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Friday, September 13, 2013

Siesta Trestle (SLR Trestle #3)

Located immediately adjacent to Siesta's flag-stop, San Lorenzo River Trestle #3 along the Felton & Pescadero Railroad was once the subject of at least two postcards. It's scenic location in a broad clearing along the river that was often used as a dammed swimming hole didn't hurt its reputation.

Postcard of Siesta Trestle, circa 1910.
The Siesta Trestle, like the others, was built by the South Pacific Coast Railroad around 1885 then rebuilt by the Southern Pacific Railroad in the early 1900s when the route was broad-gauged. The expanded trestle included two tall hexagonal cement pillars placed on either bank of the river. These pillars held up a pre-fabricated steel bridge. Leading to the bridge on either side were wooden causeways supported by sets of four pilings placed at regular distances apart. At least one smaller cement pier, as well as perhaps an entire cement foundation, sat on the north bank of the river. The large swimming hole was located due north of the trestle crossing.

Another postcard of Siesta Trestle and possibly a different image, though the two probably date from roughly the same period and may have been taken by the same photographer.
Today, the southern edge of the trestle is located off of the Siesta subdivision at the end of Fern Street on private property. Both bridge piers survive as well as a large landing on the south bank of the river that may have been another cement foundation (obscured in the photographs above). The northern edge of the trestle is completely inaccessible to the public and is located on a stretch of private property off of Larkspur Street. Any remnants of the train surviving on that property are currently unknown to this historian.

Southern bridge pier of the Siesta Trestle with the northern bridge pier visible in the distance.
The approach to the Siesta Trestle from the south bank, with the river visible below and both piers showing.


  1. Wow! I never saw anything like those first two photos in this article! I had no idea what these
    bridges looked like when they were in operation!
    I assume more articles are coming regarding the
    three northernmost bridges on the Boulder Creek

  2. We used to spend plenty of time on this beach. No swimming because the river was too polluted from septic leakage. The swimming pool was not a place I would have ever bothered with - rocky, murky, fishing lines, sticks and junk. The piers were overgrown with small trees; I don't even remember that wall attached to the western pier. There were cement platforms on the western side where it looked like people walked down and sat while watching nature; I always wanted to clip the bushes back and put a chair there so that I could enjoy thing in the same way as in earlier days.

  3. This is bridge number seven on the 1894 map; if Zayante Creek, Newell Creek and Love Creek are included there are only six to this point; maybe one was lost by using a culvert.

  4. It's nber changed over the years. In my book, I number the bridges as over the river not in total. In that scheme, this is the sixth bridge over the river, the others being those at the beach, Big Trees, Felton, Ben Lomond, and Phillipshurst. The Felton bridge didn't exist before 1907, however. There is a fill between Felton and Bonny Brae which may have been a bridge originally. I can't think of any other potential places, though. I'll renumber these bridges in future edits and put up a bridge chronology to help keep them more consistent.