Firsts in San Bernardino

1906 - First Juvenile

Court in San Bernardino

(Committee organized to

establish it).

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

June 03, 2015

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)

Jun 27, 2015 - The "Great Race" (Downtown San Bernardino)

Jul  15, 2015 - SANBAG Tour


June 3, 1985 - A Day to Remember





On June 3, 1985, Evyln Wilcox

 took office as the

First Female Mayor of San Bernardino.







June 20, 1891 - A Day to Remember


            George E. Otis (1846-1906)                        Heritage House, 8th and D Streets, San Bernardino, CA


*  Judge George Otis built this beautiful Queen Anne style house in San Bernardino sometime before June 1891 as an investment; he was living in Redlands at the time and never lived in this house.

*  Official records show that Otis sold the house to John L. Campbell on June 20, 1891.

*  Past owners of the house include: Campbell's dependents, Mrs. E. D. McLeod, O. F. Higginson, W. W. Brison, Jr., Jeff McElvaine, E. O. Ames, Robert Ames, W. F. and Lilian Miles, Marshall and Betty Miles, and the Santa Fe Federal Savings and Loan.

*  In December 1978, Santa Fe Federal deeded the house to the City of San Bernardino Historical Society (now the San Bernardino Historical and Pioneer Society).

*  In the spring of 1982, the house was moved from 772 North D Street to 796 North D Street, at the Southwest corner of 8th and D Streets.

*  In July 1984, after renovation was completed,  the house was opened to the public. (Currently the house is open each Saturday from 10:00 to 2:00).

Click here to view the web site of the San Bernardino Historical and Pioneer Society.


June 27, 2015 - The "Great Race" 

*  The 2015 "Great Race" begins near St. Louis, Missouri, on June 20th and, following the historic Route 66, ends in Santa Monica, California, on June 28th.

*  It is a competition based on precision driving and navigational skills in classic, antique and vintage automobiles.  The event is a timed, controlled-speed, endurance rally, not a top-speed race.

*  "Great Race" vehicles must have been manufactured in 1972 or earlier.

*  Vehicle odometers must be covered or completely removed prior to the start of the race.

*  Top prize is $50,000; entry fees vary from $1,500 to $8,00 per car, depending on the category.

*  Vehicles will overnight at San Manuel Stadium in downtown San Bernardino on Saturday, June 27th.

*  The Santa Fe Depot won't be involved, but the San Bernardino Historical & Pioneer Society and the History & Railroad Museum will have a booth on Court Street starting at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, the 27th.  

Click here for more information about the "Great Race". 


1819 to 1820 - Dates to Remember


The Mill Creek Zanja (an irrigation ditch), shown here in a photograph from around 1890, was built by local Indians in 1819-1820.

For many years the padres at Mission San Gabriel (established in 1771) were interested in locating a ranch, and eventually a mission, in the San Bernardino Valley.  The opportunity did not arise until 1819, when the Indians at Guachama Rancheria asked the padres at Mission San Gabriel to teach them agriculture and stock raising.

Guachama Rancheria was an Indian village of 200-500 Native Americans located along what is now Mission Road, between California Street and Mountain View Avenue, in Loma Linda.  The area has also been referred to as Old San Bernardino or Cottonwood Row.

The first step in creating a thriving ranch was to bring water to the area.  This was done by digging a 12-mile zanja (an irrigation ditch) from Mill Creek, near what is now Mentone, down through Redlands and westward to Loma Linda.  

Construction of the zanja was done by Native Americans under the direction of Pedro Alvarez.  In 1820 a residence for a mayordomo (overseer) was built and Carlos Garcia became responsible for managing the flow of water and maintaining and repairing the zanja.

In his 1821 diary, Father Jose Sanchez writes that Rancho San Bernardino, "was well stocked, with a small cultivated area, and buildings used for storage and residence by the first mayor-domo".

Mill Creek Zanja is the oldest irrigation ditch in the county and for a long time supported San Gabriel Mission's ranch and estancia, as well as local farms and numerous industries that relied upon it's water.

Mill Creek Zanja is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is California Register Landmark No. 43.

The western half of the zanja has been covered over.  The Redlands Conservancy's Save the Zanja Committee plans to develop a natural-surface trail and greenway along or near the historic Zanja, from Ninth Street in downtown Redlands east to Mentone.  Completion is expected by 2019, in time for the Zanja's bicentennial.

Note:  For additional information see: Mill Creek Zanja, Driving Tour and Brief History by Tom Atchley, 2009.


Western Archives Newsletter for Mar. - Apr. 2015

Above is the ATSF annual report map of 1881 produced by Rand McNaly.

This is one of several maps discussed by Richard Pace in his article on Santa Fe Annual Report Maps

Click here to view the March - April issue of the Western Archives Newsletter.