Hell on Wheels: Wicked Towns along the Union Pacific Railroad | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library http://coloradowest.staging.auraria.edu/book-review/hell-wheels-wicked-towns-along-union-pacific-railroad[12/7/2015 3:53:36 PM] Home Hell on Wheels: Wicked Towns along the Union Pacific RailroadHell on Wheels: Wicked Towns along the Union Pacific RailroadSubmitted by nwharton on 10-16-2013 01:17 PMAuthor: Dick Kreck Publishing: Golden, CO: Fulcrum Publishing, 2013. 265 pages. Black-and-white photographs, illustrations, maps, index, notes, bibliography. 6 x 9. $16.95 paperback Reviewer: Steve Lee As an avid reader of railroad history, I was looking forward to Dick Krecks new book, Hell on Wheels: Wicked Towns along the Union Pacific Railroad and it did not disappoint. Kreck, a longtime reporter and columnist for The Denver Post takes the reader from the beginning of western expansion through the completion of the task via the railroad. Along the way, we are given the back story on the hardships encountered with making ones way west via foot travel, wagon trains, even handcarts. And while this topic has been covered by other excellent books, I found Hell on Wheels to be informative and well worth my time. Kreck put a wonderful shine on the story of our nations rapid migration to the western part of the fledging United States. His narrative is liberally sprinkled with juicy quotes from such luminaries as Mark Twain, William Henry Jackson, Susan B. Anthony, and Rudyard Kipling. My interest was especially piqued by Chapter 2, A Womans Place. This treasure trove of information gleaned from womens diaries gives the reader an insight into daily life on the westward journey. This chapter alone has fifty-eight footnotes. I used two bookmarks when reading Krecks book: one for the text and another to keep track in the notes section at the end of the book. As a researcher, Im always looking for interesting little tidbits of history, and this chapter warrants a second reading. Hell on Wheels also provides the reader with an extensive bibliography and a very complete index. The true meat of the book comes in the authors extensive information on the towns located along the Union Pacifics westward march towards the Central Pacific before their meeting in Utah. From Omaha to Promontory Point, the reader is treated to the inside, and often sordid, history of towns along the route of the Transcontinental Railroad. Towns sprang up, literally overnight, at the end of the track as various stages of construction, to provide goods and services to the construction crews. Rough-and-tumble towns such as North Platte, Nebraska, and towns long forgotten, like Bear River City, Wyoming, are covered in detail. Kreck has accomplished something rare in the field of railroad history books; hes written one that can be enjoyed by anyone interested in the history of our countrys movement west. I can enthusiastically endorse this book to all my friends. Reviewer Info: EXPLORE BY MEDIABook Reviews Photographs Video Biographies New Publications Resource Guides County Newspaper HistoriesEXPLORE BY TOPICLand & Natural Resources Government & Law Agriculture Mining Commerce & Industry Transportation People & Places Communication Healthcare & Medicine Education & Libraries Cultural Communities Recreation & Entertainment Tourism ReligionEXPLORE BY CULTUREHispanic Native AmericanWithin Colorado boundaries are lands once claimed by Spanish kings and Mexican governors.
Hell on Wheels: Wicked Towns along the Union Pacific Railroad | Center for Colorado & the West at Auraria Library http://coloradowest.staging.auraria.edu/book-review/hell-wheels-wicked-towns-along-union-pacific-railroad[12/7/2015 3:53:36 PM] Auraria Library 303-556-4587 1100 Lawrence Street Denver, Colorado 80204 In the News Partners & Donations About Us Contact Us Steve Lee works at the Colorado Railroad Museum in Golden. He provides educational outreach programs on Colorados railroad history and its impact on the economic development of the state. Additionally, he is a Chautauqua presenter of living history through Colorado Humanities. His interest in railroads is insatiable. When asked by his wife, How many railroad books do you need? he replied honestly, How many are there?