Standard references give a date of September 1, 1887, for the completion and opening of the Southern Pacific Railroad's Saugus depot.
That is incorrect. It might be when the Saugus-Ventura spur line was completed, but it is not when the Saugus depot was built.
The depot was erected in 1888 and opened for passenger service on June 21 of that year. Exactly when Tolfree's Eating House
(future Saugus Cafe) opened inside the depot, we don't know; but it wasn't 1887. The diner was definitely in operation by 1890 as seen here.
Click to enlarge.
Los Angeles Herald (Briefs).
June 20, 1888 — The depot which the Southern Pacific is erecting at Saugus will soon be completed.
It is a very fine and commodious building.
June 22, 1888 — The new depot at Saugus is completed, and was opened for passenger accomodation yesterday.
It is a very fine and capacious structure.
July 28, 1888 — The new depot at Saugus is a very imposing structure.
A fine cinder walk for the benefit of passengers is being made in connection with it.
News stories courtesy of Stan Walker.