Our Sainted Streetcars – Glendale Edition

Glendale Depot

A postcard showing what the vendor says is a depot for the Los Angeles and Glendale Electric Interurban Railway system has been listed on EBay. Bidding starts at $249.99.

Times clips show that by 1904, the Los Angeles and Glendale Railway Co. had been absorbed by the Interurban Railway Co. The clipping also shows that a judge issued a restraining order to stop the laying of rails on 3rd Street between Figueroa and Flower. The complaint filed by the city says that the Interurban Railway Co. was laying tracks without a right, permit or franchise.

Welcome to another page in the checkered history of Los Angeles’ sainted streetcar system.

Glendale Depot

Notice the dirt streets and the young palm tree.

Glendale Depot

And this mysterious structure.

Glendale Depot

The chimney, of course, would have been a goner in the first major earthquake.

April 7, 1904: Another complicated chapter in the history of Los Angeles’ sainted streetcar system.

April 7, 1904, Streetcars

About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1904, Downtown, Found on EBay, Streetcars, Transportation and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Our Sainted Streetcars – Glendale Edition

  1. Charles Seims says:

    I think the decimal point is misplaced–it’s probably worth $6-10. I have the original 8×10 glass plate negative to this view.


  2. Don’t you think you should give it a rest? Is it really so necessary to pound your point of view down our throats? Some of us remember the Red Cars with great affection and, while I recognize the system had long since passed a point where it might have been modernized and remained useful, the irony of the recent resurrection of public rail transit is not lost on us. There was a time in the late forties when many families (perhaps most families) did not have a second car and the well worn and oh so familiar streetcars served to take us shopping or to a movie and even, with my aunts, uncles and a multitude of cousins on one occasion down the Santa Monica Boulevard line to the beach. This was of course long after their heyday and I’m sure they were no longer very profitable if at all. They were neglected and pushed aside for ever more asphalt but in the beginning and surely into the twenties the city could not have enjoyed the remarkable growth without them.


    • lmharnisch says:

      There is always a place for viewpoints such as yours and thanks for sharing.

      The Los Angeles streetcar systems have been so enveloped in myth that I think it’s valuable to counterbalance the “great, shadowy conspiracy” yarn with news stories from various periods that reflect the challenges and problems of the systems throughout their history. Uninformed people are much too fond of saying “L.A. had a great streetcar system and they killed it” without ever being aware of how problematic it was.

      Frankly, I had a much more positive view of the streetcar systems when I first became involved in Los Angeles history. It was only in the 1990s, after going through a file of passengers’ complaints from the 1940s in the City Council files and reading vintage news coverage in The Times clips that I began to reexamine my opinion. I think other folks might also find those accounts valuable. You are always welcome to add your voice.




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