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A Private Railroad Track

WFor the convenience of car-lot delivery to the San Marino Ranch, when shipments of various kinds and large quantities of materials began to come in, Mr. Huntington had a private spur track installed. It was a branch of the Sierra Madre car line and followed San Marino Avenue north to a point now known as Stratford Avenue, thence west on Stratford to what is now the entrance to the Library grounds. During 1909 and early 1910, when the residence was under construction, the track was extended to the homesite for further convenience in delivering building materials, such as sand, gravel, cement, lumber and steel, as well as household goods. And again in 1919 and 1920, when the library was being built, the track was extended to that location to facilitate delivery of essential materials. Many shipments, also, of art objects and plant materials passed over this track during the subsequent years, until 1924, when certain alterations involving a new approach to the library necessitated the relocation of the spur farther toward the south.

WMr. Huntington owned three private cars, the "Alabama" in 1913 before his second marriage, and later the "San Marino Number 1" and the "San Marino Number 2." At first the latter were housed in a temporary car shed, but later in a re-enforced concrete building along the side of the spur track. Mr. Huntington used these cars very seldom; when he traveled alone he used Pullman accommodations. But after the completion of his San Marino home, and subsequent to his second marriage, it was the custom for the family to travel in the Number 1 car, while the servants had the use of Number 2, which was a combination passenger and baggage car. It was in the latter that many of the invaluable art treasures and rare books crossed the continent to the Huntington family home in California.

WThe first arrival of the family at the Santa Fe station proved to be quite a celebrated event. On that day of January 23, 1914, newspaper reporters and photographers were there in great numbers, much to the dismay of Mrs. Huntington, who heartily disliked publicity of any kind. The following year a repetition of this procedure was avoided by scheduling the trip to Pasadena, but having the family leave the train at Lamanda Park. From there Mr. and Mrs. Huntington, Miss Campbell (Mrs. Huntington's companion), and Mr. Huntington's secretary rode to the family home in the limousine, while the servants rode in the touring car. Meanwhile the baggage was allowed to remain in the private car until the car could be switched on the spur track at the ranch and loaded there.

WIt was in 1911 that the re-inforced concrete car house was built to accommodate these private cars, at a location now represented by the intersection of Oxford and Stratford Roads. Until 1924 it served as a terminal convenient both for the family and for the increasing shipments of building materials and new acquisitions.

-Mr. William Hertrich
Groundskeeper for Henry Huntington

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