Santa Barbara I SP-4522 - History

Santa Barbara I

( SP-4522: dp. 13,320, 1. 420'5"; b. 53'9", dr. 28'6"dph. 34'2"; s. 12 k.; cpl. 106; a. 1 5", 1 6-pdr.)

The first Santa Barbara, a single-screw, steel freighter, built during 1916 by William Cramp and Sons, Philadelphia, Pa., was ordered taken over by the Navy on 1 February 1918 from the Atlantic & Pacific Steamship Co. of New York, and commissioned on 15 April 1918 at New York, Lt. Comdr. J. Williamson, USNRF, in command.

Assigned to the Naval Overseas Transportation Service (NOTS) during World War I, Santa Barbara made three round-trip voyages to European ports before, and one after the signing of the Armistice on 11 November 1918. Sailing each time from New York, she carried up to 7,854 tons of general cargo on a single trip, unloading at Marseilles, Quiberon, St. Nazaire and Verdon, France. Santa Barbara was detached on 19 February 1919 from NOTS and assigned to the Cruiser and Transport Force, Atlantic Fleet.

Santa Barbara underwent drydocking and overhaul before resuming her transatlantic crossings. Departing New York on 30 March 1919, she commenced the first of four round trip missions to Bordeaux and St. Nazaire returning thousands of Army veterans. Arriving at Philadelphia on 23 July 1919, Santa Barbara was detached from the Cruiser and Transport Force the following day. Santa Barbara was simultaneously decommissioned and returned to her owner on 6 August 1919 at William Cramp and Sons' yard, Philadelphia, Pa. Remaining under United States registry as Santa Barbara and later as American, she was sunk by submarine torpedoes off the east coast of British Honduras on 11 June 1942.

California State Railroad Museum

The California State Railroad Museum is a museum in the state park system of California, United States, interpreting the role of the "iron horse" in connecting California to the rest of the nation. It is located in Old Sacramento State Historic Park at 111 I Street, Sacramento. [1]

The museum features 21 restored locomotives and railroad cars, some dating back to 1862. The "Sierra Scene" shows a large scale mockup of a construction scene high in the Sierra Nevada representing Donner Pass circa 1867, featuring the locomotive Gov. Stanford. Other exhibits show how the influence of railroads changed American society, influencing travel, commerce and daily life, as well as the lives of railroaders and the diversity of people who work on railroads. Changing exhibits featuring photography, ephemera, and artifacts from the museum's collection, add depth and incidental information to the overall story of railroad history. The Museum has an extensive educational program for elementary students from across the region to help them learn about railroad history using re-enactments, costumed docents, and including train and handcar rides. The roundhouse area of the museum features a rotating display of locomotives and equipment belonging to the museum. When not on display, these items are stored and worked on at the nearby Sacramento Railyards in the remaining buildings that were part of the original Southern Pacific Shop complex. A large 3-rail O-gauge model train layout is also located in the museum.

Adjacent to the main museum building is a reconstruction of the 1870s-era Central Pacific Railroad passenger station and freight depot on Front Street, which houses historic and contemporary railroad equipment. In early 2011, the interior remained closed to public use, but is occasionally open for special events. Between April and October, the Sacramento Southern Railroad, operated by the museum, takes passengers on a 40-minute, 6-mile (9.7 km) roundtrip route along the Sacramento River on a portion of the Walnut Grove branch of the former Southern Pacific Railroad. The Sacramento Southern Railroad owns the Walnut Grove Branch right-of-way that extends south from Sacramento along the eastern bank of the Sacramento River. A few miles of track were rebuilt along the levee near Freeport, California as part of a US Army Corps of Engineers project. The CSRRM hopes to one day have a longer excursion line, perhaps as far as Hood, California. [ citation needed ] At that location the railroad passengers could disembark the train and take a tourist steamboat back up the Sacramento River to Old Sacramento.

In 1992, Railtown 1897 in Jamestown began operating under the museum.

Santa Barbara I SP-4522 - History

SP Train 98 the LA bound Coast Daylight gets a crew change and its headlights cleaned during station stop in the early 1960's. Today's train is lead by a couple of PA's with 6036 leading and a couple of E units following.

Robert Morris
Dunsmuir, CA
Robert Morris Photography

Yet another fantastic photo Bob! Thanks for posting one of my favorite locations.

It's hard to see, also hard to believe. but it appears there could be a baggage car up front. 98/99 carried a combine up front, until very late in the game, presumably when the combines were no longer available.

