Firsts in San Bernardino

1948 - First McDonald's

Restaurant in the Country

opened (14th and E St.)



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

April 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


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.





April 30, 1900 - Casey Jones

       Casey Jones (1863 - 1900)           Illinois Central Railroad Locomotive No. 382 (4-6-0)

On April 30, 1900, at 3:52 AM a south bound passenger train crashed into four cars of a freight train.

Jonathan Luther "Casey" Jones was born in Missouri in 1863 and in 1876 moved to Cayce, Kentucky.  At age 15, he left home for Columbus, Kentucky to work for the Mobile and Ohio Railroad as a telegrapher and later as a brakeman and fireman. 

Jones moved to Jackson, Tennessee, still working for the Mobile and Ohio.  When asked by a fellow railroad man where he was from, Jones said he was from Cayce, Kentucy and the nickname "Casey" was born.

In 1888, he was hired by the Illinois Central Railroad.  On February 23, 1891, Casey was promoted to engineer and was later assigned to passenger runs between Memphis, Tennessee, and Canton, Mississippi, a run of about five hours.  This was one link of a four train run between Chicago and New Orleans.

On the morning of April 29, 1900, Jones pulled into Menphis from Canton where he was to lay over until the next day.   The regular engineer who was to make the night run was ill so Casey agreed to take his place. Engine No. 382, with Jones in the cab, departed about an hour and a half late.  

Casey Jones was known for his insistence that he 'get there on the avertised' time and when he got to Vaughan, Mississippi he was only a couple minutes late.  Two freight trains were on a siding but their combined length was longer than the siding.  As they attempted to clear the main track an air hose on No. 72 broke, locking the brakes and leaving four cars of No. 83 extending onto the track at the north end.  

When Sim Webb, Casey's fireman, saw the caboose on the track he jumped from the cab, but Casey did not. Some say Casey Jones stayed with his engine because of his sense of duty and the value he put on human life.  Jones died in the accident, but no other person was killed or seriously injured.

Wallace Saunders, who worked in the Canton roundhiouse, wrote a tune remembering Casey that became a favorite of fellow workers.  Bert and Frank Leighton, a couple of vaudeville performers, spread the 'Ballad of Casey Jones" across the country.  The song was copyrighted in 1909.  In the 1930's, a book, a motion picture and a radio series added to the legend.  In 1962, Johnny Cash released his version of "Casey Jones". 

The official accident report said the 'Engineer Jones was solely responsible having disregarded the signals given by Flagman Newberry'.  Until his death in 1957, Sim Webb, Casey's fireman, maintained that 'we saw no flagman or flare, we heard no torpedoes'.

Note: A torpedo is a small device placed on a rail and makes a loud sound when the wheel of a train passes over it.