First in San Bernardino:

1867 - First Brickyard in

the area (established by

Henry Goodall, Sr.)

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

May 07, 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.


March 2014 Meeting Posponed

National Association of

Retired & Veteran Railway

Employees meets at the

Museum at 10:00 AM on

the first Wednesday of

every other month.


Virtual Museum Tour

Click here for visual tour

of the museum.


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).


Photo Histories

Click here to view local San

Bernardino and railroad

photographic histories.


Norton AFB Museum

Now Open:

Thursday 10:00 to 2:00

Saturday  10:00 to 2:00






Upcoming Events:

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

May 16-18, 2014 -  Free-mo West Convention (HO Model Railroad Displays)


Historic Dates











 All of these photographs have a connection to San Bernardino.

Can you associate a date with any of these photos?

Want to know the story behind each picture?


CLICK on ANY PHOTO or Click Here.


Free-mo West Convention - 2014

The Free-mo West Convention will be at the San Bernardino History & Railroad Museum on May 16-18, 2014.

Click here to go to the Free-mo website.


April 30, 1900 - A Day to Remember

       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 10, 1869 - A Day to Remember


On the left: Central Pacific's No. 60, "JUPITER" and on the right, Union Pacific's No. 119 (Photos by Mr. Snrub)

On May 10, 1869 two 4-4-0 steam locomotives meet at Promotory Summit, Utah, thus completeing the United States Transcontinential Railroad.  

It was on Promonotory Summit some 66 miles northwest of Salt Lake City and north of the Great Salt Lake that the "Golden Spike" was driven into the special laurel railroad tie.  Promontory Point is not associated with the railroad until 1902-1904 when the Lucin Cutoff over the Great Salt Lake was constrruced.

The actual engines that participaed in the 1869 ceremony were scrapped after the turn of the century.  In 1975 the Natioinal Park Service hired O'Connor Engineering Laboratories of Costa Mesa, CA to build exact replicas of the famous engines.  Beginning in 1979, these locomotives began participating in annual ceremonies at the National Historic Site at Promontory Summit, operated by the U. S. National Park Service.

And yes, the early locomotives were usually painted in bright colors.  Probably starting in the 1880s or 1890s, most steam locomotives were being painted all black.

Walt Disney Company employees, led by Ward Kimball, were commissioned to paint and letter the lococmotives. Absent any documentation of the colors of the original engines, Kimball chose bright reds and vermillions for eye-catching appeal.  As new research and funds become available, the locomotives will be repainted to reflect the most accurate paint schemes of the original engines of 1869.

During the ceremony in 1869, four special spikes were presented: 1. The Golden Spike known as the "Last Spike"; 2.  Nevada's Silver Spike; 3.  Arizona's Gold and Silver Spike; and 4.  A second, lower-quality gold spike ordered by the San Fancisco News Letter.

Another Golden Spike, exactly like the "Last Spike" from the 1869 ceremony, was cast and engraved at the same time. It was held, unknown to the public, by the Hewes family, until 2005.  It is now on display at the California State Railroad Museum in Sacramento.  The Golden Spike from the ceremony was donated to the Stanford Museum (now Cantor Arts Center) in 1898.

Click here to go to the Golden Spike National Historic Site at Promontory Summit.


Steam Locomotion (1769 - 1927)


Click here to view a short Photo History of Steam Locomotives that was extracted from The History of Transportation, published by The Railway Education Bureau in 1927.