Two locomotives in front of the Southern Pacific Railroad's 1887 Saugus depot in the late 1910s. At the time, the depot sat at the
southeast corner of Drayton Street and Bouquet Canyon (San Fernando) Road.
No written information accompanies the photograph.
The big engine is a cab forward. (They're facing the same direction.) The SP's first cab forward was delivered in early 1910.
The automobile at left appears to have a porcelain license plate, which puts it in the 1910s, and the license plate appears to have a metal tag,
which makes it 1916 to 1919. If we could tell which tag it is, we'd know the year.
When the Golden Spike was driven at Lang in 1876, tying together Los Angeles to San Francisco, and, in turn, the continent-spanning Union Pacific, it signaled an irreversible change in the lifestyle of the Santa Clarita Valley. The Saugus Train Station opened eleven years later on September 1, 1887 when the spur line to Ventura was completed by Southern Pacific Railroad.
In order to accommodate hungry travelers, Tolefree's Saugus Eating House was established at the north end of the depot. It was taken over by Martin and Richard Wood in 1898, who changed the name to The Saugus Cafe. By 1905 more room was needed for additional storage of freight at the Station, so the cafe moved across the tracks, where it stands today.
Cowboys would occasionally shoot up the Station as their way of greeting the trains. There were robberies, too, the most famous being the night in 1929 when Thomas Vernon derailed and looted Engine Number 59.
President Benjamin Harrison stopped over in April, 1891, and Theodore Roosevelt was met by Governor Henry T. Gage here in 1903.
The last passenger train that stopped at the Station during April, 1971 and the last freight train was discontinued in 1979. The depot was closed on November 15, 1978 by the last Agent, Mr. James Guthrie. Through a massive community effort, the building was saved and moved on June 24, 1980 to its present location on land leased from Los Angeles Country within William S. Hart Park.
The Saugus Station has been featured in a number of motion pictures, television shows, music videos and commercials. Films include "The Pilgrim" (1919) with Charlie Chaplin, "Suddenly" (1954) starring Frank Sinatra, and most recently "The Grifters" (1989) starring Angelica Huston and John Cusack, and many student projects for area film schools.