Private Railcar Spurs

Private Railcar Spurs (HM2K65)

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N 34° 24.81', W 119° 41.622'

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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 use by the train traveler a century later.
HM NumberHM2K65
Year Placed1999
Placed ByCity of Santa Barbara Redevelopment Agency; and California Department of Transportation
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, August 31st, 2019 at 8:02pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)11S E 252421 N 3811296
Decimal Degrees34.41350000, -119.69370000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 34° 24.81', W 119° 41.622'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds34° 24' 48.6" N, 119° 41' 37.32" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling South
Closest Postal AddressAt or near , ,
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