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The First Railroads(Ingersoll)
For many years San Bernardino county awaited the coming of her first railroad. It was early apparent that some time a transcontinental line would be built from the lower Mississippi river to the Pacific coast. San Diego people felt confident that this line would make its terminus on San Diego harbor —"the only harbor worthy of the name south of San Francisco'': while the residents of San Bernardino were equally sure that the road must come through one of her two great gateways—San Gorgonio or Cajon.
In 1867 the Memphis & El Paso road, with J. C. Fremont, president, was incorporated, to reach the Pacific coast. Work was begun at the eastern end of the line, but the scheme fell through. A line was surveyed from San Diego to the Gila river at one time, but never got further than the survey. There was much talk of the International line, to run in a direct course from San Diego eastward, partly on Mexican territory; surveys and concessions were made—and that was all. It was confidently expected that the Texas & Pacific railway, which was organized by Tom Scott, of financial fame, in 1869, would solve the railway problem for Southern California. San Diego made large grants of land and of harbor front to this corporation, and work was actually begun and ten miles of roadbed graded, after an elaborate ceremony in which the first shovelful of dirt was turned. But the financial panic of 1873 paralyzed this scheme also.
Of local roads, dozens were built—upon paper. A narrow gauge line between San Diego and San Bernardino direct was surveyed and seemed at one time an assured fact. In August. 1868, the citizens of San Bernardino assembled at the Court House and resolved: "That we citizens here assembled are in favor of building a railway from the landing at Anaheim to this place, and pledge ourselves and our individual exertions to enlist the county in its favor, and obtain an appropriation of at least $5,000.00 per mile for every mile built in the county, by the issue of county bonds for this purpose, to be issued under and by virtue of an act of Legislature passed for that purpose." This resolution was signed by all of the leading citizens of the county, but it seems to nave had no effect—the road did not materialize.
The Guardian of October 2nd, 1868, contains the following- railroad "news": Pacific and San Bernardino Railroad Company.
"Such is the name of a company incorporated September 23, 1868, with a capital stock of two millions, the object of which is to connect San Bernardino with the sea, and while developing the resources of the country along its line, will attract the entire freighting business of Arizona and Southern Utah, which for some time has been diverted from us by the high prices charged by our teamsters for freighting, and carried by vessels via the Gulf of California and Colorado river. The books of tbe company are now open in San Francisco, and the stock is being taken very liberally. A set of subscription books will be sent to this place by the next steamer, and our citizens, possessing the means, will no doubt interest themselves in this enterprise and invest in some shares. "The incorporation of the company has been delayed by the absence of Mr. Ben Holladay in Oregon. But now we may look for a speedy prosecution of the enterprise. Gen. Davidson, writing in regard to the road, says: 'I look upon the road as a fixed fact.' So do we, and consequently look forward to the future of San Bernardino with anticipations of seeing her become what nature has established the foundation for, a thriving interior city, drawing to her the trade and traffic of Arizona and Southern Utah, and producing from her own fertile hills, valleys and plains, a surplus of products that will attract wealth and prosperity to her producers. We are not informed when the work will be commenced, but presume as soon as the necessary arrange- ments are effected the ground will be broken and grading began. Once the ground broken, the grading and laying of the rails will be pushed on rapidly, until San Bernardino will stand as it were on the sea shore, and gather into her lap the wealth that comes floating on its bosom."
And this is the beginning and the end of the "Pacific & San Bernardino Railroad Company," so far as we have been able to find it.
L.A. & IndependenceIn 1874 the Los Angeles & Independence railway, to be built from Santa Monica to Independence, Inyo county, was organized by Governor Downey, F. P. F. Temple and other merchants of Los Angeles, backed by Senator John P. Jones. Several routes were proposed, but that through the Cajon Pass was selected, and San Bernardino was invited to co-operate in the enterprise, and thus secure a route to the sea coast. The road was constructed between Los Angeles and Santa Monica and put into operation in December, 1875. San Bernardino, however, seemed to feel that any road passing through the valley could not skip her, and made no decided move to secure the road. Considerable grading was done on the line this side of Los Angeles and in the Cajon Pass. The Guardian of January 16, 1875, reports, enthusiastically: "Work has been commenced on the Independence railroad in earnest. A force of forty men. under the energetic Crawford is engaged on the Cajon grade. Mr. Crawford tells us that in a few davs he will be re-enforced by 100 Chinamen. The Southern Pacific people have also a force at work in the Cajon. It seems their object is to head off the Narrow Gauge. Jones, however, is not likely to bluff worth a dollar. Stanford, we believe, declares his intention of building a Broad Gauge, to Panamint, via the Cajon. San Bernardino is certainly looming up in importance to the commercial world. And now, let us avail ourselves of our magnificent opportunities. Let energy, enterprise and liberality be the order of the day with our business men and men of property. And let us all act for the general good." The Los Angeles & Independence Railway never reached the San Bernardino Valley, however.
