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 David Myrick, railroad historian
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Premium Member

Posted - 10/07/2011 :  6:35:00 PM  Show Profile  Visit MinerFortyNiner's Homepage  Reply with Quote
David Myrick, the author of 17 books and numerous articles about railroads in the southwestern US has passed away at the age of 93. Best known for his celebrated 6-volume set of books detailing the history of railroads in Arizona, David's work also covered Nevada, northern California and even a Bolivian railroad.

Known for his meticulous research and enthusiasm for railroad lore, he was nearing completion of 'Railroads of Arizona Vol. 7'. Word is the volume will be published posthumously, title or publishing date are yet to be announced.

I have fond memories of sitting in the Phoenix Public Library, wearing the ink off their copy of 'Railroads of Arizona Vol. 1', which covered the construction and development of the Southern Pacific's Sunset Route across southern Arizona. My parents finally took pity on library patrons and bought me a copy for my birthday, so someone else could check it out! His work has been a great inspiration for many of us who live in or are interested in the region, and his passing is a great loss.

Rest in peace, David.

Country: USA | Posts: 2793


Posted - 10/07/2011 :  6:39:09 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Verne, sorry to read about his passing.

My condolences to him and his family. 93 is a good long age.



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Premium Member

Posted - 10/07/2011 :  7:07:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks for the news. I think I have all of Myrick's books on US railroads. Of course, finishing one of his books will be quite a challenge for any rail historian!


Modeling 1890s (because the voices in my head told me to)

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Premium Member

Posted - 10/07/2011 :  11:52:13 PM  Show Profile  Visit MinerFortyNiner's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Arthur, you are right, he lived a full life and left behind a valuable legacy of historical research. And yes, it's sad news.

Dave, I have his Arizona series, and recently got his 2-volume Nevada series. His books were always the most-read volumes in my library. I am not familiar with his other railroad titles.

Edited by - MinerFortyNiner on 10/07/2011 11:52:59 PM

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Engine Wiper

Posted - 10/08/2011 :  02:42:44 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
His California and Nevada series is becoming my planning bible. Someday, maybe the Arizona series. These are fantastic books. Really are a treasure trove of information on the shortlines and narrow gauges of the southweat.

This is the passing of an era.

Don't push me bureaucrat, I've got a bit of hangover

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Engine Wiper

Posted - 10/08/2011 :  09:47:16 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I never met David but had talked with him and corrosponded with a couple of times over the years. He was gracious enough to answer questions and clarifications when I wrote him, and was willing to give me feedback and suggestions as well as share information on my own research. Mr Myricks passsing is a loss for the railroad/mining/history communities as he inspired an entire generation (or two) with his well researched books and articles.

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Premium Member

Posted - 10/09/2011 :  11:43:23 AM  Show Profile  Visit MinerFortyNiner's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Agreed! I hope Vol 7 of his 'Railroads of Arizona' series is indeed completed and published; it sounds like it is nearly complete, and it would be a shame if it didn't see publication. I believe it was to focus on the logging railroads of northern Arizona, and bits and pieces not previously covered in his series.

I understand from David's obituary that he was a long-term employee in Southern Pacific's headquarters in San Francisco, which provided him access to records and contacts that no doubt assisted him in his research.

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