Interpretive Panels

Why Are There Trains On The Farm

brochure Interpretive Panels - Why Are There Trains On The Farm

Why Are There Trains On The Farm Interpretive Panel at Ardenwood Historic Farm, part of East Bay Regional Park District. Published by East Bay Regional Park District.

WHY ARE THERE TRAINS ON THE FARM? Railroads linked farms and families together over a century ago. The South Pacific Coast Railroad connected Ardenwood to the world. The railroads were not always welcome. In 1877, George Patterson tried to keep the mighty railroad from crossing his land. He built sturdy fences to keep the railroad from cutting through his fields. Before leaving on his honeymoon, George posted armed guards to enforce his will. When he returned, George discovered that his guards, full of whiskey supplied by the railroad, couldn't stop the rail crews from tearing down the fences and laying track across his land. The work was finished all in one night. Top: The railroad at Ardenwood recreates a nearby branch line of the South Pacific Coast Railroad. Using only horse-drawn rail cars, the Centerville Branch carried both freight and passengers between the farming communities of Newark and Centerville (now a district of Fremont) between 1882 and 1909. Trains still run along that line today. It’s the track you see along Ardenwood Boulevard. Left: Two years after George Patterson’s death in 1895, his wife, Clara, ordered the construction of the small “Arden” depot to connect the farm to the world. The Railroad Museum at Ardenwood is operated by the nonprofit Society for the Preservation of Carter Railroad Resources. Volunteers restore narrow gauge wooden railroad cars dating from 1878 to the early 1900s-many built in Newark, California. Today the train takes passengers on a half mile ride through farm fields and a grove of eucalyptus trees. If you are interested in volunteering please talk with the train crew or visit www.spcrr.org and Facebook.com/SPCRRMuseum. Top photo: Bruce MacGregor, bottom photo: Barry Lependorf. Photos courtesy of the Railroad Museum at Ardenwood Society for Preservation of Carter Railroad Resources

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