Trails to Rails: John Mix Stanley and the Pacific Railroad Survey of the 1850s
In the mid 1800s several railroad surveys sought out potential routes to build a transcontinental railroad. John Mix Stanley (1814-1872), an artist-explorer of the West, accompanied one of the Pacific Railroad Surveys and created images from the expedition. They stand as essential records that document the terrain, inhabitants, plants, and wildlife firsthand. Stanley’s and other artists’ images, reproduced as lithographs, helped drive the popularity and fascination with this geographical location.