“Petaluma Trolley” is a non-profit Living History Railway Museum, and an organization of volunteers who celebrate Petaluma & Santa Rosa Railroad history. Petaluma’s cultural, historical and economic success has been largely because it has maintained itself as the center of river and rail commerce. The Trestle has come to symbolise Petaluma’s unique history and charm. You can’t create a real and visible history but you can certainly lose it.
Our preservation efforts include the restoration of P&SR equipment, with their history revealed and exhibited. Our current major focus is the restoration of Petaluma’s iconic Water Street Trestle. Restored, it would add 12,000 to 20,000 square feet of downtown Historic Park, which would be open all year round and would facilitate innumerable cultural and river events.
Above is the 500 foot Trestle which has come to symbolize Petaluma’s unique identity and charm at the center of our town and history.
Save the Trestle!
Residents of Petaluma and beyond have come together in support of the preservation efforts currently being implemented to restore the riverfront trestle to its former and future glory. Learn more about our ongoing efforts to save this precious part of Petaluma’s history.
Photo by ScottHessPhoto.com
Built in 1904 the Petaluma & Santa Rosa Railroad, The P&SR was Petaluma’s own electric trolley. It provided inter-urban passenger and freight transportation by connecting river, mill, and rail. The P&SR owned and operated their own stern-wheel steamers, creating a direct link between the booming agricultural and commercial interests of Sonoma County and the San Francisco all thru Petaluma. It was the equivalent of today’s FedEx, only a hundred years ago, with overnight deliveries. The P&SR was the only combination passenger and freight electric interurban railroad in North America. The Trolley competed with steam engines using the high tech cutting edge technology in 1904: electricity. Workers were known as “electric men.”
Click here for a short history of the P&SR RR, excerpted from Allen Tacy’s remarkably thorough and engaging treatise.
Click here for a list of our museum accomplishments.
Click here or on the page below for links to City of Petaluma reports on the trestle.
What We Need To Do
Petaluma’s downtown is an intact historic destination with some major features at risk of being lost by neglect. This is particularly tragic because it is not only unnecessary but it is bad for the our historic identity as well as the draw needed for our downtown economy as a pedestrian- friendly, truly historic destination. Help us love and save some of our most historic features. Please join us and become aware of what is being planned.