In 1891, Richard Quincey, a local wood and coal dealer, began building the first rail line to Alum Rock Park. Quincey began construction on May 11, 1891 at Santa Clara Street and McLauglin Avenue. By June 26, 1891, had reached White Road and has run out of money. Quincy continued building the rail line alone with his pick and shovel until John Center came to his rescue. Center, a wealthy businessman from San Francisco, helped raise $7,500.00 for construction. On November 2, 1893, they officially formed the Alum Rock Railway Company.
The first rail cars rolled into Alum Rock Park in 1894. The first locomotive, called a steam dummy, was made to look like a streetcar. Many people thought the look of a streetcar would not frighten the horses along the roadway. Later, it was learned that it was actually the noise of the train that frightened the horses. For 25 cents, park visitors could take a ride through the ranch lands along Alum Rock Avenue. The train followed Penitencia Creek into the park, taking passengers past scenic views until they reached the park's main picnic areas.
Alum Rock Park Interpretive Series
San Jose Parks, Recreation and Neighborhood Service