Stanford White
Carmel Valley, CA

Only one track all the way through Santa Barbara now unlike in the past.

Another great Morris photo!

FiveChime Wrote:
> Only one track all the way through Santa Barbara
> now unlike in the past.
> Another great Morris photo!
> Regards, Jim Evans

Google maps and the UP ETT says there's currently two main tracks from South Santa Barbara MP 368.6 to North Santa Barbara MP 365.0.

It must have been an awfully dusty & muddy trip down from San Francisco to require the headlight cover to be cleaned. Was that standard practice at Santa Barbara during this era or was this an unusual occurrence?

photobob Wrote:
> SP Train 98 the LA bound Coast Daylight gets a
> crew change and its headlights cleaned during
> station stop in the early 1960's.

Hou74-76 Wrote:
> It must have been an awfully dusty & muddy trip
> down from San Francisco to require the headlight
> cover to be cleaned. Was that standard practice
> at Santa Barbara during this era or was this an
> unusual occurrence?
> photobob Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > SP Train 98 the LA bound Coast Daylight gets a
> > crew change and its headlights cleaned during
> > station stop in the early 1960's.

When I started with the SP at Santa Barbara there was a laborer that supplied and cleaned the engines. Oxnard and San Luis Obispo had laborers .

Embrace Nature

The beauty of Santa Barbara is that there’s never a shortage of outdoor inspiration. Just off the shore is Channel Islands National Park, an archipelago where you can kayak through caves, snorkel in pristine waters, and hike among wildlife.

Whale watching is a must-do in Santa Barbara, whose coastal waters provide passage for humpback, blue, gray, and killer whales. Condor Express and the Sunset Kidd are two of several companies that offer unforgettable whale-watching excursions, with November to April being the best time of year to go.

Santa Barbara is also at the doorstep of the Los Padres National Forest, which extends from San Luis Obispo to northern Los Angeles. The nearby Romero Canyon Trailhead is popular with hikers and mountain bikers. Los Padres also provides opportunities for camping, fishing, and swimming.

History of water in Santa Barbara

This is Juncal Dam, as pictured in “Drought & Flood: The History of Water in Santa Barbara and Montecito.”

Over his four-decade career working as a geologist and hydrogeologist through his geological consulting firm Hoover Consulting, Santa Barbara resident Mike Hoover has learned a great deal about local water resources and is spending his retirement years getting the information he knows into books.

In his latest book, “Drought & Flood: The History of Water in Santa Barbara and Montecito,” Mr. Hoover argues two primary theses: That Santa Barbara has been short of water for hundreds of years with very few respites of sufficient water, and that putting a measure for desalination on the same ballot as the State Water Project in 1991 was a “horrible mistake.”

The geologist told the News-Press that because he worked in the field of water resources for so many years, writing the book didn’t take very long.

This is the aftermath of the Montecito debris flow, as pictured in “Drought & Flood.”

There were some aspects of the book’s subject matter that he had to research, however.

These include the contents of the book’s first section exploring the geologic history of the area that is now Santa Barbara County, and early examples of water use from people such as the Chumash Indians and Franciscans of the Santa Barbara Mission.

Another subject he had to look into extensively was climate.

“I didn’t know much about climate, and that’s one I had to research quite a bit,” he said.

Illustrating his book’s argument that drought in Santa Barbara is a norm and wet cycles are the exception is its chapter on drought response measures such as dams.

According to its section on the creation of Bradbury Dam, which forms the reservoir Lake Cachuma, the dam was created to meet Santa Barbara’s water needs when it was determined that the Gibraltar Dam wouldn’t accomplish this like expected.

“In 1920, it seemed that Gibraltar Dam would address all of Santa Barbara’s water needs in perpetuity. Because of stiltation and drought, Gibraltar Lake was drying up in less than one decade,” it read.

According to Mr. Hoover, when the Cachuma Project was completed in 1953, it was widely thought that it too would be a permanent answer to the area’s water shortage. That, of course, turned out to not be true.

“Everybody thought we were done when we filled Lake Cachuma, but they were wrong,” he said.

At present, Mr. Hoover believes that Santa Barbara is in good shape as far as water supply is concerned because of the Charles E. Meyer Desalination Plant, which was reactivated in 2017 after more than decades of sitting idle.

The book explains that the $30 million desalination plant was a victim of “the cyclic nature of Santa Barbara’s weather.”

