Tag Archive: Pacific Coast Railway

Jul 11

Ah Louis, pioneer builder of San Luis Obispo

Ah Louis was the nickname given to Wong On who arrived in San Luis Obispo about 1870.

Ah Louis has to be on any top ten list of early persons of influence in San Luis Obispo. This article comes from the May 10, 1956 Centurama edition of the then Telegram-Tribune but the column was republished from one written in 1929 so some of the references need to be updated. Post a comment …

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Feb 12

Avila truss bridge collapses, vestage of the Pacific Coast Railway

The 98-year-old Pacific Coast Railway bridge near Port San Luis collapsed on its own weight in San Luis Creek.
©Wayne Nicholls/Telegram-Tribune

You may have wondered about the mysterious henge looming beside San Luis Creek in Avila Beach. It is one of the last remaining monuments to the dawn of modern Central Coast transportation, the Pacific Coast Railway. The concrete plinth was an underpinning to Bridge No. 5. The narrow gauge rails were in use for 66 …

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Sep 08

End of the line for the Pacific Coast Railway Company, World War II week by week

Herbert Lawrence Block better known as Herblock was beginning his career as a cartoonist with the Newspaper Enterprise Association. He would win a Pulitzer Prize in 1942 and later be the Washinton Post's editorial cartoonist.

America needed steel to build tanks, trucks, landing craft, ships, aircraft, and machine guns. Not only was the nation gearing up to fight a war on two fronts but it was also filling the arsenals of Great Britain and the Soviet Union. The Axis powers had several years head start and some key raw materials …

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Jul 30

Transportation growing pains, World War II week by week

July 30, 1941 Telegram-Tribune Most of us take the four lane 101 Highway for granted today but as World War II was approaching California had a narrow two lane system. Military bases were expanding and road traffic was increasing leading local politicians to ask the state highway commission for a better road. The top headline …

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Jan 19

Vigilante Justice in Arroyo Grande

The Pacific Coast Railway crosses the Arroyo Grande creek on a bridge.  Flooding quickly made it necessary to replace with a much sturdier bridge.  Photo courtesy South County Historical Society

At first no one believed the school children, after all it was April Fools Day, 1886. As dawn broke in Arroyo Grande a man and his teen age son were dead, dangling from ropes below the narrow gauge railroad bridge. The children had seen the result of the only lynching documented in Arroyo Grande. The …

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Jan 08

Arroyo Grande Centennial Celebration

The sleepy little town of Arroyo Grande woke up when the narrow gauge, Pacific Coast Railway, arrived in the town in October of 1881.  Arroyo Grande lived by the timetable of the little train.  It was now possible to go to San Luis Obispo in comfort and much faster than a horse.  The one passenger car had red velvet covered seats and ornate wrought iron adornments.  (Photo Courtesy South County Historical Society)

Arroyo Grande will join her centenarian sisters San Luis Obispo and El Paso de Robles this year when she turns 100 this summer. I can refer to them as sisters, can’t I? Hey, the Supreme Court says corporations are persons. Now I’m not saying San Luis Obispo is old, but she will celebrate 200 before …

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