In 1881 the National Gas Company of New York, secured a franchise and put in an extensive [gas] plant. November 2nd, 1881, the city [of San Bernardino] was first lighted by gas and the Times of that date declares: "Gas under the new dispensation was a brilliant success as was abundantly made manifest last evening.
"The brilliancy of light from many places of business and residences was equal to an illumination. It is a light, soft, pure, clear, and brilliant. Its power and diffusive qualities, united with its other good merits, make it a marvel among the successes of artificial illumination.
"The exhibition of its effects last evening was highly gratifying to the throngs of our public streets, to our citizens in their residences, to our guests at the hotels, and to those enjoying the charms of the dance or the delights of social intercourse."
[In 1891] the city was first lighted by electricity, the San Antonio Electric Co. putting in from 500 to 800 incandescent lights.
(Ingersoll's Century Annals of San Bernardino County, 1769-1904, pp. 169 & 383)
Note: This gas lamp is on display in the San Bernardino History & Railroad Museum
The photographer is looking northwest at the remains of the first Santa Fe Depot after the 11:00 PM fire of November 16, 1916. This once beautiful two story wood frame and brick structure was built in 1886, three years after the first passenger train arrived in San Bernardino.
This depot was located about 350 feet east of the current depot, just north of Third Street between what is now K Street and Kendall Ave. A Fred Harvey Lunch Room and newsstand were located within the depot.
Also, destroyed in the fire were 30 years of Santa Fe records, covering every aspect of the Los Angeles Division.
Click here for a photo history of the first Santa Fe Depot in San Bernardino.
Wyatt Earp came to San Bernardino for the first time on December 17, 1864, when he was 16.
Wyatt and his family camped for a few days just east of Sierra Way and Court Street; later his parents leased farm land on the banks of the Santa Ana River.
Wyatt and his brothers disliked farming and it wasn't long before they all left the area.
Dodge City and Tombstone will always be associated with the Earp brothers, but Wyatt also spent time in Alaska, Denver, San Francisco and San Diego.
Wyatt often returned to San Bernardino, Colton and the surrounding area to visit friends and relatives.
Wyatt and wife Sadie spent more that 20 years in San Bernardino County prospecting for gold and copper, and eventually owned nearly 100 mines.
Wyatt died peacefully on January 13, 1929, at age 80.
Click here for the story of The Earp Clan in Southern California.
The boardgame, Monopoly, was patented on December 31, 1935 and contains four railroads:
Chartered in 1833, the Reading began operations from Philadelphia to Reading and Pottsville in 1842. The main purpose of the railroad was to carry anthracite coal from the mines in northeastern Pennsylvania to Philadelphia.
Until the decline after World War II, it was one of the most prosperous corporations in America. It went into bankruptcy in the 1970's, merged with Conrail in 1976 & its holding were disposed of in 2000.
The "Pennsy" as it is commonly referred to, was founded in 1846, the original line connecting Harrisburgh and Pittsburgh.
It was the largest railroad by traffic and revenue in the U. S. for the first half of the 20th century. By 1925, it had over 10,000 miles of rail lines.
In 1968, it merged with the New York Central to form the Penn Central, which filed for bankruptcy within two years. Parts were transferred to Conrail, then to Norfolk Southern.
B & O Railroad
Incorporated in 1827, the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad was the first commercial railroad in America.
On Januray 7, 1830, the first "official" passengers rode in horse-drawn carts from Baltimore to the Carroloton Viaduct. On May 24, 1830 the line was extended to Ellicott's Mills, MD, the oldest surviving railroad station in the country.
The B & O operated for over a century, but in 1963 it became part of the Chessie System which later became part of CSX.
When we think of short line railroads, we typically refer to a local railroad that either serves a small number of towns and industries or hauls cars for one or more larger railroads.
The Short Line on the Monopoly board, is a shortened name for the Shore Fast Line, a streetcar system that served Atlantic City and Ocean City, New Jersey from 1907 to 1948.
The company that operated the streetcars of the Shore Fast Line was called the Atlantic City and Shore Railroad.