Trains, Railroads, and the Huntington Family

A Southern Pacific Railroad train. In the 1890’s & 1900 Collis P. Huntington was the President of the Southern Pacific Co. The company operated large ships, ferries, & trains all across the United States & Mexico.

by Nancy Armitage

Trains across America were the Huntington’s Family business. Collis P. Huntington was the President of Southern Pacific Co.; before that it was the Union Pacific Railroad & the Central Pacific Railroad. The Southern Pacific Company which ran trains, ships, & ferries all over America in the 1880’s to early 1900’s.

C. P. Huntington was one of the “Big 4”, we heard about him in California History in junior high & high school. The Big 4: were Collis Huntington, Mark Hopkins, Leland Stanford (Gov. of California), & Charles Crocker. In the 1840’s, Huntington & Hopkins became partners & opened up a hardware store on “K” Street in Sacramento, CA. They sold hardware & supplies to the gold miners in the 1840’s in Northern California. In 1869, it was the Big 4’s brains, money, & ambition to achieved the Union Pacific & the Central Pacific Railroad to met in the middle of the United States of America (at Promitory Point, Utah). They lead the USA into better trade, commerce, & economy throughout America; then into foreign trade. So later in 1890’s, what was once Union Pacific & Central Pacific Railroad Companies became the Southern Pacific Co.

In 1890’s, Collis Huntington had 50,000 employees under him at Southern Pacific Company, no small task to run that large company. When Collis Huntington died in August of 1900, it was rumored that the economy of the United States would be shaken, he was so wealthy. The day that they buried this great American man, Collis Huntington, they stopped all operations of trains, ships, & ferries for 9 mins.

For years, Collis had groomed Henry E. Huntington (Collis’ favorite nephew) to replace him as President when he passed away. But when it came to a executive vote of the President at the Southern Pacific; the board didn’t vote for H.E. Huntington; they voted for H. E. Harriman instead.

Which was probably a big blessing in disguise for “Edwards”(HEH). H. E. Huntington had started his own railways in Southern California. Like the Pacific Electric Railway Co. or “P. E.”, The Los Angeles Railway (also called Los Angeles Interurban Railway) & Pasadena Railway, Los Angeles-Redondo Railway and Santa Ana-Newport & even Mt. Lowe Railway in Altadena & several other lines. He started PE & purchased LA & Pas, & Mt. Lowe Railway lines. He even owned the Wilmington Steamship Company (1918) for a time, ships which took people over to Avalon, Santa Catalina Island. He owned Chesapeake & Ohio Railway & the numerous other train & ship companies Collis Huntington owned/stock after he died in 1900 like Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock, in Newport News, VA .

Southern Pacific Co. Offices (President: Collis Huntington) NYC and SF, CA

Collis P. Huntington main office branches of Southern Pacific Co. where in New York & San Francisco. The offices were on Broad St. in NYC & San Francisco on Montgomery St. He also owned large amounts of stock in all of these companies & many more. In the 1890’s, Collis nephew, H. E. Huntington was the Secretary to the President at Southern Pacific Co.

Collis P. Huntington List of Companies (1870-1900):

This is a very long list of the Railroads, Steamships, & Ferry Companies that Collis P. Huntington owned, or was the President of, and/or he was a Director. This List was made in 1900 when he died; it is quite amazing:

Train Companies:

Ashland Improvement Co. , Astoria & Columbia River RR Co. Brooklyn Rapid Transit Co.(New York) , California Pacific RR Co. (California), Chesapeake & Ohio & Southwestern Railway Co. (1881-1886), Forest Park & Land Co. , Hammond Lumber Co., Manhattan RR Co., Market Street Railway CO. (San Francisco, CA) , Market Street Omnibus Co. (1891-1892), Maryville & Big Sandy RR Co. Metro Trust Co. , Sacramento Valley Railroad (1875), Southern Pacific Co. Scioto Valley RR Co. (1886-1890), Spring Mt. Coal Co. -Virginia(1872) Newport News & Mississippi Valley Co., Western Development Co. (1877-78) and Western Union Telegraphy Co. Document: HEH Collection HEH Boxes198, 199, & 200 (Private papers of H. E. Huntington & Collis P. Huntington) at the Huntington Library, San Marino, CA ; Syracuse University, NY

