Ontario & San Antonio Heights Railway Company
An engraving showing the Ontario & San Antonio Heights Railway Company from the foot of the line, in Ontario, looking north to Upland and Mount Baldy.
The line began operating with mule cars in 1887, a mule hauling the little single-truck car from State St.(Ontario) due north to San Antonio Heights, about ten miles north and 1200 feet higher; on the return trip the motive power climbed aboard a tiny trailer and coasted down with the car. When O&SA electrified the line in 1895, the mules became the property of a nearby rancher; the story goes that the temperamental animals pulled the plough fine uphill, but refused to work downhill.
A thirty-acre amusement park was built by the company of San Antonio Heights, with a powerhouse adjoining. Heavy crowds were transported along Euclid Ave. in the early days, for the line connected Ontario with Upland, provided connections between the SP Station at Ontario and the Santa Fe Station at Upland, and cared for the thongs bound for pleasure-seeking at the Park. Euclid Ave. was famous for it divided highway; in the wide center strip was a double line of huge pepper trees, and between the rows of trees, set a grass-covered private way, went the single track of this line.
Owned after electrification by Ontario Electric Company, the line became the property of the Pacific Light & Power Corporation. in a merger in 1908. Mr. William G. Kerckhoff, at that time president of PL&P, energetically pushed the expansion of the O&SA by building its branch to San Bernardino. However, the O&SA was purchased by SP on 13 April 1912 and this line, plus the line from Upland to Pomona, passed into PE hands.
Steve Crise Collection