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Description

Rare California Southern Railroad Map, identifying the various mining regions of Southern California, prepared by Fred T. Perris.

The map lays out the existing railroad lines servicing the mining regions between the High Desert and Death Valley, most of which were still largely unserviced by direct railroad links. More than 2 dozen early mining areas are shown, including Gold, Silver, Copper, Iron and Lead Mines. Many early Southern California desert and mining towns are located, many of which no longer exist.

The map is apparently a unique survival. Prepared for internal use by the California Southern Railroad in May, 1882, only a few examples were likely printed and available for purchase or general distribution.

Fred Thomas Perris (1836 - 1916) was Chief Engineer of the Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad, who oversaw the construction of the last leg of the Second Transcontinental Railroad from Barstow, California through El Cajon Pass and down to San Bernardino and Los Angeles, a task that employed six thousand laborers, and is still in use by BNSF Railway and Union Pacific Railroad He also laid, track from Riverside, California to San Diego, California laying out a series to town sites along the track, one of which, Perris, California was named in his honor.

Perris was born in Gloucester, England, but moved to Australia when he was 12. In 1853, he moved again to San Bernardino, California, which was then an early Mormon settlement, where he was employed as a chain boy on an early surveying crew. In 1857, when the San Bernardino community failed, Perris moved to Salt Lake City. After briefly attempting a career as a photographer, Perris worked as a surveyor on the transcontinental railroad, then tried various buisnesses, including being one of the founders of the Salt Lake City Tribune.

In 1874, Perris moved back to San Bernardino, where he soon became the County Surveyor, where he was responsible for surveying and laying the foundations for the water system in America's largest county. When railroads came to the area he first went to work as Chief Engineer of the California Southern Railroad, a company chartered to build a rail line between San Diego on the coast and Barstow in the desert. When it was taken over in a merger, he advanced to Chief Engineer of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway, where he remained for the next 35 years. For a more complete life history of Fred Perris, click here: www.ci.san-bernardino.ca.us/about/history/fred_t_perris.asp