Tag Archives: san diego electric railway

I rest my case

Out & About

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I used to have to get approval from my wise old grandmother before throwing away anything other than paper trash. If she caught me throwing away something made out of wood, plastic, glass, etc., she would gently remind me not to throw things away because “There is no away.” She was into recycling and repurposing before it was cool.

Speaking of repurposing….

The chapel of the La Jolla Methodist Church used to be the La Jolla Hermosa passenger station and power substation for the San Diego Electric Railway.

La Jolla Methodist Church chapel

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

SDERy operated from 1891 to 1949, but the Hermosa station only served from 1924 to 1940.

The Hermosa station was designed by Eugene Hoffman and built in 1924 at a cost of $50,000. Its design is based on the Royal Presidio Chapel of Monterey CA which was built in 1794.

During the early 1940s the station served as arts & crafts school and then fell into disuse until 1954 when the La Jolla Methodist Church bought the building.

Information available at the church called it the San Carlos station, but the church is the only source I have found that calls it anything other than the Hermosa station. I think an ecclesiastical person unfamiliar with the San Diego Electric Railway took a little liberty because the Royal Presidio Chapel’s proper name is the Cathedral of San Carlos Borromeo de Monterey.

There is a photo hanging on the wall of the chapel of the station as it looked in 1927:

La Jolla Hermosa passenger station for the San Diego Electric Railway, 1927

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

The caption beneath the 1927 picture indicates that it is from the San Diego History Center. I checked the San Diego History Center’s web site and the picture is there, cataloged under “La Jolla Hermosa station.” I rest my case.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

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If you know where to look and what to look for

Did you know?

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Many decades ago, when I was but 11, I wanted to be an anesthesiologist, probably because I could spell it. Then I discovered that I would have to go to college, followed by medical school, followed by an internship. Hmmm. Too complicated, and too much schooling.

So I decided to be a teacher. A history teacher. Then I realized that I would probably have lots of little Russels in my classes. That might have caused me to become a murderer. (Actually, I discovered how much money teachers made and decided that wouldn’t be enough, especially if I had to put up with a lot of little Russels.)

Then I decided that I wanted to be a writer. I have written so many books, the best books, with really good words, lots of words, the best words, the best sentences, believe me, really good sentences, and paragraphs, the best paragraphs with the best sentences with the best words….

Well, in reality, I only have written about 50 Chapter Ones and then I quit. I guess I really am a quitter!

Writing a book is on my mind again. I’m exploring a book about the history of railroads in San Diego County. That would combine my love of history and trains with writing. I have discovered that it would also require a lot of reading, something that doesn’t bother me in the least.

A couple of days ago I was taking a video of a BNSF freight arriving in San Diego, I got interrupted by a fellow train enthusiast who works for the City repairing/repaving streets. He told me that there is a lot of evidence of the San Diego Electric Railway (SDERy) if you know where to look and what to look for. SDERy operated from 1891 to 1949. Yesterday I went out to a spot he told me about and, sure enough, evidence.

Evidence of the San Diego Electric Railray

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I followed the curve and looked down the street. One can see where the railroad tracks are even though covered by asphalt:

Evidence of the San Diego Electric Railray

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I found a map of the SDERy system (through research and reading) and put a black arrow on it indicating where these pictures were taken.

Map of the San Diego Electric Railway

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

I also discovered in my research that in the poor areas of town which don’t provide a lot of tax revenue for maintenance, shortcuts are taken. In this case, the old tracks were never removed; too labor intensive. They just poured asphalt and concrete on top of them and moved on.

I know a couple of other places where the rails are actually poking through the worn asphalt. Next on my list.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat