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






Mt. Vernon and Highland Photo - Otto Kroutil

The following was received from Otto Kroutil:

"I'm still working on the Mt. Vernon/Rt. 66 intersection and railroad crossing.  Very few pics available.  This one taken during the 1938 floods unfortunately has the roads under water, but the service station and cafe just scream to be modeled.

"This view is looking due west with Highland Ave just off to the left, Mt. Vernon running left to right, and the beginnings of Cajon Blvd. curving off to the right side of the station, following the telegraph poles and RR mainlines up the pass.

"I could probably guess at the proportions and dimensions, but other photos of the area, and the other stations in the immediate proximity elude me so far.

"Also, the colors; I'm thinking white with red trim and red and or red/green/black lettering?  The Mobilgas Pegasus's in red would crown this nicely...

"Do we have anyone who knows more about service station color schemes???"

If anyone has any information please contact Loren Martens at


Western Archives Newsletter for Jan. - Feb. 2014

        The Public Relations Folio

*  This is a leather bound binder with carring handles.  It was used during World War II.

*  Inside, this folio contained 78 large format (17" x 25"), lithographic drawings depicting various aspects of Santa Fe Railway operations. 

*  The folio was set up in such a manner that the lithographs could be displayed, one at a time, on a flip-chart style basis.   

*  The binder folds out into an easel to display the drawings which depict railroad activties, business activities and various charts and graphs.

*  Click here to view several lithographs from this folio in the January-February issue of the Western Archives Newsletter.


The First Train Arrives in San Bernardino

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.


DVDs and Slide Shows Playing in the Museum

History of Fred Harvey and the Harvey Girls

DVD - Railroad Handcar in the Movies

San Bernardino Society of California Pioneers

DVD's of Various Trains and Railroads

History of San Bernardino Fire Department

Santa Fe Shops in San Bernardino
DVD - The History of BNSF & the Santa Fe

DVD -The History of Pacific Electric

Santa Fe Depot (1886-1916)


Chair from Opera House is in the Museum










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.


Clocks that Keep on Ticking in the Museum

Santa Fe Standard Clock that was in the Roundhouse Office in 1916                                         Clock from the Santa Fe Wire Chief's Office (Telegraph Office) located at the west end of the Depot



Small Santa Fe Clock