Cool pics of old La Mesa railroad depot and train!

Dad and son check out old steam locomotive on display at La Mesa Depot Museum.
Dad and son check out old steam locomotive on display at La Mesa Depot Museum.

I’ve driven past the La Mesa Depot Museum many times over the years, but have never stopped to check it out. Today I remedied that very unfortunate situation!

Here’s a ton of cool pics. The small display train and historic railroad depot are found along Spring Street near the center of La Mesa, in San Diego’s sunny East County. I walked from south to north with my camera.

A friendly volunteer told me a little bit about the locomotive, reefer (refrigerator) car and caboose on exhibit, plus facts about the old La Mesa depot and San Diego and Cuyamaca Eastern Railway line. The depot is La Mesa’s oldest building and the only surviving San Diego and Cuyamaca Railway Station. Over the years it has experienced a colorful history, serving as an antique store and a worm farm! Please refer to the interesting signs, and my captions. Hopefully you get an idea of how awesome this place is!

The La Mesa Depot Museum is operated by the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum, which displays many old trains in Campo, an hour’s drive east of San Diego near Mexico. I went there with my family when I was very young and took a fun train ride. I plan on going again one day!

Locomotive was donated after 43 years of service to the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum Association.
Locomotive was donated after 43 years of service to the Pacific Southwest Railway Museum Association.
Looking up into door of steam locomotive Mojave Northern Railroad #3.
Looking up into door of steam locomotive Mojave Northern Railroad #3.
Old No. 3 originally hauled lime from a quarry near Victorville, California.
Old No. 3 originally hauled lime from a quarry near Victorville, California.
Part of the complex machinery and controls in the steam locomotive's cab.
Part of the complex machinery and controls in the steam locomotive’s cab.
Pacific Fruit Express reefer car on display at old train depot in La Mesa, California.
Pacific Fruit Express reefer car on display at old train depot in La Mesa, California.
Southern Pacific Railroad caboose can be boarded free by visitors on Saturdays, 1-4 pm.
Southern Pacific Railroad caboose can be boarded free by visitors on Saturdays, 1-4 pm.
I saw a bunch of people during my short visit. There were many excited kids!
I saw a bunch of people during my short visit. There were many excited kids!
Entering the caboose, to check out what life was like working on the railroad.
Entering the caboose, to check out what life was like working on the railroad.
The conductor had high windows to see around the train during operation.
The conductor had high windows to see around the train during operation.
A freight train's conductor or crew could sit up here to see in every direction.
A freight train’s conductor or crew could sit up here to see in every direction.
That's quite a climb, even for a tall guy like me!
That’s quite a climb, even for a tall guy like me!
The small La Mesa depot sits near tracks now used by the San Diego Trolley Orange Line.
The small La Mesa depot sits near tracks now used by the San Diego Trolley Orange Line.
The depot opened in 1894, and this 44-star flag would've flown above it.
The depot opened in 1894, and this 44-star flag would’ve flown above it.
Information sign outlines the early history of La Mesa's train depot.
Information sign outlines the early history of La Mesa’s train depot.
Historical photograph of a train stopping at La Mesa.
Historical photograph of a train stopping at La Mesa.
In the early 20th century the depot was sold and moved on various occasions.
In the early 20th century the depot was sold and moved on various occasions.
McKeen Car at the La Mesa Depot.
McKeen Car at the La Mesa Depot.
This very small building contains lots of cool stuff!
This very small building contains lots of cool stuff!
City of La Mesa Historic Landmark No. 6 on side of 1894 train depot.
City of La Mesa Historic Landmark No. 6 on side of 1894 train depot.
Ticket office in depot contains various old telephones and a telegraph.
Ticket office in depot contains various old telephones and a telegraph.
The telegraph key still works!
The telegraph key still works!
Telegraphic messages were received here!
Telegraphic messages were received here!
Looking out through ticket window at the tiny train depot waiting room.
Looking out through ticket window at the tiny train depot waiting room.
In one corner of the office is an old-fashioned manual typewriter.
In one corner of the office is an old-fashioned manual typewriter.
This old wood stove still works and provides a lot of heat!
This old wood stove still works and provides a lot of heat!
Signs bring to life the old train time table and Western Union office.
Signs bring to life the old train time table and Western Union office.
An old railway hand cart for hauling freight or luggage.
An old railway hand cart for hauling freight or luggage.
Sign tells complex story of the San Diego, Cuyamaca and Eastern Railroad.
Sign tells complex story of the San Diego, Cuyamaca and Eastern Railroad.
Here comes the San Diego Trolley, approaching the nearby La Mesa Boulevard station.
Here comes the San Diego Trolley, approaching the nearby La Mesa Boulevard station.
The La Mesa Depot Museum is a fun place to visit on a Saturday afternoon!
The La Mesa Depot Museum is a fun place to visit on a Saturday afternoon!

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Published by

Richard Schulte

Downtown San Diego has been my home for many years. My online activities reflect my love for writing, blogging, walking and photography.

6 thoughts on “Cool pics of old La Mesa railroad depot and train!”

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