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.





Upcoming Events:

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


Pioneer Women of San Bernardino

Top Row:

Jerusha Bemis (1799-1872)

Clare Cherry (1919-1990)

Eliza Robbins Crafts (1825-1910)

Janet Miles (1901-2008)

Maria Armenta Bermdez (1806-1858) 

Middle Row:

Mary Bennett Goodcell (1849-1909)

Sarah Jane Rousseau (1816-1872)

Lizzy Flake Rowan (1834-1908)

Mary Wixom Crandall (1834-1927)

Caterina Croce Massetti (1877-1946)

Bottom Row:

Alice Rowan Johnson (1868-1911)

Arda M. Haenszel (1910-2001)

Doroothy Inghram (1905-2012)

Pinky Brier (1909-2008)

Mourning Burnham Glenn (1814-1905)


Click here to read the stories of all of these pioneering women and their contributions to San Bernardino.


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.



May 28, 1928 - Tunnel Under the Tracks


Pictured above is the 1951 Track Chart for Santa Fe's "A" Yard  in San Bernardino showing the location of the concrete tunnel that ran under the tracks from Third Street to the shops.  It was located approximately 325 east of the current Depot.  

The tunnel was approximately 700 feet long with one entrance on the south side and two on the north side.  It was desgned to provide easy access to the shops for the Santa Fe employees that lived south of Third Street.

The $100,000 pedestrian tunnel formally opened on May 28, 1928, to the thousands of visitors on "Santa Fe Day".  The tunnel was opened to the employees early the previous week. As soon as the tunnel was placed in commission, work was started tearing down the old foot viaduct, as the Overhead Walkway was called.

The Overhead Walkway was located in approximately the same location as the new tunnel and served the Santa Fe employees for nearly 25 years.

1921 Photo of ATSF 3721 Under the Santa Fe Employee Overhead Walkway in San Bernardino (R. P. Middlebrook/S. Kistler)


June 5, 1964 - The Rolling Stones

      First American Concert


Songs performed by the Rolling Stones during their first U. S. concert (held in San Bernardino on June 5, 1964) include:

1.  Not Fade Away (The Crickets)

2.  I'm Talking About You (Chuck Berry)

3.  I Wanna Be Your Man (The Beatles)

4.  Hi-Heel Sneakers (Tommy Tucker)

5.  Route 66 (Nat King Cole)

6.  Walkin' the Dog (Rufus Thomas)

7.  Tell Me (The Rolling Stones)

8.  Beautiful Delilah (Chuck Berry)

9.  Can I Get a Witness (Marvin Gaye)

10.  I Just Want to Make Love to You (Muddy Waters)

11.  I'm All right (Bo Diddley)


*  The "June 1 - 1964" date on the poster is incorrect.  The Rolling Stones first U. S. tour began on June 1st when they arrived in New York at JFK Airport and gave a news conference.

*  On June 2nd & 3rd the Stones appeared on TV's Les Crane Show & Hollywwod Palace Show.

*  On June 4th they visited the RCA Recording Studios in Los Angeles.

*  The Rolling Stones' first U. S. concert actually took place in San Bernardino's Swing Auditorium at the National Orange Show on June 5, 1964, not on June 1, as the poster indicates.  And you could buy a ticket for $5.00.

*  Keith Richards said of their first American gig, "It was a straight gas, man.  They all knew the songs and they were all hopping.  It was like being back home.  Ah, love these Americans and Route 66 mentioned San Bernardino, so everybody was into it".

Note: On your next visit to the Museum look for the Rolling Stones' poster with the correct date.


July 4, 1842 - First U.S. Flag in San Bernardino


In 1842 a United States flag of this design was flown over San Bernardino for the first time.  At the time there were only 26 states in the Union, while California was governed by Mexico.  It was not until September 9, 1850, that California became the 31st state.

    The First Fourth of July Celebration

in San Bernardino

    Daniel Sexton had arrived in Old San Bernardino in      December of 1841, and went to work in the mountains  above Cherry Valley cutting timber for Isaac Williams of  the  Chino Rancho and others.  Cahuilla Indians furnished  the  labor for the operation at a wage of 25 cents per  day.  Sexton made friends with the Indians and gained  much  influence with them, eventually marrying the niece  of  Chief  Solano.  In 1842 they asked him if the  Americans  did not  celebrate feast days.  In response, on  July 4, 1842,  Sexton  erected a flag pole and raised an  American  flag  over  the  camp,  and  celebrated  along  with the Indians in  a  patriotic  fashion.  

- excerpt from an  article by Arda M. Haenszel