Incorporated in 1906, the little known Ocean Shore Railway Company planned to run a high-speed electric railway between San Francisco and Santa Cruz. The rails were laid as close as possible to the ocean cliffs, as it was hoped the glorious views would not only attract home buyers for the tracts of land being developed by the railroad, but would fill special trains packed with weekend and holiday celebrants.  

 

The depot pictured is actually the North Granada depot and was more architecturally attractive than the main Granada depot in the town of El Granada. It was built in 1911 in the California Mission style of architecture. El Granada was referred to as being the Ocean Shore’s “jewel” in its pearly necklace of beach towns.

 

In the midst of constructing the line, the 1906 San Francisco earthquake wreaked havoc all along the route. There were major rockslides and ocean cliffs collapsed destroying a mile of newly laid roadbed. Workers, freight cars and construction equipment were carried away into the sea. The railroad never financially recovered from the disaster, but by abandoning its ambitious electric interurban dreams it managed to hang on until its closure in 1920 running as a steam powered shortline to a point near Half Moon Bay.

 

The depot still stands, but has been highly modified over the years to a point of being very hard to recognize, and most of the roadbed is now a part of Highway 1. 

 

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Ocean Shore Railroad’s Granada Depot