Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Where’s Blind Tom Today? by Shirley Raye Redmond

Some of you may be watching the TV series HELL ON WHEELS each Saturday on AMC. It gives a fictionalized glimpse at the building of the world’s first transcontinental railroad.

But there’s a true story about the railroad that has all but been forgotten. It’s the true story of Blind Tom, the lead horse used by the Union Pacific to build railroad when the crew began laying track from Omaha in the spring of 1866.

The sightless gelding became famous in his own way—so much so that when journalists telegraphed the railroad camps to find out how much track had been laid in any given week, they merely asked, “Where’s Blind Tom today?”

Tom even attended the Golden Spike ceremony in Promontory, Utah in May 1869 when the Central Pacific and Union Pacific met, joining the two railroads that now spanned the country like a giant zipper across the land. I was so entranced by this little tidbit of American history that I wrote a book for children about Blind Tom.

To learn more about the annual re-enactment of the Golden Spike Ceremony, visit the Golden Spike Historic Site in Utah or their website at http://www.nps.gov/gosp/learn/kidsyouth/re-enactment-script-grades-4-6.htm

Have you ever heard of Blind Tom?

An award-winning writer and frequent conference speaker,Shirley Raye Redmond is the author of two inspirational historical novels, PRUDENCE PURSUED and AMANDA’S BEAU, as well as two dozen children’s books. Shirley Raye holds an M.A. in literature. She has been married to her husband Bill for forty years. They live in New Mexico and are blessed with two grown children, two adorable grandsons, and one spunky Scottish terrier. Touch bases at shirleyrayeredmond.com or Facebook and http://www.writechildrensbook.com/blog


  1. This is new history for me and what a gem to learn about about Blind Tom. Congratulations on creating a book for children to read about Blind Tom--history for children in books is great.

  2. Fascinating bit of history. Very pretty cover, I bet kids love it.

  3. I have never heard of blind Tom. What a wonderful read this will be.

  4. I have never heard Blind Tom's story and I am thrilled that there is a children's book to share with my granddaughter.