David H. Wixom was a farmer and teamster by trade.
In 1882 & 1883 he was elected City Marshall of San Bernardino and was deputy assessor for four years.
In 1888 he became a member of the San Bernardino Society of California Pioneers.
Wixom became San Bernardino's Fire Chief on December 3, 1889, and was Chief for five years.
He started the reorganization of the department, making it partly paid (it had been an all volunteer fire department up until then).
During his tenure, new equipment was purchased, plus training of the firefights made for a much improved Fire Department.
In 1890 the City installed a pressurized water system consisting of 20 miles of pipes and strategically placed fire hydrants.
Also in 1890 a horse-drawn wagon was purchased to carry 2,800 feet of hose. This wagon has been restored and is currently housed in the San Bernardino History and Railroad Museum.
Click here for a photo history of the San Bernardino Fire Department from 1865 to 2003.
* The "Earp" Boys:
Wyatt, Virgil & Morgan
* 19th Century Maps
* Historical Programs
* Special Displays & Music
* Food from 100 year-old recipes
* Free Admission
For over 11 months the Southern Pacific Railroad prevented a train from entering San Bernardino from the South. Southern Pacific used legal and physical means to prevent the train from crossing the SP east-west track at the Colton Crossing.
Virgil Earp (a special agent for Southern Pacific and later the first City Marshall of Colton) led the group that prevented California Southern Railroad from heading north to San Bernardino.
On September 13, 1883, after a court order was issued and an "at grade" crossing (called a "frog") was installed, the first train arrived in San Bernardino from National City (just south of San Diego). The train, pulled by Engine No. 4, was operated by the California Southern Railroad, later owned by the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway.
Fred T. Perris, a civil engineer and surveyor for the railroad, was at the whistle. (Photograph by H. B. Wesner)
Note: On August 28, 2013, a public celebration was held to dedicate the opening of the new Colton Crossing Rail-to-Rail Grade Separation. After 130 years the east-west Union Pacific Railroad tracks were raised to pass over the north-south BNSF Railroad tracks. This will alleviate congestion at the crossing, which accommodates more that 100 trains each day.
Above is the "I" Street Tower, located in San Bernardino on the northwest corner of "I" Street and Rialto Avenue. A short history of this tower is the lead article in this issue.
There is a copy of the original 1882 hand written report by Lewis Kingman, Atlantic & Pacific Railroad's chief construction engineer. Included is a typed transcription of that report.
Click here to view the September - October 2013 issue of the Western Archives Newsletter of the Santa Fe Railway Historical & Modeling Society.
This chair was in the personal box of James Waters, who is pictured at the right. James Waters, along with Herman Brinkmeyer (seen on the balcony of the Opera House), built the San Bernardino Opera House in 1882, four years before Los Angeles had an opera house of its own.
The Opera House featured everything from Italian Grand Operas and Shakespeare's plays, to musicals and magicians, and to vaudeville and silent movies. All of the greats performed in San Bernardino's finest theater, including Lillie Langtry, Al Jolson, Lillian Russell, Harry Houdini, Will Rogers, Sarah Bernhardt, Edwin Booth, the Barrymores and many more.
The Opera House was located on the east side of D Street between 3rd and 4th Streets and was torn down in 1927.
The chair and the painting of James Waters were donated to the San Bernardino Historical and Pioneer Society by Mary Renter, the great-great-granddaughter of James Waters.
Click here for a detailed look at the Opera House.