History

Originally located just east of Tapo Street on Los Angeles Avenue, the Santa Susana Railroad Depot was constructed by the Southern Pacific railroad and completed in March 1903. The second story of the Depot located over the office and waiting room provided living quarters for the station agent and his family. The Depot brought quite a change to Santa Susana. Telegraph and long distance transportation facilities became immediately available to the community. Passengers could travel in relative comfort and citrus and walnut growers could now transport huge shipments without depending on the horse and unpredictable weather.

 

Following the Depot's closure in 1974, as a community preservation effort, the Rancho Simi Recreation and Parks District purchased it from the Southern Pacific for $1.00 plus 6 cents tax. It was moved to its present location in May 1975, adjacent to the Southern Pacific's main line between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

 

 

Interior Display

In 2000, after extensive restoration by the Rancho Simi Foundation's volunteers, the Santa Susana Depot and Museum doors were opened to the public. Today visitors will find displays of artifacts that had been in storage alongside many items donated by the local community and railroaders. The waiting room holds a pot-bellied stove, railroad artifacts dating from the 1930's and photographs of past and present. The agent's office has been faithfully reproduced to represent his work area as it existed in mid-1930's. The local station agent was usually as well known as the town's sheriff, doctor or mayor; he had a leading role in the day-to-day activities of the community. The agent used Morse code in his business; he normally became the first and best-informed individual in town. The agent would also send and receive commercial Western Union messages, as well as conducting the normal everyday business. If the need arose for the public to communicate with someone outside of town, the station would be the first place to go.