Steamship Companies:

California Steam Navigation Co. , Chesapeake Dry Dock & Construction Co (1891), Chesapeake & Ohio Steamship Co., Cincinnati- Big Sandy & Pomeroy Packet Co., Colorado Navigation Co., Duke Steamship Line (Newport News VA to Liverpool, England), Morgan Steamship Line, Occidental & Oriental Steamship Co (with Jay Gould), Old Dominion Steamship Co., Newport News Ship Building & Dry Dock Co. in Newport News, VA, Pacific Mail Steamship Co., Richmond Elevator Co., San Francisco-Oakland Ferry Co., United States & Brazil Steamship Co. Document: HEH Collection HEH Boxes198, 199, & 200 (Private papers of H.E. Huntington & Collis P. Huntington) at the Huntington Library, San Marino, CA ;Syracuse University NY

Collis Huntington Invested:

Congo Railroad – Africa, British East Africa Co., Pacific Improvement Co. Southern Development Co. ( 1891-1892) Document: Syracuse University, NY [also Union Pacific & Central Pacific Railroad to become the Southern Pacific Co.

Collis Huntington was President or Director of these companies at his death in 1900:

Esquimalt & Nauamino Railway Co., Galveston, Harrisburg, & San Antonia Railway Co., Guatamala Central Railroad Co. Louisiana & Western RR Co., Louisiana & Western Extension, Oregon & Califoria Railroad Co. (V.P.), Racquette Lake Railroad Co., South Bridge & RR Co., Southern Pacific Co. (formed in 1884) Document: HEH Collection HEH Boxes198,199, &200 (Private papers of H.E. Huntington & Collis P. Huntington) at the Huntington Library, San Marino, CA

Collis Huntington was a Director of these companies in 1900:

Detroit Gas Co. Fuente Coal Co. (Mexico), Galveston Houston RR Co., Gulf, Western & Pacific RR Co. International Construction Co. Mexican International RR Co., Morgan’s Louisiana & Texan RR Co, NY & Texan & Mexican Railway Co. Newport News Light & Water Co. , Northern Pacific or No Pacific Terminal Co. of Oregon, Old Dominion Land Co. , Old Dominion Steamship Co., Oregonian Railway Co., Portland & Yanhill (sp.) RR Co., So Pacific Coast Railway Co., Union Collieny Co. of British Columbia, Western Union Telegraph Co. Document: HEH Collection HEH Boxes198,199, & 200 (Private papers of H.E. Huntington & Collis P. Huntington) at the Huntington Library, San Marino, CA

Train Passes for Huntington Family

In Mr. H. E. Huntington’s personal papers, I found many of Mr. Henry E. Huntington’s train passes (20) for various railroad he owned or was president of. Some of these special railroad passes were for his mother, Mrs. Solon Huntington “Harriet”. He also took great care of his mother, his sister & his family, always paying for their traveling and fancy meals, & excursions, etc.

These were 3 railroad passes I found in Mr. H.E. Huntington personal papers. They were all assigned to his mother, Mrs. Solon Huntington “Harriet”& a companion. She lived in Oneonta, NY & would travel across the country to visit her Huntington family in San Francisco. She would come, a couple times a year in Spring & in December. She often visited H.E. Huntington after he bought the San Marino Ranch (1903). He would pay for his mother to lodge at the grand Hotel Van Nuys or Hotel Alexandria in downtown Los Angeles. Notice the 2nd pass: it Santa Ana and Newport, CA, not Rhode IsIand.

