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margaret p. toby1986_6_110

The spring of 1902 found trainloads of timber heading toward Ogden, Utah, where two square miles’ worth of trees were going to become the pilings for a thirty-two-mile causeway across the Great Salt Lake. Richard Amos Pierce was one of the men in charge of this heroic undertaking. “This necessitated living on the site,” writes his granddaughter, Margaret P. Toby of San Francisco, and he did so in the converted boxcar shown above. “His wife, Alice (my grandmother), and small son, Richard Kenneth (my father), lived there with him, and you can see my grandmother has done what she could to make the place as homey and cheerful as possible.” They lived there for months, and Pierce went on to become the superintendent of the Oregon Short Line Railroad, where he also had a private car—given his prominence, a much more lavish one.

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