Before the plant was constructed, Santa Barbara had been in seven years of drought. The 15 years after its construction were characterized by generally above average rainfall, and in 1997 Santa Barbara residents were paying $500 per acre foot for water from Lake Cachuma, which was overflowing into the ocean.

The cost for the desalination plant’s water was $2,000 per acre foot, and the plant was taken offline in 1997 and partially deconstructed.

Mr. Hoover added that putting both desalination and participation in the State Water Project on the 1991 ballot was a mistake. The State Water Project brings water from central California through a system of pipelines into Santa Barbara.

He explained this was a wrong move because people thought that the State Water Project pipelines would supply Santa Barbara with water when the region was in a drought, not realizing that the areas Santa Barbara was depending on would also be in a drought.

“When we’re dry, they’re dry,” Mr. Hoover said.

By learning about the consequences of passing both desalination and participation in the State Water Project, Mr. Hoover hopes his readers will see that it’s important for voters to be cautious when approving new projects.

The other major takeaway he hopes his book gives readers is “not to take water resources for granted.”

California's Abandoned Railroads

California has lost roughly 3,500 miles of its infrastructure since the 1920's.  Like most states, most of these abandonments occurred after 1965.

Despite such a large loss, most of the state's removed lines consist of secondary or agricultural਋ranches operated predominantly by Southern Pacific.  In addition, some Santa Fe and Union Pacific trackage has also been removed.

Notable abandonments include:

  • SP's fabled "Modoc Line" through northeastern California (which acted as inside gateway from its Cascade Line to Overland Route)
  • Northwestern Pacific Railroad running the northwestern coast to Eureka (officially out of service but unlikely to see trains ever again)
  • Pacific Electric Railway (the largest interurban in the U.S. operating 1,100 miles and serving Los Angeles and its suburbs of San Bernardino, Long Beach, Pasadena, Santa Ana, Hollywood, Redondo, Pomona, Riverside, Santa Monica, and San Fernando)
  • Most of the Sacramento Northern between San Francisco and Oroville
  • Logging operations, in particular the McCloud River Railroad and West Side Lumber
  • Most of the Tonopah & Tidewater Railroad which ran from a connection with the Santa Fe at Ludlow to Goldfield, Nevada.  All operations ceased in 1940.

By 1880, eleven years after the completion of the transcontinental line California featured a staggering 2,185 route miles of railroads!

Today, the state holds over 6,000 miles of trackage with much of it concentrated around the its ten largest cities (the rest of which mostly fans outward north, south, east, and west in the way of key main lines).

* California's very first railroad actually put into service was the Arcata & Mad River Railroad.  According to Dr. George W. Hilton's book, "American Narrow Gauge Railroads," it was organized in 1854 by the Union Company as the Union Wharf & Plank Walk Company for the purpose of moving lumber from schooners docked at a pier in Union (Arcata) along Humboldt Bay near Eureka. 

It used wooden rails via a horse tramway system and was built to a gauge of 3 feet, 9 1/4 inches. In 1855, 2 miles of this track was in service. In 1875 its name was changed to the Union Plank Walk & Railroad Company.  It became the Arcata & Mad River Railroad in 1880 and throughout its corporate existence handled timber traffic.

By the early 20th century California was booming and so were its railroads. In all the state would find itself home to some of the most legendary and celebrated Class I railroads of all time.

These include names like the Union Pacific, Western Pacific, Santa Fe, and Southern Pacific. Of all these classic systems, the Southern Pacific stands far above the rest as it completely dominated California.

The “Espee” is as synonymous with the Golden State as the Pennsylvania Railroad is with the State of Pennsylvania.

An A-B-B-B set of Southern Pacific's "Black Widow" F7's pass the old ice dock (now gone) at Roseville, California with an eastbound freight about to battle Donner Pass during January of 1966. Drew Jacksich photo.

The SP served every large market in the state and likewise moved about every type of freight imaginable heading east.

Some of this included things like perishables from the San Joaquin Valley, a once massive operation that provided significant profits for the SP.

Today, however, these are little more than abandoned spurs and buildings dotting the valley where the railroad used to load and ice its cargo (the service died upon SP’s poor service in the late 1970s which today, while making a small comeback, still almost exclusively relies on trucks to move fresh goods such as lettuce, carrots, and cabbage). 

Santa Fe PA-1's #67 and #58 host their own farewell excursion (sponsored by the Pacific Locomotive Association) at Richmond, California in March of 1968. Drew Jacksich photo.

Other traffic included merchandise, intermodal, and automotive parts.

