Dedicated September 2000
Facts of Interest
· This building houses the restored Passenger Coach No. 1 of the old National City & Otay Railway (NC&O), which operated in the South Bay during the early years of this city.
· This coach was part of the "Motor Cannon Ball" excursion train, the brainchild of National City founder Frank Kimball and the region's first commuter-type train dedicated to passengers rather than freight.
· Mr. Kimball used the train to bring prospective real-estate buyers to El Rancho de la Nacion
, the land grant ranch that became National City. The train also provided popular excursions for visitors and tourists.
· The NC&O traversed the South Bay from San Diego to the border and the Sweetwater Dam. Its route passed hills dotted with olive trees and stately Victorian homes, including Frank Kimball's famous Olivewood.
· A 60-mile round-trip ticket on the line was once advertised for just $1.00 — the fare from National City to downtown San Diego — 10 cents.
· Passenger Coach No. 1 was built by the Hammond Car Works — builder of the famed cable cars — in San Francisco in 1887. It was withdrawn from service in 1914 and restored to its 1880s appearance in 2000.
· The tile inlays are authentic reproductions of those made by the California China Products Company between 1911 and 1917. Other tiles made by this National City manufacturer can be seen at Balboa Park and the Santa Fe Depot in San Diego.
· This plaza and restored railcar were funded by the Port of San Diego.
National City Council Members
George H. Waters, Mayor
R. Mitchel Beauchamp
Port of San Diego Board of Port Commissioners
Paul H. Speer, Chairman
Frank Urtasun, Vice Chairman
Susan Lew, Secretary
Stephen P. Cushman
Patricia A. McQuarter
Jess Van Deventer