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Last Train to Yesterday

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Train on Rio Grande Southern trestle
Three freight cars, a caboose, and two business cars are on the Rio Grande Southern wood trestle below Lizard Head Pass in Colorado. The train is being pulled by Denver & Rio Grande Western steam locomotive 452. The engineer is hanging out of the cab. A high hill with scrub growth is in the background.

Lucius Beebe and Charles Clegg traveled the entire Rio Grande Southern in two D&RGW business cars to gather material and make pictures for "Mixed Train Daily." As celebrities, they were greeted by school children and teachers at Rico. The title they gave to this image indicates the historical significance they attached to traveling in this way and to the obsolete equipment being used by the railroad.

The smoke plume characteristic of Clegg (and Beebe) photographs gives the image an iconic status. Two individuals peer from the caboose and locomotive, obviously posing for the event. The entire nature of the journey and photographic undertaking was theatrical, and the crew members were playing their parts.
Alternate Title Mixed Train on a Trestle in Colorado (editor's title)
Source California State Railroad Museum
Coverage Spatial, below Lizard Head, Colorado; Temporal, 1946
Rights California State Railroad Museum
Date Created 1946
Resource Type
Extent Not available
Depicted Railroad
Location Below Lizard Head Pass, Colorado
Image Type Landscape with train
Train Type Mixed train
Equipment, Locomotive 2-8-2 class K-27 Mikado no. 452, scrapped 1954
Builder, locomotive Baldwin
Creator Description Charles M. Clegg, Jr. (1916-79), an author, photographer, and railroad historian, is yoked with Lucius M. Beebe, his lifelong companion with whom he collaborated on 17 railroad books. Like Beebe, he came from an old American family. He is known to have taken photography classes at the Brooklyn YMCA with famous photographer J. Ghislain Lootens. Clegg's work showed a technical proficiency sometimes lacking in Beebe's photographs. With Beebe, he revived the Territorial Enterprise in Virginia City, Nevada, in 1950. He and Beebe sold the paper in 1961 and purchased a second home near San Francisco.
Collection Lucius Beebe and Charles Clegg Collection
Image ID BC negative 3256
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