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Friday, May 26, 2017

Stations: Mack

The site of Mack on a 1913 US Geological Survey map.
Along the southern edge of Rancho Bolsa del Potrero y Morocojo (or La Sagrada Familia) once sat the simply-named Mack Station of the Pajaro Valley Railroad. This location is named after Charles McIntyre, a New Yorker who travelled to California near the end of the Gold Rush in 1850. McIntyre spent only a year mining before moving on to more profitable ventures, first running a hotel in Sacramento until 1852 and then moving to Santa Cruz County to farm until 1865. In that year, McIntyre began renting land near Castroville on a portion of the John Rogers Cooper's farm. He was there when Claus Spreckels began installing his railroad along the northern side of the Salinas River in 1890. McIntyre likely had no choice in the matter of the railroad since he was only a tenant farmer, but Spreckels still allowed him a stop on the line, naming it "Mack", a derogatory name akin to "Mick" for people of Scottish ancestry, although McIntyre himself was American-born. The stop undoubtedly meant that McIntyre grew sugar beets on at least a portion of his property for shipment out to the Spreckels refinery.

Like many of the stops along the Pajaro Valley Railroad line, Mack does not appear to have survived long for more than a decade or so. US Geological Survey maps from 1912-1913 show at this location a short road branching off from Molera Road which ends at the Pajaro River. There is a single structure at the end of this road which probably represents a building associated with the stop—possibly the McIntyre family's house. The map does not show any siding or spur at the site. When the station was ultimately abandoned is unknown, but the tracks remained in place until 1930 when the Southern Pacific Railroad removed them along the length of the line.

McIntyre lived until January 28, 1910. His wife, Maria Josefa Buelna, a Californio from Pueblo Branciforte, survived her husband by twelve years. Together, they had fifteen children, six boys and nine girls, many of whom survived to adulthood and produced myriad children of their own whose descendants still live in Monterey County today. His death may have marked the end of farming on the Cooper lot for the family, although he may have abandoned farming efforts there at any time after 1890, when the tracks were first installed.

Geo-Coordinates & Access Rights:
36.748˚N, 121.774˚W

The site of Mack is located on the south side of Molera Road just north of State Route 1 and Artichoke Lane. The location is still marked by an agricultural access road that ends at a large barn immediately beside the now-dry riverbed. Nothing of the original right-of-way or station survives at the site.

Citations & Credits:
  • Ingersoll, Luther A. (ed.). Memorial and Biographical History of the Coast Counties of Central California: Containing a History of this Important Section of the Pacific Coast from the Earliest Period of its Discovery to the Present Time, together with Glimpses of its Auspicious Future; Illustrations and Full-Page Portraits of some of its Eminent Men, and Biographical Mention of many of its Pioneers, and Prominent Citizens of To-day. Chicago: Lewis Publishing Company, 1893.

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