Firsts in San Bernardino

1921 - First Permanent

Jewish Synagogue (located

at 847 E Street).



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

March 02, 2016

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)


February 08, 1911 - A Day to Remember

In 1885, the San Bernardino Street Railway started operations with a Horse (actually a Mule) Car. 

In 1888 the San Bernardino & Redlands Railway established a route between the two cities.

In 1902 the San Bernardino Valley Traction Company began operations with the first electric streetcar line in San Bernardino.

On February 8, 1911, the Pacific Electric (PE) bought the San Bernardino Valley Traction Company.

PE, with its famous Red Cars, expanded its operations to over 1,100 miles of track in Southern California and provided service between San Bernardino and Los Angeles from 1914 to 1941.

In the above photograph the Pacific Electric Red Car #1299 is seen with San Bernardino's St. Bernard Hotel (577 West 3rd Street) in the background.

Click here to see a photo history of streetcars in San Bernardino.


February 22, 1878 - A Day to Remember

Carved on the side of this historic limestone, horse-watering trough is the following:


John McCall

Feb. 22, A.D. 1878

Horse Shoe'er




*  It was originally located in front of John McCall's blacksmith shop on the east side of D Street.

*  When disastrous fires in 1878-1879 destroyed many San Bernardino buildings on D Street it was moved to the wagon shop of Joe S. Bright on Third Street near G Street.

*  When the wagon shop closed the trough was moved to the Bright's home on Eighth Street.

*  Later the trough was donated to San Bernardino's Pioneer Society and it rested in front of the Log Cabin in Pioneer Park until a fire destroyed the cabin in 1973.

*  The trough was relocated to the Native Sons of the Golden West in San Bernardino where it remained in storage for 30 years.

*  It was then moved to its current location, at the San Bernardino Historical and Pioneer Society at 8th and D Streets.

*  A formal dedication ceremony was held on February 22nd, 2003, exactly 125 years after the trough was inscribed in 1878.

Click here for a short story about John McCall's horse Trough.


March 02, 1950 - A Day to Remember


The base began as Municipal Airport San Bernardino in July 1942.  Over time the name was changed to San Bernardino Army Air Field, San Bernardino Air Field and San Bernardino Air Force Base.  On March 2, 1950, the base was renamed Norton Air force Base in honor of Captain Leland F. Norton.  

Leland Norton was born in San Bernardino on March 12, 1921, and attended local schools until he joined the Canadian Air Force in August 1941.  In May 1942, he transferred to the U.S. Army Air Corps. Captain Norton, an A-20 pilot and Deputy Commander of the 640th Bomb Squadron, was shot down over France on May 27, 1944.  

Captain Norton was posthumously awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross (DFC) for his heroic actions and is buried in San Bernardino at Mountain View Cemetery.

Click here for a photo history of Captain Norton and Norton Air Force Base.

Click here to link to the Norton Air force Base Museum.


March 2, 1998 - A Day to Remember




On March 2, 1998Judith Valles

 became the

First Latina Mayor of San Bernardino.  



Pioneer Women of San Bernardino

Top Row:

Jerusha Bemis (1799-1872)

Clare Cherry (1919-1990)

Eliza Robbins Crafts (1825-1910)

Janet Miles (1901-2008)

Maria Armenta Bermdez (1806-1858) 

Middle Row:

Mary Bennett Goodcell (1849-1909)

Sarah Jane Rousseau (1816-1872)

Lizzy Flake Rowan (1834-1908)

Mary Wixom Crandall (1834-1927)

Caterina Croce Massetti (1877-1946)

Bottom Row:

Alice Rowan Johnson (1868-1911)

Arda M. Haenszel (1910-2001)

Doroothy Inghram (1905-2012)

Pinky Brier (1909-2008)

Mourning Burnham Glenn (1814-1905)


Click here to read the stories of all of these pioneering women and their contributions to San Bernardino.


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.