanted our pack horse, so we unpacked and left our roll of blankets in the woods until Bliss came over today with the train, and he brought them down. I am awful glad we didn't have to carry them down. The walk home was first rate until we got to Skunk Camp when we took to walking and wading along the river to avoid some bad hills on the trail. We waded from one side of the river to the other, often the water up to our waists. There was no use of our taking off our clothing as we would have been pulling them off and putting them on every other minute. We kept this up for about two miles and then struck to the trail. The rest of the boys kept on down the river, but as we had passed the hills I preferred the trail to the water. My boots had a lot of water in them when I got to camp, and it made it mighty hard walking. My boots are hard to get off and on and if I take them off when they are soaking wet and my socks as well, it is a terrible job getting them on again. I was awful tired when I got to camp but after a good bath I felt better. July 7th. Edd and Lincoln developed last night. Both of their pictures of Mt. Tacoma-turned out N.G. I hope one of the two I took will turn out good. It would be an awful gag if after going to the top of Grass Mountain to take a picture of Mt. Tacoma we didn't get one good one, but I think one of mine will turn out first rate. I got a letter from Mama and Annie yesterday. You needn't mind sending any books as there are enough papers come to the boys, with what I get from home to give me as much reading as I have time for. We have been having fresh beef for some time past. We have not had any ham for some time, but there are still plenty of hams in camp. We have canned peas, lima beans and tomatoes. The peas were delicious when I first got here, but a new box came up not long ago and they taste sour. We have preserved Oregon plums or dried apple sauce every night, but these two kinds of preserved fruit are all we have in the fruit line. Sunday and Monday were regular scorchers. Yesterday was not so bad and today it is cool. The right of way across the river is getting cleared pretty fast and when that gets cleared we will be awful hurried or it may get cleared in sections that we cannot work much at it at a time and it may keep us very busy. This afternoon it was thundering, once looked a good deal like rain. I hope it won't rain enough to make the trail muddy again, as it is just now in first rate condition. I sent my boots down with Powell this morning to get half soled. One of them is pretty far gone and the other one the sole is coming off. They haven't worn as long as I expected they would. July 9th. This morning it set to rain and rained nearly all morning. We went out on the line this morning but as it kept on raining and the right of way was not cleared enough to make it worth while to stay out. This afternoon, so far, we have not been called out; looks like rain. I am going to develop tonight and I do hope the pictures of Mt. Tacoma will be good. Is there any danger of the cholera back East?
With love to all, I am as ever, your loving son, brother and nephew,
NORTHERN PACIFIC R.R. - CASCADE DIVISION
Camp at Green River, Washington Territory
June 22, 1885. I think I will start a diary, but am not sure how long I will keep it up. Today is the first really good day we have had here for over a month. The work is slack just at present. Most of the day I read except in the morning we chopped a little wood and late in the afternoon ran the cross-cut saw for a while in the woods, sawing off blocks. We have just had a mouth organ concert, two organs and whistler. (Williams was the whistler.) We made music like a brass band in disguise. I hope to goodness I won't wake tomorrow morning and find it either raining or cloudy.
June 23. Another nice day. It seems as if summer had at last come to us. Went out on the line this morning but got back early in the afternoon, about half past three. We ate our dinner in the middle of the river, on a tree that had been felled across. It was shaded by the trees on the opposite bank and was the best place we have had to eat lunch in yet. A box of eggs (48 doz.) has just come. The boys are delighted but as I never eat them it makes no difference to me. A saloon has been opened at the upper tunnel camp since Friday. It is a rough looking place, a little board shanty, but lots of the poor devils of men spend their week's wages at it, I suppose. There is another one at the lower tunnel camp; it is a little better looking one than the other, but the poison is just as bad I suppose as at the new one.
June 24. Another nice day but it was awful warm in the middle of the day. Worked and loafed in the woods all morning sawing blocks of woods, was awful warm running the cross cut saw. In the afternoon went to the lower tunnel. Got back about five. The trail is beginning to dry up. If we have another week of the same kind of weather as we have been having for the last few days the trail will be in fine condition.
June 25. Rainy and cloudy weather again. Up in the woods sawing fire wood with the cross cut all morning except when the rain drove us to the house. In the afternoon we split and piled part of what we had cut up in the wood shed. Powell came up just a little before supper. He brought me some letters and a paper from home.
