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

The Ramona Hotel Depot

 
 
The Ramona Hotel Depot Marker image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, November 26, 2010
1. The Ramona Hotel Depot Marker
Inscription.
The Ramona Depot
In March of 1896, the Southern Pacific Railroad officially declared that the Ramona Hotel will be an eating station for passengers heading north and south. ”It is expected that within a few days tickets can be purchased from the Ramona station and baggage checked from the same point. The station building has been completed several days...so that the station may present an attractive appearance to strangers”. San Luis Obispo Morning Tribune 1896). Trains stopped to allow passengers a meal at the Ramona Hotel if they had no attached dining car. A street railway on Marsh Street to the rear of the hotel connected the street car line to the new depot.

This depot is all that remained after the 1905 fire that destroyed the Ramona Hotel. Homes on Palm Street can be seen in the background. The Ramona Depot was donated to the Dallidet Gardens by Life Members of the San Luis Obispo County Historical Society Robert and Elizabeth Leitcher.

The Horse-drawn Streetcar
During the 1880s and 1890s, the horse-drawn streetcar was a method of transportation in the City of San Luis Obispo that predated the electric trolley cars. Running on rails placed in the center of the street, the horse-drawn streetcars moved swiftly
The Ramona Depot image. Click for full size.
2. The Ramona Depot
Close-Up of photo on the marker.
and comfortably. The conductor would hitch the horse to either end of the car, so that when it reached the end of the route, it did not need turn-a-round rails to make the reserve trip.

The San Luis Obispo Horse-drawn Streetcar is on permanent loan from the George Bell Family.

The Ramona Hotel
The Ramona Hotel formally opened on October 3, 1888,
Soon to be mayor and supervisor, Frank C. Mitchell, was responsible for the masonry on the elaborate four-story Victorian hotel. The Ramona Hotel encompassed an entire block between Marsh, Johnson, Higuera and Pepper Streets and was constructed in anticipation of the proposed arrival of the Southern Pacific Railroad coming to San Luis Obispo. Between San Luis Obispo and Santa Margarita, five stations were put in by the SP Company; the highest point was Cuesta, then Serrano, Goldtree, Hathaway Avenue and the Ramona Hotel. A switch was constructed from the main track to the rear of the Ramona Hotel for the convenience of the passengers before the tracks were completed to the main depot. The side track behind the Ramona Hotel was hardly in place when the special train carrying dignitaries approached the hotel and occupied the spur as twilight approached on May 5, 1894. A great celebration was enjoyed by the entire community at the site.

Unfortunately,
The Ramona Hotel and Horse-drawn Streetcar image. Click for full size.
3. The Ramona Hotel and Horse-drawn Streetcar
Close-up of photo on the marker.
the hotel closed at the end of the year due to the “considerable deficits” that had occurred. The Ramona Hotel reopened the following June under a lease management arrangement. It held local meetings, public amusements and ball games on the grounds. Never a financial success, the Ramona Hotel finally burned to the ground on November 19, 1905.
 
Location. 35° 16.858′ N, 120° 39.41′ W. Marker is in San Luis Obispo, California, in San Luis Obispo County. Marker can be reached from Pacific Street, on the right. Click for map. The marker and depot are located on the grounds of the Dallidet Adobe Gardens. Marker is at or near this postal address: 1185 Pacific Street, San Luis Obispo CA 93401, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Dallidet Adobe (within shouting distance of this marker); San Luis Obispo Creek (within shouting distance of this marker); Presbyterian Church (approx. mile away); J. P. Andrews Building (approx. mile away); Site of First County Court House (approx. 0.3 miles away); San Luis Obispo Sesquicentennial (approx. 0.3 miles away); Southern Pacific Water Tower (approx. 0.3 miles away); General John C. Fremont (approx. 0.4 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in San Luis Obispo.
 
Also see . . .
The Ramona Hotel image. Click for full size.
4. The Ramona Hotel
Close-Up of photo on the marker.
 The Ramona Hotel. A collection of vintage photos of the hotel. (Submitted on November 27, 2010.) 
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceRailroads & Streetcars
 
The Horse-drawn Streetcar image. Click for full size.
5. The Horse-drawn Streetcar
Close-Up of photo on the marker.
The Ramona Depot and Horse-drawn Streetcar image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, November 26, 2010
6. The Ramona Depot and Horse-drawn Streetcar
The Horse-drawn Streetcar image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, November 26, 2010
7. The Horse-drawn Streetcar
Ramona Depot - 1889 image. Click for full size.
By Syd Whittle, November 26, 2010
8. Ramona Depot - 1889
An official depot built by the Southern Pacific Railroad Company. The only remains of the luxurious Ramona Hotel which fronted Johnson Ave. between Marsh and Higuera Streets. The elegant hostelry of the Victorian era hosted former U.S. Presidents William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt. The hotel burned to the ground in 1905.

Historic Plaque number IV placed by the San Luis Obispo County Historical Society.

Horse-Drawn Street Car
In Service - This City
1887 - 1901
Courtesy of
George P. Bell Family
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California. This page has been viewed 744 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on , by Syd Whittle of El Dorado Hills, California. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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