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Internet Exercises
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Study historic transcontinental maps at's_rr_guide_1882.html. On this 1882 Rand McNally Traveler's Map, locate the Central Pacific route through California. Of the early towns founded along the railroad line, how many names do you recognize today? Why have some towns along the route lost vigor in the past century? Why may others have thrived?
Professional photography was a young discipline in the 1860s, but from the start it provided a valuable historic record of events. One Central Pacific Railroad collection of historic images is housed at the Bancroft Library. View images from the library at What is the value of these images for the modern historian?
Visit to read a short history of Virginia City, Nevada. How was the Comstock Lode named? What was it? Look at the mining map at What problems was the Sutro Tunnel intended to solve? Some answers are found at
Read about William Ralston at in this essay supports the claim that he was "beloved"? Do historians believe his death was a suicide? Is there a way to know for certain?

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