Firsts in San Bernardino

1938 - First Female

Flight Instructor in the

Country (Evelyn Pinchert

"Pinky" Brier).



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

November 02, 2016

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 3, 1878 - Fire Department Formed

In 1878 the City of San Bernardino was without fire protection.  It was in that year that several disastrous fires occurred, fires that consumed several city blocks.

The present San Bernardino Fire Department was founded on October 3, 1878, when members of the old company met at the Pine's Hotel and formed a volunteer company.  It was funded by the sale of property and equipment from the previous Fire Company that existed from 1865 to 1871.

Membership certificates like this one for E. H. Passmore were issued  to everyone in the organization.

Fire apparatus consisted of a 246 Piano Engine (a hand pumper) capable of supplying two hose streams and a hose cart, Pioneer #1 (located in the Museum, along with Pioneer #2 hose cart).

Click here to view a photo history of the San Bernardino Fire Department.


October 26, 1992 - Metrolink Begins

Shown above is a Metrolink Hyundai-Rotem Train Car            Metrolink Begins Operation 

On Tuesday, October 26, 1992 the first Metrolink trains began simultaneous operation on three lines:  

*  Ventura Line: Moorpark to L. A. Union Station

*  Santa Clarita Line: Santa Clarita to L. A. Union Station

*  San Bernardino Line: Pomona to L. A. Union Station

Regular service from San Bernardino to Los Angeles would begin in the spring of 1993.


November 02, 1881 - Gas Lamp

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



November 16, 1916 - Santa Fe Depot Burns

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.