Firsts in San Bernardino

1952 - First Baker's

Double Burgers Restaurant

in the Country (was at

164 W. Highland).

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HOURS:
Saturdays 10 AM - 3 PM

FREE Admission

FREE Parking

FREE Tours

LOCATION:
1170 W. Third Street
San Bernardino, CA 92410

Map & Directions

MAILING ADDRESS:
San Bernardino
Historical &
Pioneer Society

P.O. Box 875
San Bernardino, CA 92402

EMAIL:
sbrrdays@me.com

PHONE:
(909) 888-3634 

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Depot & Museum Tour

July 05, 2017

Tours will  be conducted

on  the  first Wednesday of

each month at 10:00 am.

Call (909)  888-3634  for

a reservation.  FREE

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Group Tours

For a Group Tour on

Saturday or any other 

day call (909) 888-3634.

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Virtual Museum Tour

Click here for visual tour

of the museum.

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Photo Histories

Click here to view local San

Bernardino and railroad

photographic histories.

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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).

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Norton AFB Museum

Now Open:

Thursday 10:00 to 2:00

Saturday  10:00 to 2:00

More...

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Next Meeting at Coco's

The next meeting of the

National Association of

Retired & Veteran Railway

Employees will be held

at Coco's Restaurant.

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Monday
Mar102014

August 15, 1928 - California Theater

The California Theater on 562 West 4th Street in downtown San Bernardino is among five remaining Art Deco theaters in California.  This beautiful 1,760-seat building began as a vaudeville and movie theater on August 15, 1928.  It opened to a sold out crowd with the movie "Street Angel" staring Academy Award winner Janet Gaynor.

The Wurlitzer model 216 organ was built in 1927 for the opening of the California Theater. There were a dozen 216s built for Fox West Coast’s movie houses in the state, and the California Theater’s organ is the only 216 still in its original location.  The Redlands’ organ is in storage in Palm Springs and Riverside’s is in the lobby of the Fox Theatre in San Jose.

Legendary humorist Will Rogers made his last public appearance in the California Theater before his fatal crash in 1935.

Currently the California Theatre serves as the home for Theatrical Arts International (host to several touring companies, plays and musicals), the San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra, the Sinfonia Mexicana, Worldwide Theatricals and Inland Dance Theatre, Inc.

Click here for a short history of the "Movie Palaces" of San Bernardino.

Saturday
Mar012014

August 27, 1957 - ATSF 3780

ATSF 3780 (4-8-4) in San Bernardino on March 7, 1948 (Yahoo/Cajon Pass Discussion Group)

The above photograph was taken in San Bernardino just nine years before ATSF 3780's historic last run.

On Aug. 27, 1957, ATSF 5021 (2-10-4) and ATSF 3780 (4-8-4) were used as helpers through the Abo Pass between Belen and Mountainair, New Mexico.  No. 5021 returned to Belen first, followed by No. 3780, making ATSF 3780 the last Santa Fe steam locomotive to perform revenue service for the Santa Fe.  ATSF 5021 was the last of its class (2-10-4) to see revenue service.

Santa Fe kept some big steam laid-up-good-order until 1959, just in case they needed it during a traffic surge. The only Santa Fe steam operations in 1956 and 1957 had been on the Abo helper district in New Mexico and only during the summer peak season.

ATSF 3780 was scrapped on May 4, 1959. 

ATSF 5021 (2-10-4) and 2925 (4-8-4), which last helped a train over the pass in 1956, were "held for posterity" in the Belen roundhouse.  In 1981, the engines were moved to Albuquerque where Santa Fe was housing a collection of historic diesels.  

In 1986, the engines went to the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento, CA.  The Museum had neither the facilities nor the resources to properly house, restore or care for all of the engines.  ATSF 5021 and many of the Santa Fe historical collection are stored outside, and most of them out of public view.

Thursday
Feb202014

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.

Monday
Feb102014

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.

Wednesday
Feb052014

July 17, 1955 - Disneyland Railroad

On July 17, 1955, The Santa Fe and Disneyland Railroad began operations in Anaheim, California. On that day, the "C. K. Holiday" and the "E. P. Ripley" started transporting passengers around Disneyland Park.  