While the former two are still bustling, automotive parts are another traffic source that has mostly dried up particularly in the once industrialized booming and bustling San Francisco bay area.

Classic Railroads To Serve California

At one time Southern Pacific dispatched several trains a day in and out of the city. However, by the 1970s this traffic began to disappear as plants in the area closed.

Today, San Francisco is completely devoid of almost all freight rail service and all that remains is commuter and light rail operations. 

Even the Southern Pacific itself is gone. A once extremely dominate and profitable large western railroad, the Espee began to lose its way in the 1970s and by the 1980s was a mere shell of its former self.

One aspect of California's railroad history often overlooked as its interurban/streetcar industry.  In the West these systems were scattered and fewer in number than throughout the Midwest and East. 

However, the Golden State boasted 1,295 miles of interurbans during its peak in the early 1900's. 

According to the book, "The Electric Interurban Railways In America" by authors George Hilton and John Due, this ranked the state 3rd in all-time mileage.  The  most notable systems included:

  • Sacramento Northern Railway
  • Sacramento Valley West Side Electric Railway
  • Central California Traction Company
  • Tidewater Southern Railway
  • Petaluma & Santa Rosa Railroad
  • San Francisco, Napa & Calistoga Railway
  • Peninsular Railway
  • Visalia Electric Railroad
  • Pacific Coast Railway
  • Nevada County Traction Company
  • Watsonville Traction Company
  • Pacific Electric Railway

Alas, all were largely gone by World War II save for the Pacific Electric and Sacramento Northern which survived for a few more years as freight carriers.

An A-B-B-B-A set of Western Pacific F7's appear to be rolling through California's Altamont Pass (?) with new autos circa 1970s.

The Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad eventually purchased it in 1988, which assumed the Southern Pacific name.

In 1996 both of these venerable railroads disappeared into the Union Pacific fold. 

Although the SP disappeared in the 1990s it left behind, and is famous for, several California railroad landmarks.

These include its two famous main lines, the Overland Route਌onnecting northern California with Ogden, Utah and its Sunset Route, connecting most of southern California with much of the Southwest and Deep South.

From point to point the Sunset Route਌onnects New Orleans with Los Angeles!

In all the Southern Pacific would grow to a system of over 15,000 miles in length, almost twice the size of the Union Pacific prior to the merger movement.

The SP is also noted for its Donner Pass in the Sierra Nevada Range and Tehachapi Loop near Tehachapi, California.

A Southern Pacific publicity photo featuring the eastbound "Golden State" at Palm Springs, California during early 1946. The train was a joint service with the Rock Island between Chicago and Los Angeles.

For all of its prestige in relation to California the Southern Pacific, of course, was not the only well-known railroad operating in the state.

The Western Pacific was another famed railroad to be found within California's borders.

The smallest of California's classic large systems, its Feather River Canyon main line between Reno and Sacramento (in all it connected the Bay Area with Salt Lake City, Utah) is arguably the state’s most beautiful route and it is still operated today by Union Pacific as an important main line. 

Prior to the merger movement the Union Pacific did not have much of a presence in California although its main line connecting Salt Lake City and Los Angeles did provide the railroad with important sources of traffic and continues to do so even today.

Running the famous "Coast Line," one of Southern Pacific's streamlined 4-8-4's brings train #99, the "Coast Daylight" (Los Angeles - San Francisco), northbound out of Santa Barbara, California during the 1950s.

Last, but certainly not least, was the Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway.

It was the Southern Pacific’s main competition in California and the Southwest as the two railroads competed for much of the same traffic.

The legendary Santa Fe system was massive stretching from Chicago to western Louisiana, as well as San Francisco and Los Angeles, although its Californian routes were never quite as strategic as the Espee’s.

The Santa Fe’s most well known California railroad landmark is Cajon Pass in the San Bernardino mountain range in the southern part of the state.

The ATSF is also celebrated for its many mission-style depots and stations it built in the southwest, including California. Today, Santa Fe’s lines in the Golden State are operated by its successor the BNSF Railway.

A new, A-B-B-A set of Southern Pacific F7's pose beside 4-2-4T #1, the "C.P. Huntington" in Sacramento, California during 1950. The little machine was originally built by the Danforth, Cooke & Company of Patterson, New Jersey in 1863 for the Central Pacific. It was CP's third locomotive and helped in the effort to construct the Transcontinental Railroad. To reach the West Coast, however, it was shipped south from New York, around South America's Cape Horn, and finally north to California (roughly 19,000 miles). Today, the "Huntington" sits on display at the California State Railroad Museum.

