Atascadero Rail Depot
E.G Lewis had been trying to get the Southern Pacific Railroad Company to build a passenger/freight depot in Atascadero for years. Lewis had built a small rail depot close to the Curbaril Road rail crossing. This “depot” only had one small building where passengers could wait to remain out of the elements. As Atascadero grew, Lewis knew he needed a larger rail depot. Lewis was trying to get the S.P.R.R to build the depot voluntarily with no luck. In 1921, the Atascadero Chamber of Commerce penned a letter to the railroad commissioner asking that Southern Pacific build and maintain a suitable depot for the community. The Chamber’s argument was that Atascadero had transformed from “one family of six persons to a town of over 400 private homes costing $1.2 million and that the cattle ranch had been converted into a fruit region with 4,000 acres of trees…” In 1921, Southern Pacific granted the community a rail depot. The station was completed in May of 1922 at the cost of $35,000. It was constructed in the Italian renaissance style. Southern Pacific removed the station from Service in the late 1950s and it was torn down in 1964. The station's location was nearly directly under the Highway 41 bridge in Atascadero.
Backstory and Context
Edward Gardner Lewis purchased 23,000 acres of rolling hills from J.H. Henry in the Spring of 1913. The Atascadero Colony was created by Lewis who formed the Colony Holding Corporation to take care of promoting the Atascadero enterprise. It was referred to as a “dream city”. His motto was, “all the advantages of country life with city conveniences”. The rail depot hoped to put Atascadero on the map but did not bring in the travelers that E.G Lewis had originally hoped for.
Allan, Lon W.. Atascadero: The vision of one -The work of many. Atascadero, CA. Mike Lucas.
Atascadero Historical Society Database