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

Private Railcar Spurs


Private Railcar Spurs Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Baker, 2017
1. Private Railcar Spurs Marker
Inscription.  Constructed with the Southern Pacific Depot in 1905, these two railroad spurs are the sole reminder of the turn-of-the century days when wealthy travelers arrived in Santa Barbara in their private Pullman railcars to spend the winter. These private cars were shunted from the main track to the spurs, where electric and water hook-ups kept them in service.

Escaping the harsh weather of the east and midwest, travelers would often winter at the grand five-story Potter Hotel, which faced the ocean along West Beach. Its vast landscaped grounds, which spread over six city blocks, were connected to the depot by a lighted pathway lined with brilliantly-colored flowers that spilled into the diagonal path that still bisects Depot Park. Guests could walk the short distance from the depot to the hotel.

The loss of the Potter Hotel to fire in 1921, coupled with the imposition of the income tax, the proliferation of the automobile, and the Great Depression, contributed to the decline of private Pullman car travel in Santa Barbara. Today, portions of the spurs are covered over by an automobile parking lot, a reflection of a change in
Private Railcar Spurs Marker image. Click for full size.
By Craig Baker, 2017
2. Private Railcar Spurs Marker
use by the train traveler a century later.
Erected 1999 by City of Santa Barbara Redevelopment Agency; and California Department of Transportation.
Location. 34° 24.81′ N, 119° 41.622′ W. Marker is in Santa Barbara, California, in Santa Barbara County. Marker can be reached from Chapala Street south of Montecito Street, on the right when traveling south. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 224 Chapala Street, Santa Barbara CA 93101, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Moreton Bay Fig Tree (within shouting distance of this marker); Burton Mound (approx. 0.2 miles away); Hotel Virginia (approx. mile away); Santa Barbara Veterans' Memorial Building (approx. mile away); Sambo's Birthplace (approx. mile away); Trussell-Winchester Adobe (approx. 0.3 miles away); De La Guerra Plaza (approx. 0.6 miles away); Casa Covarrubas (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Santa Barbara.
Categories. Railroads & Streetcars

More. Search the internet for Private Railcar Spurs.
Credits. This page was last revised on August 31, 2019. This page originally submitted on August 29, 2019, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. This page has been viewed 35 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on August 29, 2019, by Craig Baker of Sylmar, California. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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