Short Lines

California, however, also features much more than just the large Class I systems as dozens of smaller railroads dot the state. Some of these include:

  • Amador Foothills Railroad
  • California Northern Railroad
  • Carrizo Gorge Railway
  • Central California Traction
  • Modesto & Empire Traction
  • Modoc Northern Railroad
  • Oakland Terminal Railway
  • Pacific Harbor Line
  • Quincy Railroad
  • Richmond Pacific Railroad
  • San Diego & Imperial Valley Railroad
  • San Joaquin Valley Railroad
  • Sierra Railroad
  • Stockton Terminal & Eastern Railroad
  • Trona Railway
  • Ventura County Railroad
Southern Pacific 4-8-4 #4416 (GS-3) that appears to have either arrived at, or will be departing from, Los Angeles with unnamed train #71 (Los Angeles - San Francisco) in a scene which likely dates to sometime around 1937 when it was delivered from Lima.

Railroad Museums And Attractions

Freight railroading aside, if you are a vacationer looking for places to visit or just a railfan who loves trains, California includes several museums and tourist lines.

Some of the state’s most recognized museums and tourist railroads include:

  • California State Railroad Museum (an enormously popular museum well known throughout the country, not just in California) located in the former Southern Pacific’s Sacramento Shops
  • California Western Railroad (The Skunk Train)
  • Napa Valley Wine Train
  • Niles Canyon Railway
  • Pacific Southwest Railroad Museum
  • Western Pacific Railroad Museum
  • Shasta Sunset Dinner Train
  • Western Railway Museum

Other non-freight railroads include California's ever-growing commuter, transit, and light rail systems.

The state is a leader in commuter rail and one reason behind this is its attempt to find ways to reduce its large amounts of carbon monoxide emissions, mostly from highway traffic.

The state’s commuter rail system includes the CalTrain (the Bay Area), Metrolink (Southern California), and Altamont Commuter Express (serving the Central valley and the Silicon valley). 

Western Pacific FP7 #805-D leads a B-B-B-A set of F3s as they power an eastbound freight through Manteca, California during April of 1972. Drew Jacksich photo.

Of course, the state is also home to plenty of local services like Amtrak’s Surfliner and Capitol Corridor operations part of the passenger carrier’s and state’s Amtrak California services as well as San Francisco’s famous trolley system. 

In all, California offers a multitude of things to experience and see so my advice is to simply find what interests you the most and start there first!

Whether it is the famous engineering marvels like Tehachapi and Cajon or railroad museums like CSRM and the famous Napa Valley Wine Train, there really is something for everyone in California.

Most importantly, whatever you might decide to do first, if and when you visit the Golden State, just remember to have fun!


The year 1925 was a defining moment in the history of Santa Barbara.

In the early morning hours of June 29, 1925, a major earthquake, destroyed much of the downtown State Street corridor.

At the time of this disaster there was a growing community movement in Santa Barbara led by Bernard Hoffman and Pearl Chase to have a uniform architectural style, evoking our Spanish Colonial past. Their efforts led Santa Barbara to form the country&rsquos first architectural review board with strict design standards. What the earthquake leveled would now be rebuilt &mdash in the Spanish style.

This distinctive look of "El Pueblo Viejo" &mdash the City&rsquos core historic district &mdash rose from the rubble and serves today to set Santa Barbara apart. Our renowned Hispanic architecture is defined by red tile roofs, white stucco walls, decorative wrought iron on windows, balconies, and walls handrails, and decorative tiles. Lush landscaping provides color and contrast. The charm and history of the city permeates its buildings and public spaces, bringing to life the cultural tapestry of Santa Barbara.

The residents of Santa Barbara were the Chumash Indians who lived here as many as 6,000 years ago. Early Spanish soldiers arrived in the 18th century to occupy the area and built the original Spanish fort - El Presidio - to protect the alta California coastline from foreign invaders. Spanish priests came to &ldquoChristianize&rdquo the Indians and teach them trades and skills useful to Spain in the New World.

When Mexico won its independence from Spain in 1822, California became part of Mexico. In 1848, following the Mexican-American War, California became part of the expanding United States, and joined the union as a state in 1850. For more information about the history of the Presidio and our city's early settlement, explore the Santa Barbara Trust for Historic Preservation website.

The town&rsquos main thoroughfare, State Street, has been the route through which history, people, and events have entered and shaped Downtown Santa Barbara.

