Firsts in San Bernardino

1888 - First Train Runs 

to Harlem Springs on the

San Bernardino, Arrowhead

& Waterman Railroad.

Click here for more Firsts.



Saturdays 10 AM - 3 PM

FREE Admission

FREE Parking

FREE Tours

1170 W. Third Street
San Bernardino, CA 92410

Map & Directions

San Bernardino
Historical &
Pioneer Society

P.O. Box 875
San Bernardino, CA 92402


(909) 888-3634 


Depot & Museum Tour

December 03, 2014

Tours will  be conducted

on  the  first Wednesday of

each month at 10:00 am.

Call (909)  888-3634  for

a reservation.  FREE


Group Tours

For a Group Tour on

Saturday or any other 

day call (909) 888-3634.


Virtual Museum Tour

Click here for visual tour

of the museum.


Photo Histories

Click here to view local San

Bernardino and railroad

photographic histories.


Newsletters of the

Western Archives of

the Santa Fe Railway

Click here for Newsletters 

of the Santa Fe Railway

Historical and Modeling

Society (Western Archives).


Norton AFB Museum

Now Open:

Thursday 10:00 to 2:00

Saturday  10:00 to 2:00



Next Meeting at Coco's

The next meeting of the

National Association of

Retired & Veteran Railway

Employees will be held

at Coco's Restaurant.





Upcoming Events:

The Museum is open Saturday from 10:00 to 3:00  (Virtual Museum Tour 

Feb 28, 2015 - Roundhouse Gang Model Railroad Swap Meet

Mar 07, 2015 - Santa Fe Railway Historical & Modeling Society (SFRH&MS) Mini Meet

Mar 28, 2015 - Western Prototype Modelers (WPM) Meet

Jul  15, 2015 - SANBAG Tour


Western Archives Newsletter for Sep. - Oct. 2014

*  This issue contains several photographs of the Santa Fe Museum Train of 1986.

*  Santa Fe had stored three steam engines and nine diesel engines in Albuquerque with the intention of building a railroad museum.

*  The museum never materialized and instead the engines were donated to the California State Railroad Museum.

*  On March 31, 1986, the twelve engines departed New Mexico for California.

*  Click here to see the Newsletter, in which Jeff Staggs discusses the fate of these historic engines.



December 12, 1948 - A Day to Remember


Richard J. McDonald (1909-1998)Murice J. McDonald (1902-1971)

"In the 1940s, the McDonald brothers, Richard and Maurice, opened a barbeque restaurant called McDonald's on the southwest corner of 14th and E Streets.

"The Location was just four blocks south of San Bernardino High School and the astute McDonald brothers observed that much of their clientele was comprised of students on school breaks, who needed to eat in a hurry...


"In 1948, as they watched the post-war car craze take hold, the brothers converted McDonald's to a drive-in burger bar.  The grand opening took place on December 12, 1948. It's the moment the fast food industry was born...

"The McDonald brothers...were generous in sharing their methods with others, and acting as mentors to such other fast food pioneers as Neal Baker, founder of the Baker's chain, and Baker's friend and fellow San Bernardino HIgh School classmate Glen Bell, who founded Taco Tia, Taco Bell and De Wienerschnitzel.

"The McDonald brothers sold their business to investing partner Ray Kroc in 1961 for $2.7 million."

(Postcard is from Steve Shaw and text from John Weeks', San Bernardino Bicentennial 1810-2010)


New Santa Fe Shops in San Bernardino - 1926

Complete View of Modern Steam Boiler Plant; Fire Department Building: also Containing Shop; Men's Assembly Hall; and Boiler and Machine Shops from South End (Railway Age, April 10, 1926)


Santa Fe Completes Reconstruction of Coast Line Shops

 Locomotive repair plant at San Bernardino is rebuilt on enlarged scale                                       and fully equipped with the latest labor-saving machinery.


     The major part of the extension to the locomotive department at San Bernardino began in 1922 and will be completed this year [1926].  The new shops occupy the site of the old shops established in 1887.

     The new plant includes a 43-stall engine house and a repair plant having a shop capacity of 315 freight cars and 30 passenger cars.

     The most important building in the locomotive repair plant is the 673-ft. machine shop made up of three bays: a 90-ft. erecting bay next to the transfer table; a light machine bay of 46 feet and a heavy machine bay of 65 feet.

     The boiler shop (also 673 feet in length) is 164 feet wide being made up of two bays, the erecting bay 90 feet wide, and the machine bay 74 feet wide.

     Both the locomotive and boiler shops are of the transverse type and contain 30 pits and 29 pits respectively and both of these buildings face a transfer table of 65 feet.

     Another transfer table 120 feet in length is situated 260 feet east of the boiler shop.

     The fire-proof power plant is 103 feet long and 81 ft. 9 in. wide.  A concrete wall longitudinally down the center of the building divides the boiler room and the engine room.  The boilers are oil fired but the boiler room affords adequate space for the installation of coal handling equipment.

     Other new facilities include: a 306 ft. blacksmith shop; the flue shop; sheet metal and flue storage shop; a concrete building used for reclaiming oil; another for reclaiming magnesia lagging; a shed for storing fire brick; a new two-bay fire station; a new hospital; offices and an apprentice school; and an extention of the 1909 fireproof storehouse and construction of a new platform.

(Extracted from the April 10, 1926, issue of Railway Age)

Click here to see additional track charts. 


December 17, 1864 - A Day to Remember

Wyatt Earp at about 21 years of ageWyatt Earp

Wyatt Earp came to San Bernardino for the first time on December 17, 1864, when he was 16. 

Wyatt and his family camped for a few days just east of Sierra Way and Court Street; later his parents leased farm land on the banks of the San Ana River.

Wyatt and his brothers disliked farming and it wasn't long before they all left the area. 

Dodge City and Tombstone will always be associated with the Earp brothers, but Wyatt also spent time in Alaska, Denver, San Francisco and San Diego.

Wyatt often returned to San Bernardino, Colton and the surrounding area to visit friends and relatives.

Wyatt and wife Sadie spent more that 20 years in San Bernardino County prospecting for gold and copper, and eventually owned nearly 100 mines.

Wyatt died peacefully on January 13, 1929, at age 80.

Click here for the story of The Earp Clan in Southern California.


Steam Locomotion (1769 - 1927)


Click here to view a short Photo History of Steam Locomotives that was extracted from The History of Transportation, published by The Railway Education Bureau in 1927.