November 30, 2012

Photo Essay: At the Station Down in San Berdoo

I first visited the historic Santa Fe Depot in San Bernardino on a grim, winter day in February 2009, heading to the Ontario Airport to fly back from that first, life-changing visit to Joshua Tree. All the doors to the good stuff were locked, and the museum was closed.

I was able to visit it again recently on another gloomy day, but with a few more rays of sun...

...after a new coat of paint had given it a bit of a facelift.

Plus, a historian was there to point out the old Harvey Girl dorms...

...and where the north shops used to be on the other side of the tracks, which are now still filled with freight trains...

...and the occasional commuter line and Amtrak, though the ticket booth has long-since closed.

The station is lovely, reflective of high class train travel of days of yore, with its original ceiling light fixtures...

...and closed Harvey House restaurant, which can be viewed through the slats of some window blinds.

They hope to reopen it one day soon.

The wall tiles and red Mexican floor tiles are original too...

...including in the lovely lounge outside the ladies' powder room.

The San Bernardino History & Railroad Museum at the Santa Fe Depot does conduct depot  and museum tours on the first Wednesday of every month, and the museum is open most Saturdays. There's lots of stuff to look at in there, from precision-accurate clocks and watches to signals, bells and whistles, maps,  wagons, and ephemera - all located in the former baggage room with its great rolling garage doors and original brick floors.

Maybe next time I'll take a train out there. I don't take enough trains in California.

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