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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Fresno in Fresno County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
 

Fresno Traction Company

1903 - 1939

 
 
Fresno Traction Company Marker image. Click for full size.
By Lester J Letson, circa Sept 2008
1. Fresno Traction Company Marker
Early Fresno Public Transportation System.
Inscription. During the year 1903, streetcars began to rattle along the city streets from the San Joaquin River through the fig garden area to downtown Fresno and east along Huntington Boulevard to Sunnyside.

Providing a reliable, entertaining, even elegant method of transportation, trolley cars became an overnight sensation and continued for 36 years under the operation of the Fresno Traction Company. Honoring the men and the streetcars that shaped the growth of our community, we dedicate this monument.
 
Erected 1983 by Jim Savage Chapter 1852, E Clampus Vitus. (Marker Number 27.)
 
Marker series. This marker is included in the E Clampus Vitus marker series.
 
Location. 36° 44.363′ N, 119° 46.299′ W. Marker is in Fresno, California, in Fresno County. Marker is on Huntington Boulevard near First Street, on the left when traveling east. Click for map. About 200 yards east of First Street in the center median of Huntington Boulevard. Marker is at or near this postal address: 3133 East Huntington Boulevard, Fresno CA 93703, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Billy Vukovich Memorial (approx. 0.8 miles away); Young Corbett III (approx.
Fresno Traction Company Marker image. Click for full size.
By Lester J Letson, August 20
2. Fresno Traction Company Marker
The trolley car right-of-way ran right down the center of Huntington and can be seen beyond the monument.
0.8 miles away); George M. Bowman (approx. 0.9 miles away); The Fresno Water Tower (approx. 0.9 miles away); Site of Church-Sperry Mill and Mill Ditch (approx. 0.9 miles away); Fresno Corridor of Flags Veterans Memorial (approx. 0.9 miles away); The Fresno Brewing Company (approx. 0.9 miles away); Fresno Memorial Auditorium (approx. 0.9 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Fresno.
 
More about this marker. The historic marker sits on what was once the right-of-way for the tracks of the trolley car line that ran down the median center of what was the exclusive Huntington Boulevard area of Fresno. Some of the largest and most stately homes of the 1920's and 1930's were built along this stretch of Huntington and the residents had the convenience of walking out their front doors to take the local public transportation.
 
Regarding Fresno Traction Company. The trolleys ran from 1903 to 1939, and the old tracks were still visible set into some streets up into the 1960's. A few of the old trolley cars were turned into diners
Fresno City Railway Co. image. Click for full size.
circa about 1930
3. Fresno City Railway Co.
Picture is of the downtown terminus for the Fresno Traction Company.
in Fresno.
 
Also see . . .  Fresno Area Express. A Wikipedia article on the history of public transportation in Fresno. (Submitted on February 22, 2010.) 
 
Categories. Railroads & Streetcars
 
Fresno Trolley Car - Same Model as on Marker image. Click for full size.
circa 1930's
4. Fresno Trolley Car - Same Model as on Marker
This is the same model of trolley car as depicted on the historical marker. There were several different cars used over the 36 year history of the lines.
Fresno Traction Company Car Used as a Diner image. Click for full size.
By Lester J Letson, circa 1994
5. Fresno Traction Company Car Used as a Diner
Picture was taken several years ago, but the car is still sitting in an industrial area of Fresno and was used as a diner for workers in the area for several years.
Group Picture of Fresno Traction Company Employees From 1915 image. Click for full size.
1915
6. Group Picture of Fresno Traction Company Employees From 1915
Picture provided by Cheryl Hicks, who's ancestor Silva Henderson is one of the FTC employees.
Fresno Birney Safety Car 68 as it looked in 1970 image. Click for full size.
July 18, 2014
7. Fresno Birney Safety Car 68 as it looked in 1970
Fresno 68 was rescued from a field in Fresno in 1970 and was restored at the San Jose History Park as SJRR 143.
Storyboard on Fresno 68 showing restoriation as SJRR 143 image. Click for full size.
By Lester J Letson, July 18, 2014
8. Storyboard on Fresno 68 showing restoriation as SJRR 143
Storyboard is located in the Trolley Car Barn at History Park in San Jose. It tells the story of the restoration of the trolley after it was rescued from a field in Fresno in 1970.
Fresno 68 Birney safety car fullly restored as SJRR 143 image. Click for full size.
By Lester J Letson, July 18, 2014
9. Fresno 68 Birney safety car fullly restored as SJRR 143
Originally used in Fresno in the 1920's, Fresno 68 now travels the half mile track in History Park in San Jose. Normal speed is 11 miles per hour, top speed is 13 MPH. Front and rear interchange, so upon reaching the end of the line, the conductor moves from what was the front, to the rear of the car, reverses the cable connect on top, and off you go......
Fully Restored SJRR 143, formerly Fresno 68 image. Click for full size.
By Frank Vallejos (used with his permission), July 18, 2014
10. Fully Restored SJRR 143, formerly Fresno 68
A group of historians complete their half mile trip on SJRR 143 and depart the trolley.
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Lester J Letson of Fresno, California. This page has been viewed 2,160 times since then and 7 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Lester J Letson of Fresno, California.   6. submitted on , by Lester J Letson of Fresno, California.   7, 8, 9, 10. submitted on , by Lester J Letson of Fresno, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
 
Editor’s want-list for this marker. Submission of a related Fresno Trolley marker located at Roeding Park, Fresno. • Can you help?
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