Tunnel in the Bluffs of the Mississippi River near La Crosse | Painting | Wisconsin Historical Society


Tunnel in the Bluffs of the Mississippi River near La Crosse


Hölzlhuber traveled on American railways frequently and marveled that they wouldn't have been accepted as usable in Europe. This sketch of the tunnel on the Mississippi-Minnesota Railway shows its wooden plank construction, which looked "more like a mine than like a tunnel made for the railroad." The fence at the entrance kept cattle from wandering in out of the heat. On approach, the engineer stopped, climbed down to open the gate, closed it again after passing, then jumped on the last car and ran through the train in time to open and close the gate at the exit. On all the railways he traveled between New York and the Midwest, only one had a railroad watchman, a situation not acceptable by European standards. Taken from Hölzlhuber's description of the scene, translated by Vera Kroner.


Image ID: 28157

Creation Date: 1858 ca.

Creator Name: Hölzlhuber, Franz, 1826-1898



State: Wisconsin

Collection Name: Franz Hölzlhuber, 1826-1898 : Sketches and associated materials, 1856-1860, 1959

Genre: Painting

Original Format Type: paintings

Original Format Number: PH 3131.35

Original Dimensions: 8 x 5.5 inches


This image is one of forty-two watercolor drawings from a sketchbook by Holzlhuber, documenting his trip to the U.S., especially to Wisconsin and Canada in 1856-1860.



Railroad tracks

Railroad tunnels


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