Story from John Vonderlin
Email John ([email protected])
Here are some of the articles I’ve got about
the Ocean Shore Railroad’s accident problems.
This first is from the December 16, 1905 issue
of the “Call.” Do you know where Baldwin’s was?
This is a poor safety record in this stretch, even
for the time. But, the work was dangerous and in
some matters unprecedented. Enjoy. John
TWO EMPLOYEES OF OCEAN
SHORE ROAD BADLY HURT
. SANTA CRUZ.. Dec 15.— “Venando J.
Esplanola lost his leg this morning as a
result of. a premature, blast on the Ocean
Shore Railroad tunnel at Baldwin’s, up
the coast. Frank Murphy, an employee of
the same company at Laguna, fell four-
teen feet down an embankment and
struck on an adze. He was badly cut.”
A year later there is a worse one. It seems
strange the hiring agency didn’t ask for
“next-of-kin” contact information given the
dangerous work. This apparently was just a
few months after Mr. Johnson’s blast accident
that allegedly caused his insanity. This is
from the Feb. 23, 1907 issue of the “Call.”
“The police of this city have been asked
to locate the wife of C H. Bennett,
foreman for the Ocean Shore Railroad
of Half moon Bay, who met death as the
result of a blast last Sunday evening.
Bennett secured his position through a
local’ employment agency, and a letter
received.yesterday by that firm asking,
for the address of the deceased wife was
turned over to the police.”
And then, just days after poor Mr.
Johnson faced an insanity trial, this fatal
accident happened. This was in the
July 6, 1907 issue of the “Call.”
LABORER KILLED IN TUNNEL
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO.
July’ 5.—”Word has reached here of the
death of Hans Swanson, a laborer in the
employ of the Ocean Shore railroad. He
was crushed in one of the tunnels of the
San Mateo county division of the road.
A huge boulder broke a support directly
above the unfortunate workman.
Swanson lived 12 hours. He leaves a
brother in Philadelphia, and a sister in