June 26. This morning all the boys went beyond the store to take estimates. They did not need me and as it is the longest walk on the line I was very glad of it. I stayed around camp all day. In the morning I split up a lot of wood that had been cut up the day before. In the afternoon I remained in camp and read. The boys got back early and brought back the plates etc., from the store. It was raining a good deal in the afternoon and has been raining ever since supper. I hope now that we have got our plates we will have good weather to take some pictures.
June 27. Nice day. Out on the line all day. Got back to camp at a quarter to six. Powell was at camp when we got back with some papers from home for me. The trail is pretty muddy again. 28th. Beautiful day-took some pictures in the morning and afternoon-developed in the evening. 29th. Out on the line until about three o'clock. After we got back to camp we all went fishing and caught quite a number of trout. 30th. Out on the line all day. When we got to camp in the evening the Chinaman said he had seen a snake in our room, and had not seen it go out. We have looked for it all around but can't find it. Hope it won't crawl into bed with us, as it would be an unpleasant bedfellow. It is not dangerous, as there are no dangerous snakes in this country, but it is mighty unpleasant to know there is a snake somewhere in the room. I will turn my boots inside out tomorrow morning before I put them on. July 1st. Stayed in camp all morning. Just before dinner, Uncle Willie came up. We expected the President of the road and party at camp today, but it is not likely they will be here now, but will probably come tomorrow. In the afternoon we went out on the line, and got back to camp about half past five. 2nd. Out on the line all morning. About half past four the President of the road and party of four got to camp. They preferred to sleep in the tents, rather than in the house, so we had to go to work and put up two tents and line the floors of them with hay and pine bows (boughs?) and make up their beds. 3rd. Out on the line all morning. In the afternoon we took down the tents, and carried the hay back to the stable, and toned some pictures. The party went down to South Prairie this morning. Uncle Will went with them. Tomorrow will be the 4th, and we are going to spend the day up at Grass Camp, and on Sunday go on up to Grass Mountain and take a picture of Mt. Tacoma. July 4th. Left camp at about half past six for a trip up Grass Mountain. Got to a place called Skunk Camp, about eleven, where we cooked what fish we had caught going up, made coffee, and ate lunch. We took up a pack horse with our blankets, fly tent, grub, cooking utensils, etc. Fishing was splendid around Skunk Camp. After dinner we fished and went in swimming until about three o'clock, when we went on up to Grass Camp about three miles from Skunk Camp. Skunk Camp is six miles from our camp. Got to Grass Camp about five o'clock. Pitched the fly tent, cleaned some fish and had supper. I had a ravenous appetite. After supper we all went fishing and caught more fish than we knew what to do with. We gave a lot to a fellow that has a ranch just a little below the camp. The fishing was just splendid every time you threw the fly you would have a bite or a fish. Didn't get to camp until pretty late at night. 5th. Got up at half past three in the morning. None of us slept hardly any all night for the gnats and mosquitoes were awful-there were millions of them and they bit you everywhere. At five we had breakfast over and every thing ready to start up the mountain, the top of which was six miles from camp. The climb was just awful up the steep side of the mountain all the way to the top. There was no water along the trail and as we had only brought two canteens of water along with us, we were pretty thirsty when we got to the top, and we had none left for the down trip, and when I got to camp I drank about a gallon. The top of the mountain is covered with grass and flowers, there being no trees to speak of at all. Got a splendid view of Mt. Tacoma-took a picture of it. We were just ready to leave with our packs on the horse when McAllister and Bliss came up with a pack train going on up to the Summit to bring down a lot of things left by the Nobs. They took our horse on up with them, and rather than carry our blankets with us, we cached them in the wood, and Bliss will bring them when he comes back, probably tomorrow. Got back to camp at half past three in the afternoon. Was awful tired and wet when I got to camp, as we came along the river and had to wade from bank to bank with our clothes on, water always up to our knees, and often up to our waists. My boots were full of water almost all the way to camp. Has been awful warm all day and is, I think, going to be a sultry night. 6th. Out on the line all day. Had to go to the store, the longest place on the work, feel all broke up after the long walk yesterday. It was frightfully warm all day, but it is about seven o'clock now, and it is cooler. Trail is in pretty good condition. 7th. Out on the line all day making and shaving stakes. Not as warm as it was yesterday and the day before. Powell came up at supper time with the mail and pay checks. 