Jergensen, Richard — Railroads as a Life Line: Then, Now and the Future…

Posted on January 29th, 2013 in American History,Education,Mendocino County,Travel by Barry

Local railroad systems were once the primary, if not the exclusive means of shipping and travel between nearby communities as well as links to those far away.  The California Western Railroad and the Northwestern Pacific Railroad met in Willits in rural Mendocino County in northern California, about 135 miles north of San Francisco.  Virgin old growth redwood trees were logged in the forests along the 40 miles of track to the coastal town Ft. Bragg.  Rail Villages, those isolated communities accessible only by train track prospered and grew.  Then came the automobile and trucks.

In this edition of Radio Curious we visit with Richard Jergensen, president of the Mendocino Country Railroad Society, about the history of the California Western and the Northwestern Pacific Railroads, and what their presence did and can do in the future.  He is also the co-author of “How to Build with Grid Bean: A Fast, Easy and Affordable System for Constructing Almost Anything.”  Among a small part of his vast collection of maps, books, histories, posters and other memorabilia laid out throughout his home in Willits for our visit, Richard Jergensen shared a small part of this long story on January 20, 2013.

The book he recommends is “A Confederacy of Dunces,” by John Kennedy Toole.

Click here to listen or on the media player below.

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