The Southern PacificThe first western railroad project was put forth in 1835, when a line starting from Lake Michigan and extending to the Puget Sound was proposed. In 1849 Thomas Benton introduced a bill into Congiess to subsidize a road, to be rail where practicable, and the rest of the way turnpike, from St. Louis to San Francisco. At nearly every session of Congress after this date some proposal for a transcontinental road was submitted and discussed, but no decided action was taken until the act authorizing the Union and Central Pacific roads in 1862.
In 1856 the first railroad in California, a line from Folsom to Sacramento, was completed. This road was built by a young engineer, Theodore D. Judah, who had come out from the east for this purpose. Judah became very much interested in the possibility of a transcontinental road, and made a careful examination of all the routes practicable through the Sierra Nevadas. In 1856 Mr. Judah published a pamphlet, "A Practical Plan for Building the Pacific Railway." A writer in the Overland Monthly says of this document, "Rarely has there been so much practical matter comprised within thirty pages. It suggested a plan for sleeping and restaurant cars, thus ante-dating the Pullman idea and obviating one of the greatest obstacles to the overland route."
In 1859 a Railroad Convention was called in San Francisco. Judah was one of the delegates, and presented the information that he had gathered and the plans that he had formulated. So impressed were the members of the convention that they appointed the young engineer to act as their accredited agent to present their proceedings at Washington. Mr. Judah went to "Washington and made a most favorable impression upon the statesmen with whom he came in contact, without accomplishing any immediate result.
Largely through Judah's zeal and his conviction in the 'feasibility of the route he had selected, Huntington, Crocker, Stanford and Hopkins became interested, and in 1861 the Central Pacific Company was organized with a sub- scribed capital of $125,000. Of this amount Huntington. Hopkins, Stanford and Crocker subscribed $15,000 each. These men gradually acquired most of the other stock subscribed, including that of Judah. The breaking out of the civil war increased the importance of the Pacific railway to the country at large, and the withdrawal of the Southern members of Congress minimized the opposition to the project. The Central Pacific sent Judah again to Washington to work in their interests, and largely through his earnest and well-calculated efforts, Congress, in 1862. passed an "Act to aid in the construction of a railroad and telegraph line from the Missouri river to the Pacific ocean and to secure to the govern- ment the use of the same for postal, military and other purposes."
For the carrying out of this construction the government gave, within tne boundaries of California, two million acres of land and six millions in bonds; the state gave $105,000 a year for twenty years; Sacramento gave S300,000 in stock and Placer took $250,000 in stock—all of this applying to the road only between Sacramento and the eastern boundary of the state.
Ground was broken in Sacramento in 1863 and the work was pushed with unexpected rapidity. The Union Pacific Company was also organized and work was begun at the eastern terminus on the Missouri. To these two roads the government, between the years 1865 and 1869, granted bonds to the amount of $55,090,692, bearing 6 per cent interest. Congress also gave them over 26.000.000 acres of land, as well as right of way 400 feet wide, and depot grounds throughout the route. Important concessions and subsidies were also granted by the states and cities through which the roads passed. Thus aided the work was pushed rapidly, and May 10, 1869, the last spike was driven when the two roads met near Ogden, and thus the Atlantic and the Pacific were at last united, and the long-talked of "transcontinental" railroad was a fact.
