Arcata boasts first railroad in California

Arcata Wharf and Ferry

Yesterday I wrote about the Arcata wharf and railroad.  According to the City of Arcata Website, the first “train” for that railroad was a four-wheel car powered by a single horse.

“Passengers coming from Eureka to Arcata on the ferry… were met by the horse-drawn car and taken into Arcata to the depot located on the site of the present Post Office. In 1875, the horse-powered locomotive was replaced with a steam locomotive, called the Black Diamond. This is considered by many to have been the first railroad in the State of California. “

 The Timber Heritage Association is working to establish a museum and revive the rail system here… I think most have ruled out the viability of using trains for cargo transportation, but it may still have merit as a tourist attraction… maybe even short distance passenger service.

I know I wouldn’t mind skipping a trip through the Eureka traffic and riding a train to do my old town shopping instead.


3 Responses to Arcata boasts first railroad in California

  1. AJ says:

    That would make a nice little tourist attraction during the summer. “Ride the first railroad in California.”

    Restore a short track through the marsh, hugging the existing road for most of the way, a single car led by a horse… I bet you could get enough passengers on weekends during the summer.

    • lynette77 says:

      That’s a great idea ! And the horse… it is so easy to forget how much more complicated (or simple depending on your view) things used to be.

      We actually rode the train in Shively, oh, probably ten years ago. Just a short little jaunt with the kids but I absolutely LOVED it. I could see folks coming up here… pairing a train ride with all the other wonderful attractions we have…

  2. […] appears the Humboldt County was full of innovators.  We had the first railroad in California and, according to the info at HSU, at the time of construction this was […]

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