The Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway System traverses the heart of romantic America--the land of the conquistadores and padres, the pathfinders, traders and pioneers.
Some of the most remarkable scenery in the world is found on its lines.
Santa Fe tracks tap the most fertile farming sections of the United States, and regions rich in mineral wealth.
These three statements briefly describe the country you cross while journeying from Chicago to California But they are only generalities. This publication is designed to tell in detail the sights that may be seen along the Santa Fe, from the agricultural districts of Illinois, Missouri and Kansas to the Rockies of Colorado, the picturesque Indian pueblos of New Mexico, the geological marvels of Arizona and the old missions of California.
Not only are notable scenic features referred to, but mention is made of historic incidents, of industries, of climate, principal crops, etc. It does not pretend to be complete. A library would be required to adequately tell the story of the Southwest. The aim is to say just enough so that the reader, looking from the car window, may have some idea of what the passing landscape means--the name of that stream and peak, how large a certain place is, who founded it and when, and so on.
Statistics of population have been gathered from the latest U. S. Census (where sufficiently up to date) or the most recent municipal census. In some cases, estimates of local agents are used. Other statistics have been carefully compiled from various sources.
All points herein named are located on the Santa Fe; other railroads are indicated by name.
The intention is gradually to enlarge the scope of "Sights to See," so that it will answer almost every question of the inquisitive traveler.
As to the Santa Fe Lines, with their main-track mileage of 11,306, and traversing thirteen states, a book might be written, showing how the little railroad which started west from Topeka in 1869 has become a great transcontinental system, with annual gross operating revenues of $111,109,000. Later a chapter will be added on that subject. For the present it is enough to call attention to a few important facts. The Santa Fe is the only railroad between Chicago and California under one management all the way. It is double tracked for more than half the distance and safeguarded by block signals the entire distance. Fred Harvey manages the dining-car, dining-room, lunch counter and hotel service. And the Grand Canyon of Arizona, earth's greatest scenic wonder, is reached only by the Santa Fe.
It is interesting to note that the route of the Old Santa Fe Trail, also of the National Old Trails Auto road, closely parallels the main line of the Santa Fe Railway through Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico--see maps herein.
With this brief preliminary, let us start on our westward journey.