Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Learning about Our City


On April 10th of 1906, Santa Rosa experienced an earthquake which is better known as the Great San Francisco earthquake.  This map shows what happened to our city.

We're all probably familiar with the train tracks which are still there on the west side of town, which are currently being restored for our Smart Train.  But did you know that several other tracks existed in town at the time?  

A street that I often drive was originally the tracks of the Santa Rosa's Steam Railroad.  Looking at North Street, between 13th street and 17th Street (Now Pacific Ave), I understand why the Bekins Storage properties have no structures, and why the street is so wide between there and Pacific.  It was the northern end of the route, and the tracks split into several parallel lines to store the locomotives a night.  

I also see that there was a horse trolley from the Horse track at the Fairgrounds which followed Pressley Street out to Petaluma Hill Road, then north on Santa Rosa Ave to around Courthouse Square, north on Humboldt Street to Carr Ave, and then east to the City Cemetery.

There was also an electric trolley which ran from the present intersection of College and 4th Street out 4th to Railroad Square, then south on Railroad Ave (now Wilson Street) and Railroad and Olive Streets to Sebastopol Ave, and then east toward Sebastopol.

The map also details the blocks and buildings which were impacted by the earthquake, and the fire which followed.  

Much thanks to Mike Hargreaves, staff member of the City's Information Technology Department, for developing this historical map in February of 2006.

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