Southern RoutesIn the meantime it had become a certainty that a southern transcontinental line would be built also. In 1853 the government had sent out a party to explore and survey routes in California to connect with the routes near the thirty-fifth and thirty-second parallels, which had already been explored Lieutenant Williamson, in charge of the party, reported as follows: "Under the supposition that a road has been constructed from the Mississippi to the mouth of the Gila, if the question is simply how to continue the road to the Pacific, the answer is apparent. It would follow a nearly direct line to the entrance of the San Gorgonio pass, the best in the coast range ; then through that pass into the San Bernardino valley : and from thence to San Pedro or some other point in the vicinity of the coast. To go from the mouth of the Gila to San Francisco we must still go through the San Gorgonio In 1865 the Central Pacific Company had organized the Southern Pacific Company, with the intention of building a southern route. In 1866 the Atlantic & Pacific Company was organized and authorized to build a road from Springfield, Mo., by way of Albuquerque to the Little Colorado, and thence along the thirty-fifth parallel as nearly as possible to the Pacific coast. It was given large grants of lands, but no bonds. In 1871 the Texas Pacific road was incorporated to build through Texas, El Paso and New Mexico to the Colorado, and thence to San Diego. Still earlier the Memphis, El Paso & Pacific Railway Company had begun operations. All of these lines began construction from their eastern termini.
Southern PacificSoon after its organization the Southern Pacific began building southward through California, and by 1872 had constructed a line as far south as Tehachapi. From this point its course was undecided. It might cross the Mojave desert direct to the Colorado river, or it might follow the San Gorgonio route. Los Angeles determined to secure the road at any cost, and after a long and bitter fight voted something over $600,000 subsidy, if the main line should be put through that city. In pursuance of their agreement to secure the subsidy the railroad at once built twenty-five miles of road to the north of Los Angeles to San Fernando and twenty-five miles east to Spadra, completing the work to that point in April, 1874. There for a time the work paused and uncertainty ruled. There were doubts whether the nai! would ever go any further—and some believed that San Bernardino was the ultimate terminus.
In November, 1873, when it was known that the road would certainly reach Spadra, or Ruebottom's as it was more familiarly known, a meeting of the citizens of San Bernardino was held and the matter of offering inducements for the immediate completion of the line as far as San Bernardino was warmly discussed.
Judge Boren moved that a committee be appointed and steps be taken to find out what would induce the company to come into the valley before removing their force from the field. Colonel Kelting favored the committee, but did not believe the company could possibly avoid running their line through the town. Mr. Katz opposed the appointment, because it looked like truckling to the railroad people. The majority were in favor of a committee, at least, yet some citizens were opposed to the railroad on general principles, and didn't want one, anyway. The meeting finally appointed a committee of prominent citizens, with instructions to meet every Wednesday until fur- ther orders. Judge Boren was appointed chairman, W. H. Gould secietary and E. A. Nisbet corresponding secretary.
Despite the efforts of this committee no definite results followed. The Guardian and Argus and the people who write letters to the newspapers dis- cussed the situation warmly and grew enthusiastic over the future prospects of their city. The Guardian declared: "With the railway terminus in this town the business would quadruple in one year. And if we only display the energy dictated by common sense we will have the terminus within nrie shot of the town."
In October. 1874, Gen. D. D. Colton, Gen. S. T. Gage, Col. C. F. Crocker and Judge Underhill, Southern Pacific magnates, after going over the pro- posed route through San Gorgonio pass, returned to San Bernardino and met the citizens in a largely attended mass meeting. The meeting was alled to order by the chairman, Hon. W. A. Conn, who introduced the railroad men and outlined the object for which the meeting was held. He pointed out the vital necessity of the railroad to the county and the necessity of the citizens doing all possible to co-operate with the railroad people. Mr. Crocker acted as spokesman for the visitors, and made a lengthy speech, in which he set forth the benefits which San Bernardino would derive from the building of the road, and stated that they did not ask for a subsidv from the town, but would like to have the business men of the place subscribe for at least $100,000 worth of their bonds. This was their proposition. Judge A. D. Boren, at that time one of the heaviest property owners, and one of the most enterprising citizens, said :
"Mr. Crocker, if we subscribe for $100,000 worth of your bonds will you build your road through this place or anywhere near it?" There was then some talk of putting the depot at the foot of "E" street.
Mr. Crocker, in reply, said that the Southern Pacific was building a great transcontinental line to be run for all time ; that their through business was of vastly more importance than the local traffic ever could be, and that they could not afford to swerve their line to the right or to the left to accommodate any little town ; that it was not alone the cost of building the additional few miles of track that a curve reaching and passing through San Bernardino would entail, but the cost of operating it for all time, and this additional mileage on all through trains would be so great that the company could not afford it; yet, to accommodate the people, they would build the line through the valley, and as near as they could to San Bernardino.