8th. At the upper tunnel with Mr. J. all day. The first day he had been out with us since I have been here. Was thundering all afternoon, and looks like rain. Rained a little early this morning, tolerably cool day. 9th. This morning we all went out on the line. Smith and myself were told to go on the right of way across the river and wait for the rest of the boys who were going to the tunnel. It began to rain in a little time but Smith and I got under the roots of a big uprooted tree and did not get wet. The rest of the boys came down in about two hours or so, and as it was still raining and the right of way was not cleared very well, we came back to camp and got here about ten o'clock. This afternoon at two o'clock we are still in camp, but may be told to go out at any minute, but I don't think we will Stayed in all afternoon. 10th. Out on the line just across from camp all day. Came home for dinner. Cloudy all morning, but the sun came up about twelve and stayed up until four. Just a little before we quit work it began to rain. 11th. Out on the line across the river from camp all day. Came to camp for dinner. Powell came up with the mail after dinner. Got done work about half past four and went in swimming. It had been very warm all day, but the water was as cold as ice, so we did not stay in very long. Got a letter from home, and one from Bennett and Hunter. 12th. Beautiful day. Stayed in camp all day. Took a couple of pictures in the afternoon. Awful warm day. Developed in the evening. Powell went down this morning-will be up again on Tuesday. Wrote a letter to Aunt Sarah-sent down to Uncle Willie for her address, as I have not got it. 13th. Out on the line all day. Awful warm during the day, but cool in the evening. Butter gave out. Lincoln saw a deer, but as we were on the other side of the river, we did not get a sight of it. It came down to the river to drink. 14th. Out on the line all day. Cloudy all day and threatening rain-a good deal cooler than yesterday. Still no butter-guess it will be up tomorrow. If Mr. J. I. had any get-up in his composition, he would borrow some from some of the camps around. 15th. Rained all night, and kept it up until about nine in the morning. Cloudy all the rest of the day. Out on the line all day-got back to camp about four o'clock. Still out of butter and liable to be out of it for a week or two. 16th. Out on the line all day. Cloudy and cook in the morning, but bright in the afternoon. Still n.b. (no butter). Harry ought to be up to-night. We expected him last night, and if he is coming up to-night, he ought to be here very soon now. 18th. On the line all morning. Uncle Will and Mr. Bogue got up about eleven. Ate dinner at camp. Went on the line after dinner, but in about half an hour. It began to rain very hard and so we came back to camp, where we stayed all afternoon. Powell came up to-night with the mail, but brought no butter. Is going down this morning and will be up some time next week with some. 19th. Uncle Willie and Mr. Bogue went down this morning. Cloudy all morning, but cleared up in the afternoon. Went down on the line and took some pictures. 20th. Out on the line all day. When we got back to camp we found a quarter of mutton; and you bet there was a shout. Now if some butter would only come up we would be tolerably well fixed. 21st. On the line all day. Rained very hard in the early part of the morning-cleared up about eleven. Got back to camp for dinner. Powell came up after supper, 22nd. On the line all day-very nice day, but awful warm. Powell went down again this morning, but will be up again tomorrow with a pack train of fresh vegetables. 23nd. On the line all day-took dinner at camp. Beautiful day, but awful warm around noon. Powell has not got up yet. Harry is going to pack all Bush's party up some time this week. 24th. On the line all day. Late last night Harry got up with a lot of vegetables, tomatoes, potatoes, string beans, green peas, beets, cabbages onions, and cucumbers. I ate two tomatoes and a big cucumber. The boys all said I would get the cholera. Had a splendid supper, the only thing that was wanting was butter 25th. On the line all day-awfully warm day. Met Uncle Willie and Mr. Bush on the line. Went in swimming after we got back-water was as cold as thunder-didn't stay in very long. Mr. Burns has just sent some fresh mutton. I bet we will have a staving dinner tomorrow. 26th. Stayed around camp all day. In the afternoon the brush piles burning on the right of way across the river set the woods on fire. The fire is spreading up the mountain. I hate to see the timber getting ruined, although it would probably never do any one any good. They were driving piles for the bridges all day, the river is very low and makes the driving them very slow and hard. 27th. Uncle Will went down this morning. On the line all day. Mr. Burns' camp has been destroyed by fire. He has lost nearly everything he had, and some of his men have lost every thing they had. I am very sorry for him, as he has been unfortunate with his contract down below. It will delay the work a little. Luckily, they saved the powder house, it would have been awful if it had caught on fire. The black powder would have set off the dynamite cartridges stored there, and the loss of life might have been terrible. The fire that was started yesterday is still burning up the mountain. 