During the early 20th century, approximately every twenty miles of the Southern Pacific Railroad line would be assigned to a specific “section gang” whose job it was to ensure that the track was adequately repaired and maintained.
In this picture, the Lancaster section gang poses along the railroad line before heading out to work for the day. The Lancaster section gang of 1902 was primarily composed of Mexican, Italian, and American workers. Pictured in the rear left is Jim Foster, who served as the Lancaster section gang foreman.
In October of 1902, Mexican section workers in Acton coordinated what was possibly the Antelope Valley’s first organized strike. The railroad workers struck for a daily wage of $1.60; the same amount paid to their Anglo counterparts.
Photo courtesy of MOAH Collections