A later meeting of citizens discussed the bond matter, and decided, almost unanimously, with Senator Conn, "that if the railway company comes through the town, we, the committee, will propose to the county to buy the bonds; if it does not come through the town we will not raise one cent." Inasmuch as no definite promise of anything, not even a depot at the foot of E street, could be obtained from the railroad, no bonds were subscribed for.
In 1873 some wide-awake business men had organized the Slover Mountain Association, and purchased a tract of 2,000 acres of land southwest of San Bernardino. It afterwards developed that at the time of the first rail- road meeting in San Bernardino, arrangements had been practically completed to locate the depot on this tract, which was directly in line between Spadra and the San Gorgonio pass and the owners of which had agreed to donate 640 acres of land to the railroad company, upon certain conditions.
At first the people of San Bernardino refused to believe that they were to be passed by. The Argus, in a warm editorial, declared : "God made San Bernardino a site for the central town of the valley, and the railroad, if inclined, and we have no reason to believe it to be. cannot change his fiat. The new town talk is simply nauseating; it is possible a village may grow up around the depot; if so let it and welcome."
The railroad reached Colton July 30, 1875. A depot, roundhouse, etc., were constructed, a hotel put up and other improvements made. The failure of San Bernardino to purchase bonds was not conducive to good feeling on the part of the railroad people to that town, and the Southern Pacific Company threw its entire weight to the building up of Colton and diverting busi- ness to the new town. For a time this influence was keenly felt ; Colton grew rapidly, while San Bernardino was almost at a standstill.
September 6, 1876, the northern and southern ends of the road were united and San Bernardino and Colton thus put into direct communication with San Francisco. There being no competition, and not enough local business to pay the expenses of keeping the local lines in operation, freight rates were very high. So high, indeed, that the merchants of San Bernardino entered into an arrangement with McFadden Bros., of Newport, Los Angeles county, who were the owners of a steamboat, to run their boat in competition with the railroad in carrying freight for San Bernardino. They put on a mule train between Newport and San Bernardino, and it is a fact that freight from San Francisco, by this line, was more expeditiously delivered, and at lower rates than the railroad had laid it down at Colton.
When the Southern Pacific people saw that the merchants were in earnest and were succeeding in their opposition, they sent an agent and called a meeting of the San Bernardino merchants and shippers at Starke's Hotel. The company proposed a compromise, offering lower rates and better service. The rates were accordingly put down and a strong effort made to regain San Bernardino business. Many of the business men accepted the terms offered and the mule line was finally done away with. Although there was a marked improvement in service and in rates the freight was still all the "traffic would bear," and there were continual complaints of the business men as to the treatment received from the company.
In March, 1881, the connection between the Southern Pacific and the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe, at Deming, New Mexico, was made and the first through passenger train between San Francisco and Kansas City, by the southern route, went over the road. Thus at last San Bernardino county was connected with the east by direct railway route.
In 1886 the Motor line be tween Colton and San Bernardino was put into operation, having been built by R. W. Button. In November, 1888, this motor line was extended to Riverside. The same year a motor line between San Bernardino and Redlands was completed. In 1892, the Southern Pacific Company purchased these motor lines, thus gaining direct entrance to Redlands, San Bernardino and Riverside. The same year a branch line was put in between Chino and Ontario.
The motor service between Riverside, Colton, San Bernardino and Red- lands has been maintained and a broad gauge system added.
During the last year the Southern Pacific Company has purchased land in the center of San Bernardino city, and a new and adequate railway depot and service is now promised that town--after 30 years of waiting.
The Santa Fe SystemOn the 7th day of July, 1866, an act passed Congress approving and sub- sidizing a new transcontinental line, starting from Springfield, Mo., "thence running by the most direct route to Albuquerque, N. M., thence to the head- waters of the Little Colorado, and then along tbe 35th parallel, north latitude, to the Colorado and thence to tide water."
There was a race between this road and the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe, which had been organized in Kansas. In 1879 tne Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe, the St. Louis & San Francisco and the Chicago & Alton Companies were combined for the purpose of building a joint line from Albuquerque to the Pacific coast. San Diego, undaunted by her many failures to secure rail- road facilities, at once set to work to induce this new line to make San Diego Harbor its terminus. Mainly through the efforts of the Kimball Brothers, who had invested heavily in San Diego and vicinity, two representatives of Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe, Messrs. G. B. Wilbur and L. G. Pratt, of Boston, came to California and visited San Diego. These gentlemen were favor- ably impressed with the situation of San Diego, and also with the very liberal propositions made them by the Kimball Brothers and the citizens of San Diego generally.
