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

National City Historic Railcar Plaza

Dedicated September 2000

 
 
National City Historic Railcar Plaza Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Michael Kindig, August 11, 2007
1. National City Historic Railcar Plaza Marker
Inscription.  
Facts of Interest
• This building houses the restored Passenger Coach No. 1 of the old National City & Otay Railway (NC&O), which operated in the South Bay during the early years of this city.

• This coach was part of the "Motor Cannon Ball" excursion train, the brainchild of National City founder Frank Kimball and the region's first commuter-type train dedicated to passengers rather than freight.

• Mr. Kimball used the train to bring prospective real-estate buyers to El Rancho de la Nacion, the land grant ranch that became National City. The train also provided popular excursions for visitors and tourists.

• The NC&O traversed the South Bay from San Diego to the border and the Sweetwater Dam. Its route passed hills dotted with olive trees and stately Victorian homes, including Frank Kimball's famous Olivewood.

• A 60-mile round-trip ticket on the line was once advertised for just $1.00 -- the fare from National City to downtown San Diego -- 10 cents.

• Passenger Coach No. 1 was built by the Hammond Car Works -- builder of the famed cable cars -- in San Francisco
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in 1887. It was withdrawn from service in 1914 and restored to its 1880s appearance in 2000.

• The tile inlays are authentic reproductions of those made by the California China Products Company between 1911 and 1917. Other tiles made by this National City manufacturer can be seen at Balboa Park and the Santa Fe Depot in San Diego.

• This plaza and restored railcar were funded by the Port of San Diego.

National City Council Members
George H. Waters, Mayor
Fred Soto
Ralph Inzunza
Ron Morrison
R. Mitchel Beauchamp

Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners
Paul H. Speer, Chairman
Frank Urtasun, Vice Chairman
Susan Lew, Secretary
Stephen P. Cushman
David Malcom
Patricia A. McQuarter
Jess Van Deventer

 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Railroads & Streetcars. A significant historical year for this entry is 1887.
 
Location. 32° 39.633′ N, 117° 6.684′ W. Marker is in National City, California, in San Diego County. Marker is on Bay Marina Drive west of West 23rd Avenue, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: National City CA 91950, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. National City Depot (a few steps from this marker); United We Land
Historic Railcar Plaza Museum Building image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Michael Kindig, August 11, 2007
2. Historic Railcar Plaza Museum Building
(approx. 3.2 miles away); The Naked Warrior (approx. 3˝ miles away); Carlin House - 1939 (approx. 3.7 miles away); "Imagine Tent City" (approx. 3.8 miles away); San Diego-Coronado Bay Bridge (approx. 3.9 miles away); Charles Toliver and his Airship (approx. 4 miles away); Seavey House - 1887 (approx. 4 miles away).
 
Historic Railcar Plaza Museum Building image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Michael Kindig, August 11, 2007
3. Historic Railcar Plaza Museum Building
"Salt Works" image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Michael Kindig, August 11, 2007
4. "Salt Works"
"F St Chula Vista" image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Michael Kindig, August 11, 2007
5. "F St Chula Vista"
"NC Depot" image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Michael Kindig, August 11, 2007
6. "NC Depot"
Railcars image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Michael Kindig, August 11, 2007
7. Railcars
"Ernie" image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Michael Kindig, August 11, 2007
8. "Ernie"
El Camino Real Bell in Front of the Railcar Plaza image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Michael Kindig, August 11, 2007
9. El Camino Real Bell in Front of the Railcar Plaza
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on January 19, 2012, by Michael Kindig of Elk Grove, California. This page has been viewed 1,991 times since then and 46 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. submitted on January 5, 2012, by Michael Kindig of Elk Grove, California. • Syd Whittle was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 12, 2024