|Diagram of the likely location of Big Trees Landing in relation to the|
overall layout of the Henry Cowell and Welch Grove area.
(Map courtesy Google Maps)
|Possible image of the 1876 Big Trees Landing, falsely dated to 1871,|
which would predate the SC&F railroad by four years.
(Courtesy J. Paul Getty Museum*)
The existence of a picnic stop on the west bank of the San Lorenzo River along an otherwise freight-only route also suggests the existence of a siding at the site to park the tourist cars while timber-laden freight trains head down the canyon. The image above, assuming it is of the correct station, suggests that such a siding existed on the western edge of the station. It was very short—probably only long enough to hold the short shay engine and two or three narrow-gauged passenger cars—but it was effectual to protect the train from southward bound haulers. The platform, therefore, was on the eastern side facing the pathway to the river. If the image above is correct, it was a fairly narrow area but the platform was deep enough the protect the vacationers and had benches crafted into the railing. The railroad ties are off odd widths, which was common for the cheaply and hastily made SC&F RR. The image below shows the approach to the above station and the ties appear to be more standard in width, albeit still narrow-gauged. A pipe or narrow flume also passes overhead immediately before arriving at the station.
* William Henry Jackson, photographer (American, 1843 - 1942), Big Tree Station, Santa Cruz, about 1871; Albumen silver; image: 18.6 x 11.1 cm (7 5/16 x 4 3/8 in.), mount: 20.3 x 12.7 cm (8 x 5 in.) [The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles]
† Frank B. Rodolph Photograph Collection, "Down the Track" Big Tree Station, Santa Cruz County; Identifier 15; Album 9 : BANC PIC 1905.17154-PIC [U.C. Berkeley, Bancroft Library]