San Diego offered "six thousand acres of land within the city, with a water front of one mile, $15,000 cash and 1,000 city lots; Messrs. Kimball, of the National Rancho, offered 10.000 acres, with another mile of water front; Tom Scott, of the defunct Texas & Pacific, agreed to deed to the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad Company, 4.500 acres of the land previously granted to him."
When San Bernardino heard that San Diego was to secure a visit from the railway men she was once more aroused. Mr. John Isaacs, who was then editor of the San Ber- nardino Times, and who took an active part in the campaign to secure the Santa Fe to San Bernardino, has furnished this statement of the work then done:
"On October 20, 1879, a meeting was held at the Court House, attended by the greater part of our leading business men, at which was discussed the advisability of trying to secure this new line. It was unanimously decided that every effort should be used to this end, and a delegation consisting of Mr. Fred Perris, then county surveyor, and John Isaacs, was appointed to meet the railway men when they should arrive, while Messrs. Anderson and Gregory were instructed to correspond with the railway officials in regard to their movements and extend an invitation to visit this valley. A committee to raise funds was also appointed, and by diligent labor secured S40.00, one of which was bogus.
With this sum the delegates started for San Diego, November 2d. The journey between the two cities was not a picnic in those days. There were no places of public entertainment along the road and few settlers. It was a three days' trip over rough and muddy roads. Upon arrival in San Diego it was found that Messrs. Wilbur and Pratt would not reach the city for five days. The committee, therefore, had ample time to spend its funds and to look over the lay of the land. They found that there were opposing interests at work. One party was bound that the road, if built at all. must come by the International boundary line that had been surveyed and much talked of some years previous to this. Another party with interests along the coast and in the northern part of the county, was equally determined that the road must come that way. The San Bernardino men soon found that their presence was not considered desirable by one party, at least, and a determined effort to prevent their meeting the railway men when they arrived, was made. Messrs. Wilbur & Pratt, however, declined the private hospitality that was pressed upon them, and went to the Horton House, where the San Bernardino delegation at last secured an appointment. At this interview there were present beside Messrs. Perris and Isaacs, Don Juan Foster, H. I. Willey and C. J. Cox. It lasted from 8 o'clock p. m. until i 130 a. m., and Mr. Perris furnished facts and gave topographical data which these gentlemen were totally unprepared for. At the close of the talk Mr. Wilbur said: "Gentlemen, if you will come for us in two weeks we will go up and see your country."
That promise was the turning point for San Bernardino, and from that moment we may date our railroad history.
Turning PointWell satisfied with their labors, the committee started for home, to be caught in the worst storm of the season and to reach San Bernardino after three days of hard, wet traveling. At the appointed time they met the two railroad men, accompanied by their engineer, Morley, and Harry I. Willey, at the Santa Margarita Rancho, and drove back to San Bernardino.
In the meantime a bureau of information had been started in this city; a collection of its various products was gathered together, and all the information available regarding the resources of the county and its possibilities was compiled for the visiting railroad directors. Mr. Perris also took Engineer Morley over the line, from Santa Magarita through the San Gorgonio and Morongo Passes and to the summit of Cajon Pass, and Mr. Morley remarked of the Cajon Pass, which had been pronounced as insurmountable, "This is nothing; we can go through here easily enough."
An editorial in the Times of November 30, 1879, regarding the visit of these Santa Fe railway officials, says : "We have spent several days with the gentlemen now among us representing the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe railway, and we are forced to the conclusion that their visit here is not a mere dodge, but that they mean business and are in earnest in their efforts to learn the feasibility of a road to our coast, the best route to be taken by it, the present and possible resources of the country through which they would pass, and other points bearing upon their line as a paying investment. They are here as an investigating committee, and upon their report future action will be taken by their company, and it is for the purpose of making an intelligent report that they are staying among us so long and making so studious an examination of the counties of Southern California."
