Firsts in San Bernardino

1964 - First Rolling

Stones' concert in

America (at the National

Orange Show's Swing

Auditorium, June 5th).

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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

September 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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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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Saturday
Dec312016

Upcoming Events:

The Museum is open Saturday from 10:00 to 3:00  (Virtual Museum Tour)

Wednesday
Mar122014

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.

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

Tuesday
Mar112014

August 10, 1904 - Carnegie Library

Andrew Carnegie (1835 - 1919)                        San Bernardino's Carnegie Library (1904 - 1958) 

Andrew Carnegie made his fortune in the steel industry and is well known for funding libraries.

The above postcard shows San Bernardino's Carnegie Library, at the southwest corner of 4th and D Street, and behind it, the 1874 and 1898 courthouses located on Court Street.

In 1902, the city of San Bernardio was offered a $20,000 grant by the Carnegie Corporation and architects Burnham and Bliesner were selected to design the Classical Revival style building.  

The library was opened August 10, 1904.  In 1920, the Carnegie Corporation provided an another $7,600 for an addition to the building, and the city passed a $10,000 bond to support the expansion. 

The Carnegie Library was a beautiful piece of architecture with a wide staircase leading to the rounded, column-guarded entrance at center.  A dome protudes over the front corner of the library where large windows and a rotating door stand beneath the words "Public Library", that are carved into the stone.  Two lamp posts stand at the end of the staircase to light the sidewalk which extends down the streets on the left and right.

In 1957 the Carnegie Library was declared unsafe.  Rather than rennovate it, the city demolished it in 1958.

It was replaced in 1960 by a new library, located at 401 N. Arrowhead Avenue.  In 1984, it was demolished to make room for the County Administration Center.

At the time, the Municipal Auditorium, in Pioneer Park, was in need of rennovation and consideration was given to remodeling it to serve as a library.  Instead of converting the Municipal Auditorium into a library, it too was demolished and the Norman F. Feldheym Central LIbrary was constructed in its place.

Note: Andrew Carnegie funded 2,509 libraries throught the world, including 1,679 in the United States. From 1899-1917, the Carnegie Corporation provided grants to build 142 public libraries in California.   As of 2009, 85 of the 142 Carnegie libraries in the Golden State were still standing and 36 were in use as libraries.

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.

Saturday
Feb152014

September 1, 1894 - The Daily Sun 

On September 1, 1894, the first issue of San Bernardino's The Daily Sun was printed.   Since its beginning in the late 19th Century the name of the newspaper has changed from The Daily Sun to the Sun-Telegram, to the San Bernardino County Sun and to its current name, The Sun.

The first newspaper printed in San Bernardino was the Herald, with it’s first issue on June 16, 1860, however it ceased publication six months later.  Many other newspapers were printed before and after The Daily Sun but none lasted nearly as long.

On April 8, 2013, The Sun donated its expansive archives to the San Bernardino County Historical Archives who will digitize all the newspapers, from 1894 to 1999.  The digitized copies will be stored at Cal State San Bernardino’s library and on the internet.

Tuesday
Feb112014

September 15, 1981 - "John Bull" Runs Again

1981 photograph by William Duvall

 *  In 1831, "John Bull" first operated on the Camden & Amboy Railroad (the first railroad in New Jersey).

*  In 1833, "John Bull" pulled its first regular passenger train.

*  In 1866, "John Bull" was removed from active service and placed in storage.

*  In 1871, "John Bull" was acquired by the Pennsylvania Railroad, refurbished and operated a few times for public displays.

*  In 1884, "John Bull" was purchased by the Smithsonian Institution as the museum's first major industrial display.

*  In 1981, "John Bull" celebrated its 150th anniversary by making its last run, on the old Georgetown Branch rails beside the C&O Canal in Washington, DC, thus becoming the oldest operable steam locomotive in the world.

 *  "John Bull" is now back on display in the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History.