The Huntington Family: Collis P. Huntington & Arabella D. Huntington then later Arabella Huntington & Henry E. Huntington owned many different train companies, or was the President of them or owned stock in the train companies. (Check HEH Bio file for list)

List of the  the Huntington Family’s private RR Train Cars:

From the 1890’s to early 1900’s the Huntington Family (Collis and H.E.Huntington) owned several private railroad cars: “Oneonta I”, & “Oneonta II”, “The Ostego” or Oswego, “Sacramento, “Alabama”, “San Marino I”, & “San Marino II”, & “Guadalupe” (HEH & his son, Howard). They were all named after the Huntington’s family birthplace: “Oneonta”, (HEH) Ostego was the county Collis was born in, Alabama (HEH’s train car but named after Arabella birthplace) maybe bought in 1900 , “Sacramento” Clara Huntington who became Princess Clara Hatzfeltz (Collis’ niece & adopted daughter) “San Marino I” (HEH) & “San Marino II” (HEH) they had a red and white striped awning on the rear, H.E Huntington & his son Howard’s private rr car was “Guadalupe”. “The Oneonta II” & the “San Marino II” were made to have a small traveling entourage & provisions that the Huntingtons traveled with. There was sometimes a large entourage of employee and staff traveling with the Huntingtons: 2 Butlers, 2 footmen, a cook, Mrs. Huntington’s ladies maid, Mr. H.E. Huntington’s or Collis’ gentlemen’s valet, Mr. (Collis or HEH) Huntington personal secretary & Mrs. Arabella Huntington personal secretary, also.

If the Huntington’s went to their Great Huntington Camp property in the Adirondacks Mt. in Autumn… It would have looked like this picture. The warm color palette of yellow, bright orange, red and rust colored leaves. They would have taken the train north of New York City to Albany and then to Saratoga Springs. They would have switched trains and ended on the Racquette Railway Train to get to Racquette Lake, take a steamship over the lake to Camp Pine Knot, there 300+ acres in the mountains and the lake.

Think of these little jeweled private train cars like rich people’s yachts. They would decorate them with finest of fabrics: tapestry, elegant velvet, & the finest damask fabric. They were made with beautiful woods of mahogany & walnut. Comfort for the Huntington’s long cross country trips.

A piece of mail to be delivered to “Private Car, Otsego” (owned by the Huntington’s). I found this envelope was in Mr. H.E. Huntington’s private papers; just a envelope no contents. The envelope being from George M. Hoffman from Excelsior Market on 6th St. in New York, it was probably a grocery invoice. I’m going to assume it was food & provisions for the Huntington train car & their journey from NYC to California (either San Francisco or Los Angeles). That said invoice would have probably been handed to the Huntington’s Valet or Head butler or the Cook to check to see if all grocery items arranged on the private railroad car. Then the Head Butler or Mr. H.E. Huntington would had keep the invoice and given later to the Huntington’s accountant Mr. C.E. Graham in NYC to pay the bill.

Mr. H. E. Huntington’s “San Marino I” & “San Marino 2 ” private railroad cars:

An article in the Smithsonian Magazine describes Mr. Henry E. Huntington’s private railroad car. It gives us some clues on what it looked like:

“Some private cars are jewel boxes on wheels. The ‘San Marino’, a 1916 Pullman-built car, looks stately in a red coat of paint with gold stripes. The rear platform’s candy-striped awning [red & white] awning & polished brass railing add a dash of old-fashioned charm. The 82 ft. long car is partitioned into eight rooms. Built for railroad man & art collector, Henry Huntington, it still has its original Black forest walnut paneling, brass beds, & nickel silver sinks, & ornate fixtures that were standard in the luxury cars that George Pullman first began producing in the 1860’s.” Document:

When I found this document, I realized that the Huntington Family traveled with a large entourage of people: servants & employees like private social secretaries, with butlers and footmen too.. In 1921, the family was traveling on the train, this document depicts the people in “San Marino II” private railroad car. And the San Marino I slept 5 people: So they were traveling – Mr. & Mrs. H.E. Huntington (Edwards & Belle) with Carrie Campbell (ADH social secretary) & Jeannie Reifer (ADH private ladie’s maid) & Mr. George Hapgood (HEH’s social secretary) & his gentlemen’s valet Alfonzo Gomez & Head Butler Angus McGiliverary. What is great I could attach titles like footmen to names, like the cook on the train was Lena Nyderk.

