Dewbert L. Bourland and Los Angeles Traction Company No. 86
This absolutely stunning image was sent to us by Guen Hodgson Sheets, and here is her story:
Dewbert L. Bourland [conductor, standing on the steps] was my step great-grandfather and I know he worked for the Los Angeles Railway Co. in 1918. In this picture he looks much younger than 39 and is why I say it is early 1900s. At this time in his life he lived in Orange County.
We believe this image may actually date from the late 1890s, but we welcome any comments. And we graciously thank Guen for contributing this wonderful image to share with Los Angeles traction fans.
Guen Hodgson Sheets Collection
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The Los Angeles Traction Co, the name of the railroad on the side of the car, was in existence from 1894 to 1910, from this point it became part of the Los Angeles Railway in 1911. The West Adams Line, originally called the Boyle Heights and West Adams Line (1899 to 1904) became part of the Los Angeles Interurban Railway on January 2, 1904, which split the line in two sections. The Eastern section became the Westlake and Boyle Heights Line, and the western end the West Adams Line. – Notes from Edmund Keilty “Angel Rails” 1996
So based on this observation, the photo may have been made as early as 1899, or as late as 1904.
The car appears to have an early version of the Type-K controller, and a hand brake. No sign of air-brake apparatus.
To further assist in dating this photo, note the car carries the destination sign “Salt Lake Station”. Jeff Asay’s book on the Union Pacific in the Los Angeles Basin indicates the San Pedro, Los Angeles, and Salt Lake Railroad came into existence in 1903 and only completed their route as far as Riverside at that time. Through trains started running to Salt Lake City in 1905. Prior to this, this local railroad was known to the public as the “Terminal Railroad”. The public would not know about anything having to do with a Salt Lake Railroad. Because of this, I would date this photo no earlier than 1904 and probably later.
Dewbert is my great uncle. In the 1910 Census he is in Redondo Beach and his occupation is listed as “conductor – electric cars”. He was about 30 years old at the time.
Very cool, Becky!