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Fullerton History

Fullerton's railroad connection dates to its founding in 1887 when brothers Edward and George Armerige learned the Santa Fe railway was mapping its westward route into Los Angeles. In a somewhat questionable deal to spur development of their acreage north of Anaheim, the brothers offered to name the new town after the railway's land company president, George H. Fullerton, if he would lay Santa Fe's track across their land. He did and they did!

Today, over 40 Amtrak passenger and Metrolink commuter trains rumble through the city each weekday as they travel between Orange County and Los Angeles or San Diego, Chicago and points beyond along with countless Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) freight trains.

Fullerton Santa Fe Depot

The following description of the Fullerton Depot is from City of Fullerton, Historical Building Survey, Heritage Revisted, Second Edition, March 1983 which is published and available from the City of Fullerton for $5: "The newest of Fullerton's railway stations, the Santa Fe Depot is a fine example of the Spanish Colonial style. Arches appear throughout the building, while the use of staggered gable and shed roofs adds to the visual complexity of the whole. The late Spanish style appears fully developed in this building, with its quatrefoil windows, wooden shutters, concrete grill work and a Monterey style balcony. The present building replaced the original depot which was constructed a year after the arrival of the railroad in 1887. Santa Fe Depot - 140 E. Santa Fe Ave. - Spanish Colonial Revival - 1930."

From Rails through the Orange Groves, by Stephen E. Donaldson and William A. Myers, Volume 2, Page 211: "The control boards for the Orange County sections of the CTC installations were originally placed in the second story of the Fullerton Depot; later they were moved to San Bernardino."

Union Pacific Depot

Also from: City of Fullerton, Historical Building Survey, Heritage Revisted, this is the description of the Union Pacific Depot which is right next door to the Santa Fe Depot and now houses "The Spaghetti Factory" restaurant: "The Union Pacific Depot is one of five major examples of the Mission revival style in Fullerton. The freight section is offset slightly from the passenger depot which has an arcade along two of its sides, an octagonal dome with small round cupola, and a mission style roof with typical mission parapets. Efforts were begun to bring the Union Pacific into Fullerton as early as 1916. However, work was suspended because of World War I and not resumed until 1922. The final design is an outstanding example of Mission style with some few intrusions of the newer Zigzag Moderne, as in the stepped gable over the main entrance. In 1980 this structure was moved to 110 E. Santa Fe, where it is destined to become a major restaurant. Union Pacific Depot - 105 W. Truslow Ave. - Mission Revival - 1923."

Pacific Electric Depot

Also from: City of Fullerton, Historical Building Survey, Heritage Revisted, this is the description of the "Pacific Electric Depot" which is right across the parking lot from the Santa Fe Depot and is also now a restaurant: "An austere, one-story Mission Revival structure, the Pacific Electric Depot on East Commonwealth provides an architectural transition from one age to another. While the basic style belongs to the first two decades of the twentieth century, the reduction of the format to the barest essentials hints at the functionalism of the 1920's. The Pacific Electric came to Fullerton in 1917, and established a line from La Habra at a cost of $425,000. Always a money loser, the Fullerton line ran from February 1, 1918 to January, 1948. The citrus industry constituted the largest revenue source for the line. The depot, constructed between November and December, 1918, cost $10,000. Pacific Electric Depot - 128 E. Commonwealth Ave. - Mission Revival - 1918.

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