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If you have information on local railroads, photographs or railroad documents, or you feel a mistake has been made or information omitted from an article, email me at This site would not be possible without your help and support. Thank you! – Derek R. Whaley

Friday, September 13, 2013

Hotel Ben Lomond Trestle (SLR Trestle #1)

Along the Felton & Pescadero Railroad, originally operated by the South Pacific Coast and later by the Southern Pacific Railroad, there were seven points where the right-of-way crossed the San Lorenzo River. San Lorenzo River Trestle #1, heading north from Felton, was just west of Ben Lomond beside the Hotel Ben Lomond and just north of the confluence of Marshall Creek and the river. At least two trestles were built on or around this location since the original narrow-gauged trestle would have been replaced in the early 1900s to support broad-gauged trains.

Postcard showing the entrance to Hotel Ben Lomond along the railroad right-of-way, unknown date.
Only one extant image has been found thus far of this trestle, but it is an interesting trestle to be sure. Beginning from just behind the hotel, the trestle entered a long wooden causeway supported by multiple rows of pilings. A single solid cement or wooden base foundation, shorter than most, sat beside the river at the end of this causeway to support the portion of the trestle that crossed the river. Interestingly, at least for some of its history, probably the broad-gauged portion, the trestle was enclosed in a custom-built channel. The photograph below shows this. The purpose of this strange box is unknown, though it could have been to reduce the amount of debris kicked into the river in an area that was quite clearly used as a swimming hole by hotel patrons.

Postcard of the Hotel Ben Lomond Trestle east of Ben Lomond looking south, unknown date. (Courtesy Valley Press)
Hotel Ben Lomond Trestle looking north from the swimming hole. (Courtesy Craig Polson)
This trestle today is located behind the parking lot of the Tyrolian Inn, though some bushwacking and/or trespassing is involved in reaching the site. The trestle itself is entirely gone and even the cement pillar seems to have disappeared, though it may have become buried in silt collected on the side of the river. The cement support wall on the northern side of the trestle is still intact and currently being used to support the foundation of a home built on the right-of-way. The bases of four pilings can still be seen in front of this cement wall. If similar pilings exist on the east bank of the river, they have long since been buried.

The west bank of the trestle showing the cement and stone wall with four sawed-off pilings at its base.

1 comment:

  1. More photos of a trestle I never saw the looks of
    when it was in operation! Great work digging up
    these photos! You certainly keep busy researching
    these gems!