The Gold Rush ushered in the American age and changed Santa Barbara from a sleepy pueblo to a bustling little town. Soon steamships arrived, loaded with visitors from the eastern states. When the historic Stearns Wharf was built in 1872, it allowed direct access for ships to safely unload building materials, freight, and passengers.At the dawn of the 20th century, the railroad was then completed which fully connected Santa Barbara to Los Angeles and San Francisco, ending the community&rsquos isolation and ensuring its future as a major visitor and resort destination.

A steady stream of retailers, doctors, bankers, and service businesses set up their storefronts and offices in Downtown Santa Barbara.

From 1912-1921 Santa Barbara was a major center of silent film production in the days before Hollywood.(Salvatore Ferragamo started his career here crafting shoes for the film stars.) By the 1940s, State Street had also established itself as a retail shopping mecca for the region and its visitors.

Things began to shift in the late 1950s and 1960s, as the city limits expanded to the north. Attention was diverted from the old downtown and to the new retail developments uptown. Across the country downtowns began experiencing this downward spiral of disinterest and disinvestment. Downtown Santa Barbara was no exception, as mall shopping became the new way of life.

In response to the development of the region&rsquos first regional mall, La Cumbre Plaza, downtown businesses organized as the Downtown Organization of Santa Barbara in 1967.

Retail promotions and community celebrations reflecting local history and cultural amenities were established by Downtown Santa Barbara. These included the Annual Downtown Santa Barbara Holiday Parade, the Art & Wine Tour, 1 st Thursday, Small Business Saturday, the Annual Awards Breakfast, and Member Mixers. Other community events supported by Downtown Santa Barbara included Old Spanish Days, Santa Barbara Summer Solstice Celebration, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival, Pianos on State, as well as a variety of other events.

City leaders have always recognized the value of a strong downtown. The Santa Barbara Redevelopment Agency (1972 until 2012) fueled unprecedented public investment in Downtown Santa Barbara, including the construction of the Paseo Nuevo as a public-private partnership, and the creation of convenient downtown parking lots and garages.

One of the City&rsquos significant developments was &ldquoThe Plaza," a six-block section of State Street. Originally constructed in 1969 and designed by architect Robert Ingle Hoyt, the Plaza's sidewalks, paseos and landscaped streetscape define The Downtown's special charm and pedestrian environment. The Plaza was expanded in the 1990s, with additions of public art, benches, and our favorite, the State Street Flag Program.

Downtown Santa Barbara also provided important leadership for the revitalization of the downtown area, advancing a proposal in the mid-1970s to create a self-assessment on all the businesses to create a stable budget in support of the organization&rsquos work. Santa Barbara&rsquos first Downtown Business Improvement District (BID) was created in 1975, and a second BID was created for the Old Town District in 1976.

Downtown Santa Barbara&rsquos retail mix also continued to evolve in the 1970s and &lsquo80s. The City of Santa Barbara's commitment to planning continued with the completion of a Historic Resources survey effort, along with the adoption of the "Burgard Plan," a visionary plan to blend commerce and culture to make arts an integral part of the Santa Barbara experience. The Paseo Nuevo opened with fanfare in 1989, and small businesses continued to make Downtown Santa Barbara their home, expanding the district to side streets and growing from 400 businesses in 1975 to more than 1420 businesses in 2015.

The economic downturn in 2008 created increased vacancies and budget challenges, and the elimination of redevelopment agencies in the State of California in 2012 marked the end of an era for public reinvestment. Yet Downtown Santa Barbara has recovered and rebounded from the economic downturn.

Today State Street serves as the cultural heart and soul of Santa Barbara. Its vibrant theatre district has five theaters serving 80 to 2000 audience members and nine museums, some of which, such as the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, have distinguished national reputations.

In recent years, start-ups and technology-related firms such as Sonos Corporation have made Downtown Santa Barbara their headquarters, creating new demand for similar tenants. Adding to the mix are a growing number of wine tasting operations, creating a cottage industry &ndash and a new pasttime &ndash for downtown customers and residents.

Downtown Santa Barbara today is at an important crossroads, with a legacy of success and opportunities ahead. New investments are anchoring the lower blocks of State Street, providing infill and new uses to activate and connect the Downtown core to the waterfront.

Its future remains as bright as its past, in part due to its amazing location, its storied history, and the strong leadership inherent in the public-private partnership between the City of Santa Barbara and Downtown Santa Barbara.


