Firsts in San Bernardino

1886 - First Appearance

of the Salvation Army in

the City.

Click here for more Firsts.



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

October 01, 2014

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.





Upcoming Events:

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

October 11, 2014 - Southern California Railway Plaza Association Tour

October 18, 2014 - Roundhouse Gang Model Railroad Club's Swap Meet at the Santa Fe Depot


2014 Route 66 Rendezvous - San Bernardino

*  Great Food...Kids' Games...Poker Run...

    Open Header Contest....Merchandise....

    People's Choice Awards.....Vendors......

*  Fri.  October 10, 2:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

*  Sat. October 11, 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

*  At the: San Manuel Baseball Stadium

           280 E. Street, San Bewrnardino

*  For more information:

(909) 885-7515



Model Railroad Swap Meet - October 18, 2014

   Train-Station Swap Meet

*  Saturday, October 18, 2014

*  8:00 am until Noon (Vendor setup 6:30 am to 8:00 am)

*  At the Santa Fe Depot...1170 West Third Street, San Bernardino, CA 92410  

*  Admission: $4.00 donation.  Accompaning spouse and under 18 free.   

*  Contact: Larry (951) 686-7890 or Gary (909) 794-3153 


Western Archives Newsletter for July - Aug. 2014

          Researching Kaiser Steel

Jeff Staggs presents us with a unique perspective of Santa Fe and the Kaiser Steel Plant, that was located 11 miles west of San Bernardino.

Jeff had previously worked for Kaiser Steel and is currently the editor of the SFRH&MS Western Archives Newsletter and has spent hundreds of hours searching the files and photographs to tell this story.

Also in this issue is an order form and information for Los Angeles Division Employee Timetables and Division Dispatcher Trainsheets.

Click here to see the current issue of the Santa Fe Western Archives Newsletter.


October 8, 1873 - A Day to Remember

 Grief Embers

Grief Embers was one of 26 slaves that accompanied the Mormons on their journey to San Bernardino in 1851.

Grief was born in 1812 or 1813 and was first a slave for a Mr. Embers, then for Mormon Bishop William Crosby.  Grief Embers may have suffered some tragedy in early life and thus acquired the name Grief, for the term "grief" did not fit his personality.

Grief was best known for his tin horn, said to be about six feet long, that he played for his own amusement, on holiday celebrations and to call the men together in preparation for an Indian attack.

After the Mormon recall of 1857, about 60 percent of the San Bernardino Mormons returned to Utah.  Land prices plummeted. Grief became the earliest recorded black owner of real estate in the Inland Empire (I Street south of Mill Street). Grief and his wife, Harriet, had three daughters.

Grief Embers died of natural causes on October 8, 1873.  In his obituary that appeared in the San Bernardino Guardian it was stated that, "Grief Embers, a well-known colored man, died suddenly about noon yesterday, from the bursting of a blood vessel.  He died respected by all who knew him".


Was San Bernardino the First City to Paint the Curbs in Front of Fire Hydrants?


*  The above photograph and accompanying article were taken from the September 1917 issue of THE AMERICAN CITY magazine, Vol. XVII, No. 3, page 258.

*  Unfortunately, we only have the first part of the article and do not have the rest of the story.

*  We do know that the business behind the fire hydrant is that of Boyd-Scott & Lathrop Real Estate Loans, located at 467 3rd Street in downtown San Bernardino.

*  Question:  Was San Bernardino the first city to start painting red curbs or putting "No Parking" signs in front of fire hydrants?

*  What’s best of all, the hydrant showed in the magazine is just like the one in the San Bernardino History and Railroad Museum!

(Thanks to Steve Shaw for the photo & the article.)