We also know that Huntington’s private railroad car “San Marino” had 3-4 bedrooms, bathrooms, a sitting room, & a dining room that could sit 12 guests. Room for 3 employees (train porters, tain cook, & assistants to the Huntingtons) & sleeping quarters & bathrooms for them, also. So this private car slept 5 people & the rest of the Huntington’s entourage slept in the “San Marino II”, This 2nd car was filled with many provisions, food, and treasures that Mrs. Huntington’s might have purchased on her journey. Maybe a new French painting or tablecloth or napkins, fine bone china or porcelains.

6 days cross-country, on a train from San Marino Ranch to New York City:

Mr. H. E. Huntington train schedule (below), either typed up by HEH or his social secretary, Mr. George Hapgood. Dated in the year 1921, it was unusual that HEH was traveling east from NYC to SMR in late June. Edwards (HEH) and Belle were usually abroad a Cunard Ocean Liner to Europe in June for the summertimes. It was the usually stops I’ve seen in their travels like New Orleans and Savannah GA & Texas to visit Arabella’s family.

Itinerary for Mr. H. E. Huntington (R.R. schedule from LA to NYC)

A itinerary for a journey to the east coast, typed up by Mr. H. E. Huntington or Mr. George Hapgood [HEH’s personal secretary]. This journey didn’t have the usual stops, that the Huntingtons usually had on their train trips. They would normally stop in New Orleans, Atlanta GA, & San Marcos, Texas often to see Belle brothers & her family. But it is a interesting document.

Document: HEH Collection HEH Box 198 (uncat) Huntington Library, San Marino CA. Nancy Note: Train from Los Angeles to NYC. It tooks exactly 6 days for H.E. Huntington to travel from San Marino Ranch to No. 2 57th Street in New York City.

This is a interesting 1923 list (below) of Ranch vegetables & provisions for a train trip on the “San Marino I” private railroad car of H. E. Huntington’s. The list was made by HEH’s sister, Carrie Huntington Holladay. I’m assuming these fresh vegetables, produce, and meat were used in the kitchen on the train trip. Other provisions were purchased at local Pasadena markets.

Timeline of trains & the Huntingtons:

1890’s Train north to Huntington Great Camp “Pine Knot Lodge” on Racquette Lake in upper State NY. From No.2 E. 57th St. NYC : a train to Saratoga Springs to train north to the NY Camps; – “Camp Pine Knot”.   The trip was so harsh that 30 yr. old Belle Huntington stated to Collis that if he ever wanted her to  go back to Camp Pine Knot at Racquette Lake in the Adirondack Mt., that Collis was going to have to build a railroad to get them up there!! It was just too difficult to travel, this was called the “Mrs. Huntington Threat”, & Mr. Collis Huntington with the help of Theodore Roosevelt got Racquette Lake Railway built.

“The Raquette Lake Railway Company was chartered on Feb. 20, 1899 & dissolved on August 17, 1938. …in its heyday, the railway carried over 10,000 visitors each season [summertime]…the well-to-do who had camps in the area- the Durants, Huntingtons, Webbs, [Vanderbilts & the Carnegies] & the Whitneys who were tired of the long dusty journey by stagecoach from the Fulton Chain Station (now Thendara) or the 37-mile buckboard ride from North Creek to Blue Mountain Lake & then by steamer to Raquette Lake”. Document: Nancy Note: the station at Raquette Lake was so large, like a warehouse, it housed all these families private railroad cars.

1894 Train Trip: from NYC to SF “The Oneonta I” private railroad car (Collis & Arabella Huntington & the “Ostega” or “Ostego” (Mr. Frances& Edwards,(HEH) Mr. Hutchison: The Huntington family (Collis & Belle) with niece Carrie Huntington, & son Archer. This trip across country by train was record by Collis Huntington’s niece, Carrie Huntington(Diary), Collis’s niece Clara Huntington, Collis nephew: Edward Huntington (HEH) .

