Category: Travel

Storefront Railroad Ticket Office

Image: source and photographer not identified; may be a Union Pacific publicity photo.

In addition to ticket counters at railroad depots some had walk-in offices in major cities where customers could make travel plans and purchase tickets. In 1939 this one in Long Beach, California was typical.

Image and excerpt below from Hollywood’s Garden of Allah novels, by Martin Turnbull on

“I do love coming across a striking night photo, and this one is a prime example. This one is of a Union Pacific railroad ticket office sandwiched between a Florsheim shoe store and a drug store. It was at 144 Pine Ave in Long Beach, which Union Pacific moved into on October 1, 1939, so I’m assuming this photo was taken some time after that. They took the trouble to include ‘The Progressive’ in their signage – I wonder if that was part of their company motto? And I especially love the silhouetted lettering above the window: ‘Road of The Streamliners and The Challengers.’ “

Railroad Boosters trolley trip



The Railroad Boosters (now Pacific Railroad Society) were southern California railfans who sometimes chartered trips on trolleys and trains. The video at the link is from a 1939 trip they took from Los Angeles to points north of San Bernardino on the Pacific Electric red cars. At 5:32 you can see where tank cars were filled with Arrowhead water near the famous Arrowhead Hotel.

This is a silent amateur movie that offers a glimpse into the greater L.A. area. A few seconds are blank (6:10 to 6:20) followed by seemingly random shots of trolleys that may or may not have been part of this trip. In the comments section of the youtube link there are some mentions of locations seen.

This film was saved and made available by Periscope Film LLC. Learn more about them and how to support their work at .


Cabot Yerxa and his pueblo


Image: undated but may be 1939 based on the appearance of the construction just beginning. From . Photographer not identified.

Cabot Yerxa, the man who found the spring that made Desert Hot Springs famous, built a quirky four-story, 35-room pueblo between 1939 and his death in 1965. Now a museum run by the city of Desert Hot Springs—Yerxa was the town’s first mayor—the Hopi-inspired adobe structure is filled with memorabilia of his time as a homesteader; his encounters with Hollywood celebrities at the nearby Bar-H Ranch; his expedition to the Alaskan gold rush; and many other events.

Excerpt from .


Image: undated. From . Photographer not identified.

Learn more about Yerxa at .