Another rich segment of Fallbrook history will be brought to life with the development of our newest, beloved, Railroad Heritage Park. This park will honor the past and educate a new generation about our rich agrarian legacy.
Located at the intersection of Main Avenue and Elder Street in downtown Fallbrook, the purpose of this historical project is to bring awareness to residents and visitors of Fallbrook’s important railroad history. It will be open to the public and an area where visitors can learn, rest, and listen to the chimes of our new town clock. Across Main Avenue, a train mural on the “Merlot Building” exterior wall continues the theme where the train crossed Main Avenue.
The Fallbrook Village Association, in collaboration with the Fallbrook Chamber of Commerce, Fallbrook Arts Inc.’s Art in Public Places Committee, the Fallbrook Historical Society, Fallbrook Beautification Alliance, Charles E. Swisher Post 1924 VFW, and local residents, looks forward to bringing this Railroad Heritage Park to Fallbrook.
The town of Fallbrook was originally settled by Vital and Anthony Reche in 1869 including the area that is now Live Oak Park. In 1882 the California Southern Railroad was constructed from National City up the coast and traveled inland along the Santa Margarita River to Temecula and beyond. Proximity to the railroad caused many settlers to move westerly to the town of West Fallbrook (now downtown Fallbrook). A series of floods rendered a portion of the Santa Margarita River route unsustainable. In 1916 the railroad, now under the ownership of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Rail Road Company, was rerouted to higher ground on Rancho Santa Margarita (Camp Pendleton) and into the town of Fallbrook, crossing Main Avenue in route to Fallbrook Station. Hundreds of thousands of pounds of citrus fruit and avocados grown in Fallbrook's mineral-rich soil shipped to points across the U.S.. The Fallbrook rail line also served an important mission of transporting munitions from the Naval Weapon Station across Camp Pendleton to the coast during World War II, and other major conflicts. According to the Caltrans 1982 State Rail Plan Report, “Fallbrook Junction” was officially abandoned in June of 1981. The Fallbrook Train Station was torn down. The current Sheriff’s Station stands in its place. Two storage warehouses that stood next to the Fallbrook Train Station remain and are in use today at the Fallbrook School of the Arts on Alvarado Street.
There are still many “old timers” in Fallbrook who love to recount their memories of the exciting days of trains going through Fallbrook. We want to preserve those memories.
Your contribution will help us to complete this beautiful park.
(If your gift is $500.00 or over, you will be contacted to indicate the name(s) of those who are to be recognized at the Park, i.e., 'The Jones Family' or 'Bob and Betty Jones'.)