In her diary, Carrie Huntington goes into great detail of the train stops of the train. etc. notes The diary entry start on Sat. Feb. 10,1894 Mobile AL to New Orleans, Feb. 11, 1894 from New Orleans LA to Galveston Texas, Feb. 13,1894 New Orleans to Houston Texas, Wed. Feb. 14, 1894 Houston thru Corpus Christi – San Antonio – Kennedy, Thurs. Feb. 15, 1894 San Antonio to Lang, Fri. Feb. 16, 1894 Spent night in El Paso Texas Feb 17: spent night in Phoeix, AZ, Feb. 18th Yuma AZ to Indio & Colton CA, Feb. 19, 1894 Springs [Palm Springs] and Indio, Monday Feb. 20, 1894 Got into Los Angeles tour thru Santa Monica to see pier & ostrich farm. Returned to Los Angeles where we spent the night. Feb, 21, 1894 Bakerfield, Feb. 22,1894 got to San Francisco, CA & Oakland pier. Document: HEH Collection HEH 1210 (Carrie Huntington’s diary)

Menu of the Southern Pacific train, dates 1900-1901. Menu found at the New York Public Library, Buttolph Collection

Sat. Feb. 10, 1894 [Mobile to New Orleans] Reached Mobile [Alabama] about 5 pm where we were delayed an hour.

1900: Collis P. Huntington’s “Alabama” (HEH) maybe bought in 1900. Collis Huntington named his trains where the family was born: “Oneonta” (HEH), “Alabama” (ADH), etc. Alabama is where Arabella was born, “Sacramento” Clara Huntington later-Princess Clara Huntington von Hatzfeldt.

August 1900: Collis dies up in Camp Pine Knot on Racquette Lake in upper state New York up in the Adirondack Mt. they would have had to bring his body back to Manhattan Island, NYC , travel home to NYCon the Racquette Railway.

Aug. 1900: Collis P. Huntington the day he was buried, they stopped all transportation for -9 minutes (all the transportation boats, ferries, & train that he was in charge of, President of the Southern Pacific Co. which owned all across America). Collis Huntington had 50,000 employees working for the Southern Pacific Co. (NYC & SF) The San Francisco Call newspaper said ” The shops will cease their bustle, engines will pause upon the rails and ferries will rest quietly upon the water while the body of him [Collis P. Huntington] who was once the head of all is borne to the grave.’ Document: San Francisco Call newspaper -info from The Lost C. P. Huntington Mansion No 2 E. 57th St. NYC Daytonian in Manhattan

Thurs. Feb. 4, 1904 From San Francisco to Los Angeles – San Marino Ranch “HEH, with Carrie (HEH’s sister) & Harriet [HEH’s mother Mrs. Solon Huntington] went to Los Angeles at 6pm Coast Line [railway] with Elizabeth [Huntington- HEH’s daughter]- she took Adeline Church along as maid” Document HEH Coll. MS 53/2 (1-20 uncat (Holladay Family papers)

April 1906 H. E. Huntington heard of the great San Francisco EQ/Fire in Los Angeles. The first thing he did was get in his private railroad cars: the “Oneonta I” & “Oneonta II” & traveled to San Francisco, .California to help his family. He brought provisions & food Mrs. Collis P. Huntington’s (Arabella ) Nob Hill Mansion was completely leveled & destroyed. Mrs. Huntington’s household staff were so smart as to grab some her favorite paintings & the large portrait painting of Arabella, and a portrait of Collis, when they could before the mansion went up in flames.