As a result of the investigations of this committee the route by the way of Cajon Pass was decided upon and work was begun from the San Diego ter- minus in 1880, and by May, 1881, the graders were at work in Temecula canon. The question of the route to be pursued between Temecula and the Cajon Pass was still unsettled. Riverside was making strenuous efforts to bring the line through the Temescal valley, Arlington and Riverside. As inducements she offered "free right of way from the Laguna (Elsinore lake) to the Santa Ana river at the narrows, $10,000 from the Tin company, 500 to 1,000 acres from the Sierra Ranch owners, $5,000 from the citizens of Arlington and vicinity, and 500 acres in the lower part of Riverside valley."
Another route was surveyed by way of Box Springs which would bring the line nearer to San Bernardino. Railroad meetings were held and propositions were made, but nothing definite was arrived at.
August 21, 1882, the Southern California road was completed to Colton and a regular service put on, thus giving San Diego an outlet to the east and to San Francisco. Here construction stopped for nearly a year, and San Bernardino still debated the question of what she would offer to secure a depot within her own limits. At length she guaranteed right of way and depot grounds, amounting to some $20,000 in value, and it was settled that the road should pass through San Bernardino, and thence through the Cajon Pass to join the eastern extension which was being pushed through New Mexico and Arizona.
September 13, 1883, the first train whistle rang through the city of San Bernardino. But the long-awaited event had not been attained without a final struggle. The Southern Pacific road had interposed every possible obstacle—legal and material—to the advent of its rival. Its last stand was made at the intersection of the roads at Colton. Injunctions had been served to restrain the California Southern road, and some of its property at San Diego had been attached. Rather an amusing incident occurred with regard to the railroad crossing which was intended to be used at Colton. The San Diego Sun reports:
"The California Southern Railroad Company perpetrated the best joke of the season on the Southern Pacific Company, on Thursday night. It appears that among the property levied on by the latter company was the railroad crossing to be used at Colton. It had remained at National City for several months, and Mr. Bradt was ordered to take charge of it, as deputy sheriff, on Thursday. The limb of the law, when night came on, instead of sitting on the crossing, went to the hotel and was soon wrapped in profound slumber, dreaming of the sheriff's sale which was destined to never take place. Meanwhile the defendant got a force of men, hoisted the crossing on a car and immediately dispatched a special train to Colton. The surprise of Mr. Bradt when he arrived at the yards in the morning and found that his charge had been transported to San Bernardino county can better be imagined than described."
The Southern Pacific found it convenient to station locomotives and cars along its tracks where the crossing was to be placed, and at one time it looked as though serious trouble might arise, but when the last legal steps had failed and the company found themselves in danger of "contempt of court" proceedings, they removed the hindrances and aided in laying the disputed crossing.
The rejoicing over the entrance of the railroad was soon turned to mourning. The winter of 1883-4 proved to be a flood year—second only to the great flood of 1862. Many washouts occurred along the line of the newly constructed road, and some fifteen miles of track through the Temecula canon was completely destroyed. This canon is a narrow, winding gorge with most precipitous sides. The eastern engineers refused to believe that the modest little stream trickling through the bottom of the canon far below their track- could ever harm their carefully planned grades and bridges. They had lessons to learn concerning California streams.
For a time the railroad outlook was gloomy for San Bernardino, and black —dead black—for San Diego. No move was made to repair the road, and in response to inquiries the railroad officials gave very unsatisfactory answers. The Southern Pacific, on the approach of the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe, had built a branch from its main line at Mojave across to the Needles on the Colorado river, in order to secure the subsidy offered by the government for the first line building through this territory. This branch, completed in April. 1883, seriously interfered with the plans of the new road. It must either parallel the Southern Pacific, or buy out the line from Needles to Mojave. The latter course was finally agreed upon, and in July, 1884, an arrangement was entered into whereby the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe secured the use of the Mojave line, and also the right to run their trains over the Southern Pacific tracks into San Francisco. At the same time it was announced that the California Southern extension would be completed to Waterman (now Barstow) and the breaks fully repaired. Work after this was pushed rapidly. Two hundred and fifty thousand dollars was expended in repairing and rebuilding the line through the Temecula canon, and the extension was hurried along. In November, 1885, the California Southern was completed to Barstow, and San Bernardino turned out with fireworks and bands to wel- come ber first transcontinental train. The editor of the Times, Saturday, November 14, 1885, comments thus:
"The last spike on the California Southern Railway was driven to-day, and San Bernardino is now in rail connection with the mining section and all of central United States by means of the Atlantic & Pacific and its branches. This important event, the most important in our history, has taken place quietly, without fuss or feathers, and while generally known, is the subject of no comment or rejoicing. Yet with the opening of this road a new era dawns upon us. San Bernardino will have on the railroad maps and time tables of the future a "local habitation and a name." She will no longer be ignored as here- tofore, but will take her proper place as the second city of Southern California. She will be made the distributive point for this section, and goods from the East will be left off at the San Bernardino depot, and not shipped first to Los Angeles and then returned to Colton with charges to pay both ways. The immense mining trade of which we have so long been deprived will now return to us. Eastern people will know of us and come here. The trains that pass will go through a fertile portion of our valley and not through the desert portion of it, and travelers who pass through will not believe as heretofore that San Bernardino was a desert and nothing else. All this is before us. The turning point in our history has come, and we greet it as we do all other blessings—in silence. We are perhaps the most undemonstrative people in- America. Nothing short of an earthquake will shake us up. San Diego is preparing for a great celebration on the completion of the road, and we—well. we'll let 'em ; but we'll just be durned ef we'll make any fuss about it."
