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Santa Barbara County Railroad Depots Focus of Free Presentation

“Southern Pacific’s Depots of Santa Barbara County” will be the subject of a free lecture and multimedia presentation at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22 at the Goleta Library, 500 N. Fairview Ave.

The program, sponsored by the South Coast Railroad Museum, will also feature an exhibition of detailed depot building blueprints crafted by the presenter, Jean-Guy Dube.

August 1887 was a time of great celebration. The railroad had come to Santa Barbara! Steel rails now linked South Coast communities with the nation.

As part of its vast system, the Southern Pacific Railroad built depots in the towns from Carpinteria to Ellwood. These included both one-of-a-kind buildings and many others based on standard company plans.

The presentation audience will travel back 125 years to explore some of these depots.

Dube is a professional draftsman and apprentice architect. He has researched and written about Southern Pacific depots since 1983. The diazo blueprints are measured and drafted drawings. They are based on Southern Pacific standard-depot plans, on historical photographs and, for those depots that have survived, on actual building measurements.

Each handsome and informative print is suitable for framing. Each includes noted floor plans, sections and elevations. The prints also contain historical notes about each building. Railroad model hobbyists will be interested to learn that the drawings are in “HO” scale.

Dube uses traditional methods of blueprinting to create a blue-with-white line print from his original vellum. Copies of the depot blueprints will be available for purchase following the program.

— Gary Coombs is director of the South Coast Railroad Museum.


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