October 1909: Former President Howard Taft visits Los Angeles County, CA. First, a mass amount of private railroad cars to meet the President Taft at his ship in the San Pedro Harbor (LA, CA). The mayor of Los Angeles, Mayor George Alexander, then they all take route to LA the whole caravan of train cars. They enjoy a banquet with the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce Banquet at Shrine Auditorium on the evening of October 11, 1909 at 7:30 PM. Tues. Trip to Soldiers home in Hollywood [Veterans Hospital in Westwood, CA] & Los Angeles street Parade. Staying at the Alexandria Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. Then auto trip to Pasadena & luncheon at the Hotel Maryland [HEH & HL&I Co. owned], train from Pasadena to San Bernardino. Auto trip to Redlands, Colton, Smiley Heights & Riverside. Arrival at the Glenwood hotel [Mission Inn] in Riverside – [HEH is a silent partner in this hotel] Banquet Dinner at the Glenwood Hotel . Departure to Arizona & then off to Washington DC.. Mr. H. E. Huntington was in Car No. 7 with James Slauson Hon Frank Hitchcock, John Kays Hammond, & Dr. John Willis Baer. Document: Los Angeles Herald Vol. 37, number 8, Oct. 9, 1909 “All Details of Taft’s Visit are fully arranged”.

Oct. 11, 1909 Shrine Auditorium Banquet Dinner Los Angeles CA – Dinner Menu: Amontillado 1875 [sherry] with Green Turtle aux Quenelles, Celery Ripe Olives & Almonds [Relish], Sauterne [Wine served with] Lobster au Gratin in Cucumber Shell, Burgundy with Squab Chicken, Artichoke Barigoule & Potatoes Chateau, Mumms 1898 Champagne with Giant Asparagus Mayonnaise, EPO P 1800 with Desserts of Assorted Cakes & Coffee with Cigars, Cigarettes, & White Rock Water. Document: HEH Coll. MS Eph E40-199 [Huntington family menu Ephemera- HEH’s menu] at Huntington Library, San Marino, CA Pres. Taft must have not liked oysters, because all these fancy dinner meal always started with oysters on the half shell.

Oct. 12, 1909 President Howard Taft (27th President of the USA) visit to the Glenwood Hotel [Mission Inn, Riverside, CA] by train The Dinner Menu 8-10 course Dinner Menu: Riverside GrapeFruit, Green Turtle Clear in cups, Salted Almonds, Celery, Ripe Mission Grapes, Boiled California Striped [Sea]Bass wIth Hollandaise Sauce, Saratoga Potatoes, Roast Riverside Turkey with Cranberry Sauce, Fruit Punch, Mission Inn Orange Salad, Green Apple Pie, Orange Cake, Homemade Peppermint Wafers, Orange Straws, Roquefort cheese with Bent’s Water Crackers. Document: HEH Coll. MS Eph E40-200 [Huntington family menu ephemera- HEH’s menu]. Taft must have not liked oysters, because it was on the menu. Nancy Note: HEH was a silent partner of the Glenwood-Mission Inn hotel in Riverside, CA.

1916 H. E. Huntington & his wife, Arabella D. Huntington travel to Paso Robles, Calif. trip on the train to go to special baths of Paso Robles,CA. Document: HEH Coll. MS 10968 (Burkes Journals – Mr. Huntington’s brother-in- law)

1917  H. E. Huntington owns Mt. Lowe Railway Co. He bought it from Mr. Lowe when Lowe went into bankruptcy. On Aug. 16, 1917 Huntington family trip to Mt. Lowe up through Altadena into the San Gabriel Mountains. On a clear day, you can see Santa Catalina Island out in the Pacific Ocean. Document: HEH Coll. MS 10968 (Burkes Journals – Mr. Huntington’s brother-in-law)

Sat. September 20, 1919 [San Marino Ranch , CA] Edwards [HEH] & Belle with Carrie Campbell and Mr. Hapgood left for New York on Santa Fe in the morning in Edwards private car, “San Marino”. Carrie, Helen & I drove over to the other house [Huntington’s Guest Cottage] at 830 while they were at breakfast. Leslie & Howard [Huntington’s son] came in– & we all went with them to the Santa Fe station at Pasadena where they got aboard” Document: HEH Coll HEH 10968 [Burke Holladay Journals Aug. 1914- Dec. 21, 1918 Burke was HEH’s brother in law.

