Skip to main content


Identifier: WH33


The Lucius Morris Beebe Papers contain correspondence between Beebe and staff members in the Western History Department of the Denver Public Library. Much of the correspondence concerns using photographs as illustrations for Beebe's railroading books including The Great Railroad Photographs U.S.A. and Rio Grande, Mainline of the Rockies. Additional correspondence concerns the Denver Public Library as a beneficiary of Beebe's estate.

Christmas cards, featuring cover photographs of his private railcar and paintings by Howard Fogg, can be found in the collection. Copies of Snoot If You Must, The Stork Club Bar Book and Two trains to Remember written by Lucius Beebe and chronologies for the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad are also included. The bulk of the material dates from 1921 to 1968. A few pieces of correspondence dated 1979 and 1993 are also included.

The collection includes approximately 650 photographic prints, which Lucius Beebe acquired from Fred Jukes of Blaine, Washington, a noted railroad photographer active from 1900 to 1940. The Jukes material includes both original Fred Jukes photographs and photographic prints that Jukes received from other sources. Also included within the collection are photographs that Beebe obtained from unknown sources. Photographers represented in the collection include Charles Clegg, Lucius Beebe, Philip R. Hastings, H. Reid, Jim Shaughnessy and Fred Jukes. The photographs span the 1860s to the 1950s and include both American and international railroad subjects.


This series contains correspondence, publications and chronologies for the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad. Much of the correspondence is between Beebe and the Western History Department of the Denver Public Library regarding the use of photographs as illustrations for Beebe's railroading books. The publications are Snoot If You Must, The Stork Club Bar Book and Two trains to Remember authored by Lucius Beebe.


The series comprises Christmas cards, featuring cover photographs of his private railcar, paintings by Howard Fogg and newspaper articles about Lucius Beebe.

SERIES 3 PHOTOGRAPHS [1862]-1959 PhotoBox 1-2, PhotoOVBox 1-3

Black and white photographic prints comprise the series. American steam locomotives dominate the subjects of the images. Limited images depicting international steam locomotives are also included. Most images depict individual steam locomotives in static poses. Many images are builder's photographs, which generally comprise full, side views of locomotives taken under special lighting and with special care in order to portray locomotive details as delivered from the manufacturer. Photographs of American locomotives are arranged alphabetically by road name, while international photographs are arranged alphabetically by country. Where possible, subject locomotives are identified by road name, engine number and locomotive type utilizing the Whyte classification system, which defines a steam locomotive's type in terms of its wheel arrangement. Limited additional prints depict passenger and freight operations as well as railroad facilities. A photograph album, presented by Lucius Beebe, which depicts twenty-nine interior and exterior views of various luxury parlor cars completes the series.


  • 1862-1993

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.


All requests for permission to publish, reproduce, or quote from material in the collection should be discussed with the appropriate librarian or archivist. Permission for publication may be given on behalf of the Denver Public Library as the owner of the physical item. It is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which also must be obtained by the customer. The Library does not assume any responsibility for infringement of copyright or publication rights of the manuscript held by the writer, heirs, donors, or executors. Reproduction restrictions are decided on a case-by-case basis.


Born December 9, 1902 into a wealthy New England family, Beebe attended both Harvard and Yale Universities, where he had a roulette wheel and well-stocked bar in his room. He regularly appeared for Monday morning classes in full evening dress complete with monocle and gold-headed cane. Essentially a Victorian in dress and style, Beebe had a reputation for high living and sarcastic prose. When he joined the staff of the New York Herald Tribune in 1929, it was the beginning of a forty-five year career in journalism. During his time at the Tribune, Beebe was a staff reporter, ships' news reporter, contributor to the editorial page and wrote a syndicated column called This New York. His associates included Damon Runyon and Robert Benchley.

In 1949, Lucius Beebe came West with his longtime friend and partner Charles Clegg and bought the Territorial Enterprise, the Virginia City, Nevada newspaper, made famous by Mark Twain. Beebe and Clegg sold the Enterprise in 1960. In the six years preceding his death, Beebe wrote a column for the San Francisco Chronicle, This Wild West.

Lucius Beebe wrote 40 books in his career, including volumes on high society, travel and poetry. Together, Beebe and Clegg produced a number of lavishly illustrated books nostalgically recalling the era of steam railroading including The Age of Steam: a Classic Album of American Railroading and Mansions on Rails: the Folklore of the Private Railway Car.

Lucius Beebe owned two private railroad cars that were either sold or donated. The first car, Gold Coast, purchased because Beebe hated airplanes, was remodeled to the Victorian furnishings of the late California Senator Leland Stanford. The second railroad car, named Virginia City, boasted a Venetian marble fireplace, a Turkish bath, and three master bedrooms. The car could be carried at the end of any passenger train.

Lucius Beebe died February 4, 1966 in Hillsborough, California. Charles Clegg died August 25, 1979. According to the September 16, 1979 Rocky Mountain News, he was 63 years, 1 month and 1 week old, the exact age of Beebe at the time of his death.


1 Boxes (.25 linear feet)

2 photo boxes

3 Photo OV Boxes

Language of Materials



The collection combines Lucius M. Beebe's personal papers with former photograph album 138, former photo collection 153 and numerous previously un-cataloged photographs, which Beebe acquired while conducting research for his many railroad books. Beebe's partner, Charles Clegg donated the bulk of the collection in 1970. Lucius Beebe presented photograph album 138 to the "Western Collection, Denver Public Library" in 1961 as a token of his appreciation for research assistance provided by the Library.

Related Materials

Collection incorporates former collections: C Photo Album 138; Photo Collection 153.


Jo Anne Lee

August 2001


Cynthia Rand


Dennis Hagen

September 2008, May 2011


Ellen Zazzarino

Revised May 2011
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Denver Public Library, Western History and Genealogy Repository

10 W. 14th Ave. Pkwy
Denver CO 80204 United States