28th. On the line all day, awful warm. After writing last night, the fire caught around the foot bridge we have across the river, and we had to go over and cut the dry bush away, and wet the bridge with water. We passed Burns' camp this afternoon and saw the scene of the fire yesterday. They saved some of the supplies, but all the tents were burned. The fire has spread on this side about a mile up the river. You can't tell where it will break out. Everything is so dry that if a spark once gets into the bush, it spreads like lightning. There are a great deal of old dry chips, and stuff around camp, and if a spark falls into them unnoticed, it will be good-bye to the house and everything in it. But I don't think there is any danger of its coming down on this side. Quite a number of Indians have been going up the trail. They are going over the mountains to pick huckleberries. There are a great many huckleberries around here, but they have not the same taste at all of the ones in the States. 29th. On the line all day. Met quite a number of Indians on the trail. Saw one little Indian girl not as large as Josie, riding a large horse. 30th. On the line all day. Raining off and on all day. 31st. On the line all day. Gibson, one of Mr. Carr's party, came up with a little butter (splendid butter). Some meat also came up. The track will be up to the store tonight. Aug. 1st. Only three months more before the road is finished, one more month of good weather and then two months of worse weather than when I first got here. In the line cross-sectioning on Burns' work all day. Chapman's two little children were around all day where we were working. One is a little girl and the other a boy. Made me feel home-sick. Very warm day. Took a bath in the river after getting to camp-water as cold as ever-wish the water was warm here. 2nd. Sunday. Stayed around camp all day. In the afternoon did some much needed sewing on my pants. Made an awful job out of it. but it holds. Very warm all day. Powell came up in the evening. Track got up as far as the store yesterday evening. 3rd. On the line all day. Awful hot. 4th. On the line all day with Mr. J. Will begin driving piles for the first bridge tomorrow. Awful warm. 5th. On the line at the first crossing all day. Saw them drive the first pile for the bridge trestle. Pretty cool. 6th. On the line all day. Very cool in the morning and trying to rain. 7th. At the tunnel and on Burns' work all day. Pretty warm. It seems as if we always get to work on his work in the hottest part of the day. Every day we have been working there the smoke has been very disagreeable. Well we have only about two more days work there, and one days work cross sectioning at another place, and then, thank goodness, our cross sectioning will be over. 8th. Finished up cross sectioning on Burns' work about half past ten in the morning. Got to camp about eleven. Mr. J. took Harry and Bliss out with him after dinner, and the rest of us stayed around camp. Thank goodness, the cross sectioning is nearly over unless the line is changed, we will only have two days work at it. There will be no more ready for us until about a week. 9th Sunday. Stayed around camp all day. Too cloudy to take any pictures. 10th. Got through work at dinner time. Mr. J. was to meet us and lay out the trestle for the seventh crossing. He said he would meet us right after dinner. We waited until about three o'clock and then left for camp., he got there just about half an hour after we left. 11th. On the line all day. Met Uncle Willie on the line. Fearfully warm. I am afraid the rain is going to give us thunder in a short time. 12th. Fearfully, awfully, hot today. Saw Uncle Will at the store. Got to camp about half past three, in time to take some pictures, but it was too awful smoky. Have the track laid to the first crossing. I hope to goodness it will be cooler tomorrow. 13th. At the first crossing all morning. Very cloudy and threatening rain all day. Met Uncle Will and Mr. Bogue and another gentleman coming up to camp. 14th. On the line all day. Uncle Will and party went down this morning. Very cool when we started to work in the morning, but by noon it got very warm. 15th. On the line all day. There was quite a serious accident at the lower tunnel. A part of the roof caved in, crushing some of the timbers. One man was buried in the loose sand and gravel. The accident happened in the morning, and it was about eight at night when they got him out. Another man was hurt, but not seriously. It caused great excitement along the lines. Met Uncle Will coming up to the tunnel. I am afraid they may have a hard time stopping the slide. The men are all afraid to work in it now. 26th. Sunday. Had to go to the first crossing to do some work on the trestle. You can just bet we were mad. Took some man's body down to Tacoma this morning. Awfully warm. Went in swimming after we got home, which was about three o'clock. Took dinner at Mr. Bush's camp. 17th. Out on the line for about three hours this morning. The rest of the day we all stayed around camp except Williams and Bliss who Mr. J. took out somewhere with him. Thank the Lord, we finished our last piece of cross sectioning this morning. Our work now will, I think, be pretty easy. 22nd. Have not written since the 17th. We have been very busy this week, until this afternoon, when we didn't go out. The weather has been awfully smoky all week. Cloudy all day today, and looks like rain. Out on the line all morning, but stayed in camp all afternoon. Another man was killed today. This time on Burns' work. A large rock fell on his head and mashed it to a jelly. 