1919-1920 Henry E. Huntington was building the Huntington Library building on the San Marino Ranch. He moved the Collis P. Huntington Library Collection located at No. 4 E. 57th St. NYC, NY to the San Marino Ranch. Technically the Collis P. Huntington Library was next door, an extension to the Huntington Mansion at No. 2. It probably took several trips to do this monumental task. I saw the letter head of the NYC Huntington Library & it had the address as No. 4 E. 57th Street, attached to the Huntington Mansion at No. 2 E. 57th St. NYC NY.

March 8, 1920 H. E. & Belle Huntington arrived at the San Marino Ranch by train from NYC. They stayed until late June 1920. With a lot of entertainments at the Huntington Mansion on the Ranch in those 2 months. Document: HEH Coll. MS 10968 (Burkes Journals – Mr. Huntington’s brother in law)

After June 21, 1920 San Marino Ranch: H. E. Huntington & Arabella D. Huntington left the on San Marino I & San Marino II train cars. to NYC. Because on July 31 1920: The H. E. Huntingtons are aboard grand Cunard ship called “RMS Aquitania” with a large entourage of staff Mr. Hapgood, Miss Campbell, Miss Jeanne Riefer, Angus McGillvary (Head Butler), T. Alfonso Gomez (HEH’s valet & 2nd butler), James Temple (Footman). They are traveling to La Harve, France & then took a train south to Paris, switching train to St. Cloud, France. Then driving in their limos to their (leased for 10 yrs.) Chateau Beauregard. Which was a very large chateau by Versailles & Sevres factory and 20 minutes from Paris; it had 114 rooms. Document: HEH Collection Chateau Beauregard 7 boxes (uncat)

Abt. March 6th, 1921 Huntington Mansion NYC: H. E. Huntingtons leave their No. 2 East 57th St. NYC- Huntington Mansion. By private railroad car “San Marino I & II” & travel across country to their beloved San Marino Ranch by Pasadena, California, (it took about 6 days depending if they stopped overnight somewhere or saw family. Document: HEH Coll. MS 10968 (Burkes Journals – Mr. Huntington’s brother in law)

March 13, 1921 San Marino Ranch, CA: H. E. Huntington (Edwards & Belle) arrive at the San Marino Ranch by train. They stay on the ranch until June 15-16, 1921. In Burke’s Journals, he informs us that the Huntingtons are at Chateau Beauregard on Sept. 21, 1921. Document: HEH Coll HEH 10968 [Burke Holladay Journals Aug. 1914-Dec. 21, 1918 Burke was HEH’s brother in law.

Jan. 1, 1922 Huntington Mansion, San Marino Ranch: Mr. & Mrs. H.E. Huntington (Edwards & Belle) arrive at the Ranch by train from NYC. HEH’s son Howards Huntington after having ulcer problem in his stomach, dies on March 27, 1922. Thanksgiving & Christmas unusual but the Huntingtons are at the Ranch in 1922 & 1923.

Monday, June 16,1924 San Marino Ranch, CA,: H. E. Huntington & Arabella D. Huntington “Belle & Edwards” leave the ranch by Private railroad car: “San Marino I & San Marino I I”. Burke Holladay writes in his journal “Edward & Belle[Huntington] left their San Marino home to go to NY. Carrie & I took dinner with them (as we all did last night) & they left at about 10AM. Document: HEH Coll MS 10968 Historical note: This was Arabella very last day on the San Marino Ranch in California

San Marino I & “San Marino II” – H. E. Huntington’s private railroad cars

“Car Barn ” (San Marino Ranch, Calif.)