The Study of Chinese History at UCSB

Personal Statement:

I am a cultural and intellectual historian of middle and late imperial China. My research focuses on epistemology, i.e., how pre-modern Chinese people pursued knowledge and generated new beliefs, and my discussion of epistemology extends from science as conventionally defined into areas such as political philosophy, ethics, cosmology, and the history of emotions. My interdisciplinary interests afford a broad and inclusive perspective for exploring ideas and knowledge in pre-modern China. My first monograph, Shen Gua’s Empiricism (Harvard University Asia Center, 2018) is a study of historical epistemology, which presents a version of empiricism that opens up a new avenue for comparing Chinese and Western thought. I have also authored several articles which engage a wide and diverse spectrum of topics, such as sensory history, book history, and the history of emotions. Currently, I am working on a monograph on tears and crying in Chinese history.

I was a tenured professor at Bowdoin College before coming to UCSB in 2020. Click here for more on my academic background.

Research and Teaching Interests:

History of Middle and Late Imperial China

Intellectual and Cultural History

History of Science, Technology, and Medicine

Current Projects:

A Cultural History of Tears in China

Selected Publications:

Shen Gua’s Empiricism, Harvard University Asia Center and Harvard University Press, the Harvard-Yenching Institute Monograph Series 113, 2018.

Southern Pacific 4-8-4 #4452 (GS-4) departs Los Angeles with train #99, the northbound/westbound "Coast Daylight," on the morning of December 30, 1953. Robert Slocum photo.

A Brief History Of The "Daylights"

Also just like the Pennsy, the Southern Pacific (also referred to affectionately as the “Espee” by railfans and historians after its SP reporting marks) has such a history that entire libraries of books could be written on the differing aspects of the railroad.

The SP was by far our country’s single largest classic railroad (i.e., before the modern-day merger movement began in the 1950s), spanning over 15,000 miles and reaching from the stretches of northwest Oregon to southeast Louisiana! 

The Southern Pacific has a whole host of renowned achievements it is credited with, far too many to go into detail here.

However, to name a few it had three important main lines which continue as important arteries under Union Pacific today, the Overland Route (San Francisco to the Midwest), the Golden State Route (the Southwest to Kansas City), and the Sunset Route (the Pacific Coast to the Gulf Coast).

Southern Pacific's Fabled Daylight Fleet And Other Trains

Golden State:  (Los Angeles - Chicago via Tucumcari in conjunction with the Rock Island)

San Joaquin Daylight: (Oakland - Los Angeles via Bakersfield)

Starlight: (San Francisco - Los Angeles)

Sunset Limited: (Originally San Francisco - New Olreans, later Los Angeles - New Orleans)

Southern Pacific 4-8-4 #4459 (GS-5) has westbound train #99, the "Coast Daylight," departing Los Angeles (Los Angeles - San Francisco) on April 12, 1953. Donald Duke photo.

"Daylight" Locomotives

The Southern Pacific’s famed Daylight has its beginnings dating back to early 1937 when on March 21st it was inaugurated as an all-streamlined passenger train serving Los Angeles and San Francisco. Up front was a Golden State, 4-8-4 steam locomotive built by the Lima Locomotive Works.

These 4-8-4s were listed as Espee’s GS-2 class and featured handsome streamlining that would become legendary. The livery, which would also go down in history as one of the all-time classics, chosen for the train was designed by the railroad’s own Charles Eggleston of red, orange, and black. 

What made the train so successful was as much of the route it followed as the amenities aboard. Views along the way from San Francisco included the Santa Clara Valley in all of its splendor, surf-side along the Pacific Ocean, and the Santa Margarita Range.

Essentially, many of the best views that California had to offer could be witnessed right outside the windows of the Daylight. While the views outside were spectacular, the services inside were just as good.

In this Southern Pacific publicity photo a young lady waves to train #99, the "Coast Daylight," as it accelerates away from Camarillo, California and past a big pepper tree during the late 1950's. Up front is an interesting mix of power including what SP referenced as PA-3 #6040 along with E7B #5902 and an E9A.

The SP spared no expensive on the train, and it showed. Aside from the incredible outdoor views the train’s keynote feature was an articulated, two or three-car diner-tavern-lounge that offered open, unimpeded space between all three cars due to a new design feature from Pullman-Standard.

1952 Consist

This design removed the bulkheads between cars and created an open walkway space between them to look as if all three were one. On top of all of this the train was entirely air-conditioned, a rare treat in the late 1930s.

