Firsts in San Bernardino

1883 - First Passenger

Train arrives in San

Bernardino (California

Southern Railroad).

***************************

***************************

HOURS:

Wednesday 9 AM - Noon
Saturday 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:

allenbone@verizon.net

PHONE:
(909) 888-3634 

**************************

Depot & Museum Tour

August 17, 2019

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.

***************************

Click here for the Santa 

Fe Railway Historical and

Modeling Society.

**************************** 

Norton AFB Museum

Now Open:

Thursday 10:00 to 2:00

Saturday  10:00 to 2:00

More...

****************************

N.A.R.V.R.E. Meeting

at the Mexico Cafe

The next meeting of the

National Association of

Retired & Veteran Railway

Employees will be held

at the Mexico Cafe.

**************************

 

 

Tuesday
Dec312013

August 6, 1985 - Kodachrome

(Photograph courtesy of the SFRH&MS)

 

                     Kodachrome

*  In 1983, Southern Pacific and Santa Fe (SPSF) agreed to merge, hence many new paint schemes were tested.

*  Seen here in the fall of 1985 is Santa Fe SD-45 #5394 after receiving its new "Kodachrome" paint job in San Bernardino.

* ATSF 5394 was in the process of being upgraded and rebuilt at San Bernardino, and became the first full-size engine to receive the proposed merger paint scheme.  It emerged from the shops on August 6, 1985.

*  The merger was ultimately disapproved by the Interstate Commerce Commission in 1987.

*  Over 300 engines painted with the "Kodachrome" paint scheme had to be repainted, or were retired.

The Nov. - Dec. 2015 SFRH&MS Newsletter contains several photographs of the SPSF paint scheme that were taken in the San Bernardino shops.

Monday
Dec302013

August 11, 1875 - Southern Pacific Railroad

               
                A Missed Opportunity

*  In 1873, the Southern Pacific Railroad (SP) wanted to extend its service eastward from Los Angeles to the San Gorgonio Pass.
 
*  In 1874, the businessmen of San Bernardino were asked to purchase $100,000 worth of bonds, however the railroad would not promise to build through the town, but only as near to it as possible.
 
*  The bonds were not purchased, so the SP made major investments in what was to become the town of Colton and put its tracks south of San Bernardino.
 
*  On August 11, 1875, the first train to enter San Bernardino Valley entered Colton, and for a year or more it remained the end of the line.
 
*  It was not until September 13, 1883, that the first passenger train entered the City of San Bernardino via the California Southern Railroad from National City (near San Diego).
Sunday
Dec292013

August 22, 1826 - Jedediah Smith

Jedediah Smith and Men in the Mojave Desert in 1826 (c.1905 by Frederic Remington)

"The first American to describe the San Bernardino Valley was a member of the fur trapping expedition which came this way in 1826.  The diarist's name was Harrison G. Rogers.

"Anxious to explore the country between the Rocky Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, Rogers was one of 18 mountain men led by 27 year old Jedediah Strong Smith.  The party left northern Utah on August 22, 1826 and traveled southerly to the Mohave villages near the Colorado River.

"They followed the Mohave Indian Trail from Soda Lake to the San Bernardino Mountains before tromping down into the wide San Bernardino Valley.  After a brief stopover, the ragged, dirty, and half-starved band of trappers headed for Mission San Gabriel, where they arrived on November 7, 1826.  Jedediah Smith and his men had become the first Americans to reach California by the overland route.

"The Smith party was detained for over two months while Governor Jose Maria Echeandia investigated the reasons why these uninvited guests arrived.  California was still under Mexican rule, and any report of "foreigners" entering from the east was disturbing to say the least.

"The trappers resumed their journey on January 17, 1827 and headed back to the San Bernardino Valley. This time their layover was for more than a week.  They camped at "Jumuba", an Indian village located [just south of todays Redlands Boulevard and west of Hunts Lane]...

"While gathering supplies and breaking wild horses, it was at this camp that Rogers wrote his impressions of the climate, recorded the trouble that the men experienced because of horses running away and mentioned about the Indians in the San Bernardino Valley."

   (From the writings of Nicholas R. Cataldo) 

Sunday
Dec292013

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.

Friday
Dec272013

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.

Thursday
Dec262013

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 Bermudez (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)

Dorothy 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.

Wednesday
Dec252013

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)

Tuesday
Oct152013

Chair from Opera House is in the Museum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This chair was in the personal box of James Waters, who is pictured at the right.  James Waters, along with Herman Brinkmeyer (seen on the balcony of the Opera House), built the San Bernardino Opera House in 1882, four years before Los Angeles had an opera house of its own. 

The Opera House featured everything from Italian Grand Operas and Shakespeare's plays, to musicals and magicians, and to vaudeville and silent movies.  All of the greats performed in San Bernardino's finest theater, including Lillie Langtry, Al Jolson, Lillian Russell, Harry Houdini, Will Rogers, Sarah Bernhardt, Edwin Booth, the Barrymores and many more. 

The Opera House was located on the east side of D Street between 3rd and 4th Streets and was torn down in 1927.  

The chair and the painting of James Waters were donated to the San Bernardino Historical and Pioneer Society by Mary Renter, the great-great-granddaughter of James Waters.

Click here for a detailed look at the Opera House.

Click here for the story of Jim Waters, from mountainman to builder of an opera house.

Saturday
Jun012013

Clocks that Keep on Ticking in the Museum

Santa Fe Standard Clock that was in the Roundhouse Office in 1916                                         Clock from the Santa Fe Wire Chief's Office (Telegraph Office) located at the west end of the Depot

 

 

   
   
 
 
Small Santa Fe Clock