Student Designed Digital Exhibits

Rails to Redwoods

California’s North Pacific Coast Railroad and Environmental Tourism

The North Pacific Coast (NPC) rail line traveled through Marin and Sonoma counties from 1886 to 1930. The NPC played an important part in American's appreciation for nature, environmental tourism, and the protection of California’s natural landscape. Join us on a journey into California’s Redwoods.

Student Designer: Rachel Wolff, California State University Sacramento Capital Campus Public History Program

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How the Railroad Changed the Circus

And How the Circus Transformed American Identity

The railroad transformed the circus, and the circus transformed American identity. The circus brought more than exciting sights and sounds, it also shared ideas about the world. Find out how in this digital exhibit.

Student Designer: Gianna Kersch, California State University Sacramento Capital Campus Public History Program & CSRM Resident Intern

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The Solano Train Ferryboat Era

The Glory Days of the Historic Town of Benicia

The Southern Pacific Railroad’s train ferry Solano was the largest train ferry in the world when it began service in 1879. Its home port was the town of Benicia, California’s former Capital. After fifty-one years of ferrying trains, its service ended in 1930 with one last trip across the Carquinez Strait.

Student Designer: Leann S. Taagepera, California State University Sonoma Cultural Resources Management Program

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The Other Side of the Tracks

An Unnatural History of the American River Waterfront

Sacramento grew at the confluence of two rivers. An instant city erupted on the floodplain where the American River joins the Sacramento. Yet only the Sacramento River appears in early images. The railroad protected Sacramento and connected it to the world. But the American River waterfronts were walled off, isolated and forgotten.

Student Designer: Andrew McCleod, California State University Sacramento Capital Campus Public History Program

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The White Trains

Transporting Armageddon and the Nuclear Disarmament Movement to Stop the Trains

The nuclear arms race during the Cold War involved the construction of thousands of nuclear weapons. For decades, trains transported the missiles to naval bases across the country. These mysterious "White Trains" became a powerful rallying symbol for the nuclear disarmament movement. Learn that story in this exhibit.

Student Designer: Desun Oka, California State University Sacramento Capital Campus Public History Program

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Labor Pains

The Struggles of the First Black Union for Recognition

By all accounts, the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters never should have succeeded in their quest to unionize. In the end, the recognition of the BSCP was more than a victory for labor rights, it was a victory for civil rights. Learn about the origin of this union and the people who helped make it succeed.

Student Designer: Robert Henneke, California State University Sacramento Capital Campus Public History Program

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The Experimental Surgeon

Modern Medicine at the World's Finest Railroad Hospital

In 1867, the Central Pacific Railroad created their own pre-paid health plan and established their first hospital. The history of this early employer-based health system includes Dr. Thomas W. Huntington who brought new scientific theories to the facility.

Student Designer: Courtney K. Whitmore, California State University Sacramento Capital Campus Public History Program

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From Far Away Spectacle to National Park

How the Santa Fe Railroad created Grand Canyon National Park

The Grand Canyon is one of America's natural wonders. Millions travel from around the world to gaze at its beauty. The popularity of the Grand Canyon is largely a product of the Atcheson, Topeka, and Santa Fe Railroad. Explore the story of how it became a National Park.

Student Designer: Madison Levesque, California State University Sacramento Capital Campus Public History Program

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William Tecumseh Sherman

The Railroad and the Indian Wars

The transcontinental railroad was not inevitable. It was a product of human ingenuity and difficult labor. But its completion was also a product of war. Native communities paid the ultimate price for American "progress".

Student Designer: Dane Nicolas, California State University Sacramento Capital Campus Public History Program

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