Firsts in San Bernardino

1993 - First Metrolink

Train (Metrolink No. 865

with a test train) that

arrived in San Bernardino.

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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:
sbrrdays@me.com

PHONE:
(909) 888-3634 

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Depot & Museum Tour

December 06, 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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Click here for the Santa 

Fe Railway Historical and

Modeling Society.

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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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Sunday
Feb022014

December 15, 1854 - Arcata & Mad River Railroad

* In 1854, on December 15, the railroad was incorporated as the Union Plank Walk, Rail Track & Wharf Co.

* In 1855, the railroad became California's first operational railroad. With a horse drawn car, it served local lumber mills and the port of Arcata (280 miles north of San Francisco).

* In 1875, the company bought its first steam locomotive. Over the years the company changed its name several times and expanded its local service.

* In 1881, the company became Arcata & Mad River Railroad, to connect the north end of Humboldt Bay with the north fork of Mad River.  

* In 1883, F. Korbel & Bros. (Francis, Anton, and Joseph Korbel), owners of the Humboldt Lumber Mill Company at North Fork (now Korbel), purchased the railroad.

* In 1903, F. Korbel & Bros. sold all of their Northern California holdings, including the railroad, to the Northern Redwood Lumber Company. 

* The winter storms of 1982/1983 destroyed the track in many places.  Repairs were made later in the year, about the same time the railroad raised its rates on traffic to the Eureka area.

* In 1985, the Arcata & Mad River Railroad shut down as shippers found trucking was now more economical.

Thursday
Jan302014

Dec. 19, 2015 - President Barack Hussein Obama

On December 2, 2015, 14 people were killed and 22 others were injured in a terrorist attack at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California.

On December 19, 2015, President and Mrs. Obama spent three hours in San Bernardino, consoling the surviving victims and the families of the deceased.  Later they meet with the first responders.

Barack Obama was the 44th President of the United States.  He graduated from Columbia University and Harvard Law School.  He was a community organizer in Chicago before serving in the Illinois Senate from 1997 to 2004.  He served in the U. S. Senate from 2005 to 2008 and was elected President in 2008 and 2012.

Click here for a history of the U. S. Presidents that have visited San Bernardino.

Tuesday
Jan282014

December 25, 1888 - Alice Rowen Johnson

Pictured above are the women of the 1888 graduating class of the State Normal School in Los Angeles.  Alice Rowen Johnson (top row, second from the right) was the area's first black college graduate.  Education in the 19th century was vastly different from what it is today. For a youngster to obtain only eight years of schooling was not uncommon and high school graduation was rare.

The State Normal School of Los Angeles (a two year college) was created in 1881 and the first classes began in August 1882.  In 1919 the name was changed to the Southern Branch of the University of California.  The third and fourth years were added in 1924 and in 1927 the name was changed to the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA).

Alice was accepted into the college when she was 16 years old.  She was the first member of her race to enter the school, and on December 25, 1888, she was graduated in a class of 16. Alice became the first known black to teach white children.

Alice was the daughter of Elizabeth (Lizzy) Flake Rowan and Charles Rowan, who lived at 361 D Street near downtown San Bernardino.  Lizzy was a former slave, who at the age of four was given as a wedding present to James and Agnes Flake.  Lizzy came to San Bernardino as part of a wagon train of Mormons in 1851.  Alice's father ran a barber shop for almost 40 years inside the Southern Hotel, located at 4th and D Streets.

Click here to see a biography of Alice Rowan and other pioneer women in San Bernardino.

Monday
Jan272014

January 01, 1885 - Horse Cars 

The driver shown here in 1889 is Lucas Westhoff. (Photo from San Bernardino Historical and Pioneer Society)

Public transportation in San Bernardino began with simple horse-drawn streetcars (they were called horse cars even though they were usually pulled by mules).

In 1885, the City Street Railroad Company was organized and their horse cars traveled up and down "D" Street and along the Third Street, providing service from the Santa Fe Depot to downtown San Bernardino.

The mules often balked at their heavy tasks making for noisy rides and sometimes unpredictable schedules. 

In 1901, the San Bernardino Valley Traction Company (SBVT) was incorporated, becoming the first electric line to operate San Bernardino.  It was not long after that the horse cars began to disappear.

In 1904, Judge Oster dissolved the City Street Railroad Company.

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On January 12, 1888, the San Bernardino, Arrowhead & Waterman Railroad Company began construction of a railroad line from San Bernardino to Harlem Springs (hot springs and amusement park).

In June of that year, the company secured a franchise for a horse car line to transport passengers from 7th Street and A Street (now Sierra Way) to downtown San Bernardino.

By November 1888, the horse car line was completed.  Two horse cars were bought for $1,100 each and two mules were obtained.

On March 6, 1893, operations on the narrow gauge railroad were suspended.  In January, 1894, the horse car line, starved for passengers, was abandoned as being unprofitable.

Sunday
Jan262014

January 1, 1997 - Restored 1890 Hose Wagon

San Bernardino Fire Department's 1890 Hose Wagon is waiting to begin its participation in one of the Tournament of Roses Parade (SBH&PS)

*  The 1890 horse-drawn hose wagon was built by Allen Iron Works, located at 368 Third Street.

*  It was used by the San Bernardino Fire Department until the 1920s when it was replaced by a motorized vehicle and the wagon was sold by the City. 

*  In 1982 the hose wagon was discovered to be at the County Museum and was in very poor shape.  A restoration project was begun but faltered and the parts were put into storage.

*  In 1996, the wagon was moved to the Pioneer Fire Museum in San Bernardino where the restoration was completed.  Vic Fisher, a skilled craftsman, spearheaded the restoration project.

*  On January 1, 1997, the restored 1890 Hose Wagon made its first appearance in the Tournament of Roses Parade.  Since then it has appeared in seven more Rose Parades.

*  The 1890 Hose Wagon is owned by the San Bernardino Historical and Pioneer Society (SBH&PS) and is on display in the San Bernardino History and Railroad Museum.

Click here for a pictorial history of San Bernardino's participation in the Tournament of Roses Parades.