23rd. Sunday. Stayed around camp all day. It rained in the night, and in the morning it looked like another place. I saw the top of the mountains plainly for the first time for over a month. The rain, however, didn't put all the forest fires out. 24th. Smoky as every today. On the line all morning but got back to camp early in the afternoon. Uncle Will came up today. 25th. Still smoky. Out making track center plugs all morning. Got to camp early in the afternoon. 26th. Lincoln took Harry and Jim out with him to take estimates, and left Smith and me at camp. They got back about nine o'clock. I didn't go out all day. 27th. Up in the woods running the cross cut and making a road for the blocks to roll down hill. 28th. Laying track centers all day. A man fell off the first bridge but was not hurt seriously. 29th. At the upper tunnel all morning. Up in the woods sawing wood all afternoon. 30th. Sunday. Stayed around camp all day. Looked very much like rain. September 3rd. Worked in the office all morning. In the afternoon we were out on the line. 4th Out on the line giving grades all morning. In the afternoon Mr. Jamieson took me out on the line with him to stake out some culverts. Got to camp about four o'clock. Williams, my bed fellow, left for the East the day before yesterday. It seems very lonely in camp without him. Looks today as if it won't be very long before we have rain. Have been out of meat for a good while. A lot came up today, but good heavens, what we had for dinner e was as tough as an old bull's hide. Started to rain this evening. 5th. Out on the line all day. Rained some in the night, but not any in the day time. Powell brought up some green corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, apples, pears, and last, but by no means least, a box of Muscatel Grapes. The horse he packed them up on fell over the grade and knocked the pack forty ways for Sunday. Luckily the horse was not hurt, and none of the things were hurt. It was seven o'clock when we got to camp. 5th. Sunday. Had to go on the line early this morning to give centers on a little trestle and had to wait until five o'clock to give another set. Stayed around Bush's camp playing whist all morning and afternoon. We took dinner there. Took a little ride on the hand car after dinner. We went flying down, but coming back it was an up grade most of the way and it was mighty hard work. Had a daisy supper tonight. Got a hole through tunnel No. 2 this morning. 8th. On the line all day. Slightly drizzling rain in the morning, but didn't amount to anything. Our living is way up now. We are feasting on fruit. It's a wonder some of us fellows don't get the cholera morbus or something or other. The track is up at the third crossing. They began to raise the false work for the third bridge this afternoon. 14th. In the woods sawing wood all morning. In the afternoon we fixed up the walk to the bridge on this side. O'Leary, one of the contractors whose work is on the other side of the river from our camp, is fixing up the foot bridge again. Beautiful morning, but this afternoon it clouded up again and I suppose we will have more rain tomorrow. 15th. Getting in wood nearly all day. Rained in the afternoon. 16th. Rained all last night and a little this morning. Sawing wood all morning. Powell came up this morning with four boxes of grapes. Just think of it-four boxes of California grapes. Link and I picked them over after dinner. Mr. J. took Edd and Jim somewhere out on the line with him. The air feels very cool and seems to me as if we might have frost. 17th. Beautiful day. Had a heavy frost last night. Quite cold when we started to work in the morning but as the sun got well up it got very warm. It did one good to be out, the day was so fine. 18th. The boys went up to Lees in the morning. Mr. Jamieson gave me a letter to take to the bridge contractor at the third crossing. Blake came up this morning and stayed for dinner. Was raining after dinner and we stayed in camp playing cards and eating grapes all afternoon.. Uncle Willie came up in the morning but went back just after dinner. 19th. On the line a little in the morning. It was a nice morning but quite cool and felt as if there had been snow up on the Summit. In the afternoon we sawed some wood but about four o'clock it began to rain, and we came into camp. The trail is muddy now, and it is awful hard to get the wood in. I think we will make a road to draw the wagon over. 20th. Sunday. Stayed in camp all day. Raining off and on all day. It's a holy terror the way we boys eat plums. The grapes are all gone, we made away with the last yesterday.
-From transcripts at the Penrose Memorial Archives, Whitman College, Walla Walla, WA.