Sunday, January 31, 2016

1890 Rail Track Failures & Amazing Repairs Near Davisville (253)

In reading Davis history, I have occasionally noticed claims that the rail track built from Vallejo to Sacramento in 1868 was a fragile and even jerry-rigged contraption that frequently failed and required near-constant emergency repair.

In addition to that possibility, because rail track technology was new and the land unexplored, it was impossible to know with any precision how strong to build tracks to withstand what kinds of troubles. So, one guessed at what was needed and dealt with track failures when they happened.

The Monday, January 27, 1890 issue of the Sacramento Daily Record-Union prints a report of two track failures near (then) Davisville that I think tell us quite a lot about that track’s strengths and weaknesses almost a quarter of a century after it was built.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Movies in Davis 1910-1950 (252)

The iconic Varsity Theater on Second Street between E and F opened with much celebration in the first week of January, 1950.

That enthusiasm included a special section of the Davis Enterprise on the theater building and on movies themselves in the history of Davis. A story on the latter is titled “The Movies Came to Davis in 1910.” It is unsigned but likely written by Enterprise editor William Henry Scott and it provides a vivid picture of the trials of a new technology in a small town.

Segmented and enhanced for better readability, I reproduce that story in this post (segments numbered 1 through 13) along with the two photos with captions that accompanied the story (images A and B).