Mr. & Mrs. H. E. Huntington’s (Arabella) they owned the “San Marino I” & San Marino II” private railroad train cars (built in 1916). These large elegant trains were housed on the San Marino Ranch in a large “Car Barn”. I found it on a map of the San Marino Ranch. The “Car Barn” was located outside the east gate of the San Marino Ranch on Oxford on Stratford Street. But at the time the SMR stretched out to Sierra Madre Blvd. which was called “Huntington Dr.” at the time very-confusing I know. On the map it had 2 Huntington Drives.

“San Marino II” private railroad car was for more people (like his sister & her husband Burke and his mother Harriet Huntington -Mrs. Solon Huntington) & provisions like  railroad train cars.

“San Marino I” was a treasure of a car, it was  82 ft. long & 8 rooms.(Pullman-built RR car made in 1916), it was bright red with gold strips, rear end platform balcony had a candy stripe (Red & White) awning & polished brass railing, very handsome indeed. It had a dining room (that could fit 12 people), a parlor/sitting room, bathrooms & showers, the Huntington’s bedroom, a galley kitchen (they hired 3 train employees ( who Huntington paid the whole year). They had a porter, a chefs and an assistant to the Huntingtons) 

In the Mr. & Mrs. H. E. Huntington (Belle & Edwards) large silver flatware collection there were two large boxes, some were from the Huntington Mansion & some were marked “SMI” which would mean “San Marino I”, the Huntingtons private rail road car. There was a silver service for 12 guests on board their train car. In Mrs. Huntington’s large collection of tablescape items, linens- tablecloths, fancy damask & lace napkins. Many of the napkins were embroidered with “SMI” for their train car.

Famous Dining-Car French Toast

“During the heyday of the transcontinental train travel, Dining Car French Toast was a favorite breakfast and the specialty of many railroad dining car chefs.

6 slices dry bread 3/4 ” thick and 2-3 days old

4 eggs

1 c. cream or half and half

dash of nutmeg

cooking oil for frying

confectioners sugar [powdered sugar]

Jelly, maple syrup or [orange] marmalade

Trim crust from bread and cut each slice in half diagonally. Beat slightly the eggs, cream, salt, and nutmeg. Soak bread slices a few at a time, in egg mixture and drain. Fry in 1/4′ oil (325) until golden on both sides. Drain on paper toweling. Place on baking sheet & heat in hot over (400@) for 3-4 mins. or until puffed. Sprinkle with confectioners sugar and serve with jelly, maple syrup or marmalade. p214 Book: The Old-Fashioned Cookbook by Jan McBride Carlton 1936 [Some RR French toast has corn flake cereal as a coating]

Railroad Salad Dressing

Used on the Central Pacific Railroad Dining Car in 1863, Sacramento, CA. I’ve adapted the savory recipe from Original Cowboy Cookbook by Wild Wes Medley 1988. It could be drizzle on a green salad, cole slaw, slice tomatoes or mushroom, etc. Historical Note: Collis P. Huntington was the President of the Central Pacific RR & Southern Pacific Railroad Co.

2 C. mayonnaise

1 C. catsup

3 garlic cloves, minced

4 T. worchestershire sauce

1 t. red paprika

pinch of cayenne pepper

pinch of sugar

1 t. or less salt

4 t. champagne or white wine vinegar

In a small bowl, add all ingredient & whisk. Chill in refrigerator.


Document HEH Coll. MS 53/2 (1-20 uncat (Holladay Family papers) Huntington Library SM CA

Document: HEH Coll HEH 10968 [Burke Holladay Journals Aug. 1914-Dec. 21, 1918 Huntington Library, San Marino, CA -Burke was HEH’s brother in law.

Document: HEH Coll. HEH Box 198 (Mr. H.E. Huntington private papers- on Seabroad Railroad trip] Huntington Library San Marino, CA

Document: Los Angeles Herald Newspaper Vol. 37, number 8, Oct. 9, 1909 “All Details of Taft’s Visit are fully arranged”.

Document: HEH Coll. MS Eph E40-199 [Huntington family menu Ephemera- HEH’s menu] at Huntington Library, San Marino, CA

Document: (HEH “San Marino I” Pullman-created railroad car)

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