Four months after completion, Promontory was a notorious boomtown composed of hotels, saloons, and gambling tents with a few stores and shops. Transcontinental passengers changed trains here until mid-1870. Many were victimized by resident gamblers and con artists. Newspaperman J.H. Beadle noted of the town: "4,900 feet above sea level, though theologically speaking, if we interpret scripture literally, it ought to have been 49,000 feet below sea level, for it certainly was for its size, morally nearest to the infernal regions of any town on the road."