Evidently the editorial took effect, as the first train was duly welcomed.
The California Central had already begun the construction of the numerous branch lines which have made it the beneficiary of Southern California. In 1884 a survey was made for a line between San Bernardino and Los Angeles, via Pasadena and the San Gabriel Valley. In 1885 the Riverside, Santa Ana & Los Angeles Railway was incorporated to build the line through the Santa Ana canon.
The ProposalIn 1886 the California Southern proposed to the citizens of San Bernardino that if they would donate 18 acres of land adjoining the 20 acres already owned by the company, the Division Headquarters would be made at San Bernardino, and machine shops, depot and improvements to the amount of $200,000 would be at once put under way. The proposition was enthusias- tically accepted. A meeting was called and $10,000 raised on the spot toward the purchase price of the land. Again the editor of the Times was called upon to "whoop it up," and this is the way he did it:
"In answer to an invitation, privatelv sent out, a number of the citizens of our town who are interested in the further advancement of the place, met in the rear room of the Farmers' Exchange Bank, last evening, to see what plan could be arrived at for the advancing of those interests in which San Bernardino is directly intere: ted. The meeting was called to order by John Andreson, and on motion R. W. Waterman was chosen chairman and John Isaac secretary.
"H. L. Drew stated that the object of the meeting was to consider a proposition from the California Southern Railroad Company relative to making San Bernardino division headquarters, with machine shops, round-house, etc. The railroad company want the citizens of this town to give them eighteen acres of land contiguous to the land which the company at present own. The citizens desired to make their offer a cash one, but the company did not want the cash. What they want, and all they want, is the land, upon which they propose to erect their machine shops, etc. Colton has made them an offer, and we understand some of the officers of the company favor locating those improvements at Colton ; but Mr. Victor, superintendent, and Fred T. Perris, chief engineer, are in favor of San Bernardino, and will do all in their power for us, provided we will do our share. Mr. Perris stated to the meeting that he had been waiting and watching for an opportunity to make a definite proposition to the citizens of this place, and he considered that he could now lay before them the opportunity to make a second Los Angeles right here, if they would only do their part. The proposed contract was read and submitted to the meeting, together with plans of depot, maps, diagrams, etc., all of which go to show the willingness of the railroad company to locate those improvements here, if we will only assist them to do so. After discussing the feasibility of the proposition from all sides, a committee was appointed to thoroughly canvass the town and see what our citizens would do. Whether they would give their money toward the improvement of San Bernardino, or. whether they would allow Colton to beat us in the race. Of course there can be but very little, if any. opposition, for all will readily see the great benefit such a proposition will be to our town, if carried into effect. "A committee of three, consisting of John Andreson, R. W. Waterman and H. L. Drew, was appointed to prepare a guarantee of what each man is willing to do in the matter, to be circulated and signed by all who may feel disposed to aid in this proposed building up of the town. This committee are also to act as trustees to look after the money raised and put it to the use it is raised for.
"A committee of three was also appointed to solicit subscriptions. This committee was composed of W. A. Harris, M. Katz and W. G. Morse. The work of this committee is to be done at once, and a report made at a meeting to be held at the Farmer's Exchange Bank to- night, so get out yonr pencils, shut your eyes and write as many figures after your names as your consciences will allow.