No. 1, "C. K. Holiday" (Founder of Atchison & Topeka Railroad) - Built in Disney Studios in 1955, a 5/8 scale 4-4-0 steam locomotive.

No. 2, "E. P. Ripley" (First President of AT&SF Railroad) - Built in Disney Studios in 1955, a 5/8 scale 4-4-0 steam locomotive.

Disneyland's narrow gauge railroad was called the Santa Fe and Disneyland Railroad from 1955 until 1974 (when Santa Fe withdrew its sponsorship).

Currently there are five steam locomotives, with the first four named after former Santa Fe CEOs. 

All of the engines are real operating steam locomotives.  Currently the locomotives are fueled by biodiesel, blended primarily from used cooking oil and a soy based fuel.

No. 3, "Fred Gurley" (In 1958 Gurley was the Chairman of AT&SF) - A Tank Locomotive (2-4-4T) built by Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1894.

On March 28, 1958, the No. 3, "Fred Gurley" was added to the railroad.  

Also in 1958, the Grand Canyon Diorama, painted by Delmer J. Yoakum, was added along the trains' route between Tomorrowland and Main Street.  At that time it was the longest diorama in the world, 306 feet long and 34 feet high.  "On the Trail", from Frede Grofe's Grand Canyon Suite is piped throughout the train as it enters the diorama. 

No. 4, "Ernest S. Marsh" (Santa Fe's President in 1959) - Originally built by Baldwin as a 0-4-0 Saddle-Tank in 1925. It now operates as a 2-4-0. 

On July 25, 1959, the fourth train was put into operation, pulled by the "Ernest S. Marsh".

In 1966, the Grand Canyon Diorama was expanded with a prehistoric theme (including Audio-Animatronic dinosaurs) and thus became the "Grand Canyon/Primeval World" diorama.

No. 5, "Ward Kimball" (A Disney Animator) - Built by Baldwin in 1902 for a Plantation in Louisiana. It is a 2-4-4 Locomotive.

The "Ward Kimball" went into service on June 25, 2005, as part of the park's 50th anniversary celebration. The new locomotive's headlight features a gold leaf silhouette of Jiminy Cricket, based on a drawing of the character Kimball made shortly before his death.

Ward Kimball was railroad enthusiast and an animator who worked on some of Disney's most famous movies. He was affectionally known as one of Disney's Nine Old Men.

Tuesday
Oct222013

The First Train Arrives in San Bernardino

For over 11 months the Southern Pacific Railroad prevented a train from entering San Bernardino from the South.  Southern Pacific used legal and physical means to prevent the train from crossing the SP east-west track at the Colton Crossing. 

Virgil Earp (a special agent for Southern Pacific and later the first City Marshall of Colton) led the group that prevented California Southern Railroad from heading north to San Bernardino.

On September 13, 1883, after a court order was issued and an "at grade" crossing (called a "frog") was installed, the first train arrived in San Bernardino from National City (just south of San Diego).  The train, pulled by Engine No. 4,  was operated by the California Southern Railroad, later owned by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway.

Fred T. Perris, a civil engineer and surveyor for the railroad, was at the whistle.  (Photograph by H. B. Wesner) 

Note: On August 28, 2013, a public celebration was held to dedicate the opening of the new Colton Crossing Rail-to-Rail Grade Separation.  After 130 years the east-west Union Pacific Railroad tracks were raised to pass over the north-south BNSF Railroad tracks.  This will alleviate congestion at the crossing, which accommodates more that 100 trains each day.

Friday
Oct182013

DVDs and Slide Shows Playing in the Museum


History of Fred Harvey and the Harvey Girls

DVD - Railroad Handcar in the Movies

San Bernardino Society of California Pioneers

DVD's of Various Trains and Railroads

  
History of San Bernardino Fire Department

Santa Fe Shops in San Bernardino
DVD - The History of BNSF & the Santa Fe

DVD -The History of Pacific Electric

Santa Fe Depot (1886-1916)