1958 Consist

According to the Southern Pacific's 1938 timetable the Daylight, listed as Trains #98 (southbound) and #99 (northbound), left San Francisco's 3rd Street Station at 8:15 am and arrive in Los Angeles by 6 pm that evening, clipping the Pacific coastline most of the way.

The train also offered connecting service via Oakland and Fruitvale to San Jose. There were other experiences like it, especially if you loved the beach and warm weather. The train carried an average train speed of nearly 50 mph and could complete its trip in under 10 hours.  

In this Southern Pacific publicity photo 2-10-2 #3731 (F-5) leads 4-8-4 #4423 (GS-3) with train #98, the southbound/eastbound "Coast Daylight," as the consist drifts downgrade over Stenner Creek Trestle and towards San Luis Obispo during the 1950's. The Santa Fe was assisting on the climb from Santa Margarita.

It was an extraordinarily popular train that within a few years of its inauguration had the highest ridership numbers in the country. Demand for the train became so high by the late 1930s that the Southern Pacific simply had no way to meet the need. 

"Coast Daylight" Timetable (1938)

(The below Daylight timetable is dated effective July of 1938.)

Read Down Time/Leave (Train #98) Milepost Location Read Up
Time/Arrive (Train #99)
8:15 AM (Dp)0.0 San Francisco, CA (3rd & Townsend Street Station) 6:00 PM (Ar)
9:08 AM (Ar)47 San Jose, CA 5:02 PM (Dp)
Time/Leave (Train #250/Connection) Milepost Location Time/Arrive (Train #255/Connection)
7:00 AM (Dp)0.0 San Francisco, CA (Ferry Building) 7:32 PM (Ar)
7:30 AM4 Oakland Pier, CA (Via Ferry) 7:00 PM
7:39 AM7 Oakland, CA 6:52 PM
7:47 AM10 Fruitvale, CA 6:42 PM
8:55 AM (Ar)10 San Jose, CA 5:08 PM (Dp)
Time/Leave (Train #98) Milepost Location Time/Arrive (Train #99)
9:10 AM (Dp)47 San Jose, CA 5:00 PM (Ar)
10:32 AM115 Salinas, CA 3:39 PM
1:07 PM (Ar)248 San Luis Obispo, CA 12:58 PM (Dp)
1:12 PM (Dp)248 San Luis Obispo, CA 12:53 PM (Ar)
3:35 PM (Ar)367 Santa Barbara, CA 10:35 AM (Dp)
3:38 PM (Dp)367 Santa Barbara, CA 10:32 AM (Ar)
5:38 PM465 Glendale, CA 8:39 AM
6:00 PM (Ar)471 Los Angeles, CA 8:15 AM (Dp)
A parlor-observation brings up the end of Southern Pacific's northbound/westbound "Daylight" as it passes through the orchards of Hope Ranch, a few miles west of Santa Barbara, California.

As it waited for new equipment to arrive from Pullman-Standard the SP launched a second Daylight using mostly older, heavyweight equipment.

When the railroad finally did receive its new equipment it setup three San Francisco – Los Angeles runs of the train called the Morning Daylight, Noon Daylight, and Night Daylight.

Quickly realizing it was on to something the Southern Pacific decided to launch an entire fleet offering regional service to many California cities. 

These trains included the Lark (which served LA – San Francisco at night it was adorned in an interesting, but catchy two-tone gray livery), San Joaquin Daylight (Oakland – Los Angeles), and the Sacramento Daylight (Sacramento – Lathrop). ਏor more reading about the classic Daylights please click here.

A Southern Pacific publicity photo featuring 4-8-4 #4458 (GS-5) ahead of train #99, the "Coast Daylight" (Los Angeles - San Jose - San Francisco) boarding at Santa Barbara, California during the 1950s. The fully air-conditioned train offered chair cars (coaches), coffee shop car, tavern car, parlor (with drawing room), and parlor-observation.

The fleet remained very successful through the early 1960s but even the Southern Pacific with its vast array of popular and extravagant passenger trains (others of which included the Sunset Limited and long distance Shasta Daylight) just could not compete with the age of the automobile and super-fast jet airliner.

Most of the SP’s fleet had disappeared by the time of Amtrak in 1971, although its original, now named the Coast Daylight remained and was initially kept under Amtrak although was eventually terminated in favor of the Coast Starlight.

This new train now operates over the Southern Pacific’s old tracks between LA and Portland, following virtually the same route as the Shasta Daylight and is today one of Amtrak’s most popular trains.

Watch the video: Santa Barbara # 15 (January 2022).