"The proposition of the company was so well thought of by the citizens present at this meeting that something over $10,000 was raised immediately. The idea advanced at this meeting was to raise, if possible, the sum of S25.000, and to use as much of it as is necessary for the purchase of the eighteen acres of land, the balance, if any be left, to be returned, pro rata, to the subscribers.
"The railroad company now own about twenty acres of land in our town. They need about forty acres for their proposed improvements. The only question is, will the people take interest enough in the advancement of the town to give them the eighteen acres of land necessary for these improvements, or will they allow all this work to be done at Colton.
"The committees will report to the meeting to-night, and as there can be but one result, a grand ratification meeting will be held in the Court House on tomorrow evening by all of our citizens. Let the list be so full that there will be no possible chance of missing this grand opportunity.
"Acting upon the suggestion of the Times last evening, the citizens' committee have bonded the whole of block 17, of the five-acre survey, except two acres, giving them control of eighty-eight acres of land, which can be had at a cost of from $400 to $500 per acre. ' Out of this it is proposed to offer the railroad company a choice of forty acres, the balance to be sold to secure the signers of the guarantee fund. Surveyors are now engaged in running a line north from the Fabun place to the northwest corner of block 17, which will be entered with a curve, as the present grounds now are. This property lies between Fifth and Seventh streets, and there are a number of reasons why it is superior for railroad purposes, outside of its lessened cost. It is more level than the present location, and the cost of grading will be materially reduced, a big item to the railroad, as the present grounds will have to be cut down in some places as much as five or six feet. It can be got without trouble or litigation of any kind, and there will be no contest with the Lytle or any other heirs, as there cannot be even the shadow of a cloud upon the title. It is proposed to either abandon the present grounds or use them only for storage purposes, for keeping extra cars or unused machinery. So far as the citizens' committee is concerned, all the work lias been done, the whole of this property has been bonded, and the proposition laid before Air. Perris, who has tele- graphed it East and received instructions to complete the survey and report. If his report is favorable there is little doubt that the depot and machine shops will go on to block 17 instead of 16. While, of course, the property immediate ly around the present depot would depreciate from its removal, the new loca- tion will be much better for the town as a whole, because it will be centrally located instead of as at present in one end, and the benefits derived from it would be more equally distributed. There can be little doubt that Mr. Perris will recommend the new location and that it will be accepted. What then remains for the citizens is to ratify the action of their committee."
The "boom" years of 1886-7 saw a wide extension of railway "feeders" in Southern California. At one time there were ten different parties, all under the supervision of F. T. Perris. chief engineer of the California Southern, engaged in railroad construction in various parts of the country. The California Central road was organized, and the year 1887 saw completed the following lines of road, all of which were parts of the Santa Fe svstem:
California Southern, from National City to Barstow 210-1/2
San Bernardino and Los Angeles, including the San Gabriel valley 60-1/2
Riverside, Santa Ana and Los Angeles, from Citrus via Santa Ana to Los Angeles 77
San Bernardino and San Diego, from Santa Ana to Oceanside 48
San Bernardino Valley, from San Bernardino to Mentone 12
San Jacinto Valley, from Perris to San Jacinto 19
San Diego Central, from Oceanside to Escondido 23
San Diego and El Cajon Valley 16
Los Angeles and Santa Monica to Port Ballona 18 Total miles 484 miles total
In 1893 the "loop" around the San Bernardino valley was built, thus com- pleting the celebrated "kite-shaped" track, by which one may travel from Los Angeles, through the San Gabriel valley to San Bernardino and thence to Redlands, and, returning by the loop, cross the track at San Bernardino and thence to Los Angeles via the Santa Ana valley, or vice versa. In 1887, and again in 1892, the Temecula division of the California South- ern was washed out, and in the latter year this route was abandoned, a branch line being built to Fallbrook in the lower part of the. canon, and so con- structed that the flood water washes over, instead of under the bridges— an innovation which has worked successfully. In 1901, the Santa Fe system by the acquisition of the San Joaquin Valley road and the building of some trrck gained an en, ranee of its own into San Francisco, thus giving that city, for the first time, a competing line of road.
The First Railroads
L.A. & Independence
The Southern Pacific
The Santa Fe System
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