Our mission is to rebuild the historic 1904 Tehachapi Depot and to create and operate a historical museum to house the Stokoe Collection and other railroad artifacts. Our aim is to educate the public on the role Tehachapi has played in the history of the rail corridor between Mojave and Bakersfield. The Tehachapi Loop allowed rail connections from the south to the north of California, starting in 1876 and continuing until the present day to carry over 40 freight trains a day. We plan to have an orientation area in the Depot for visitors to The Tehachapi Loop.
The Friends of the Tehachapi Depot was founded in 2004 by a group of dedicated people intent on preserving the unique history of the Southern Pacific Railroad Depot in Tehachapi, CA. We were awarded tax-exempt status by the IRS, effective April 19, 2004, under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.
The 1904 Tehachapi Depot was a standard Southern Pacific Railroad design known as Plan No. 23. Only six depots were left, and the Tehachapi Depot was the only one still situated at its original building site. It was also one of the few buildings that remained standing after the 1952 Tehachapi earthquake. The Depot was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The Union Pacific Railroad handed the depot keys to the City of Tehachapi in 2005. Work began soon thereafter to restore the building to its original condition. On June 13, 2008, with restoration work very nearly complete, tragedy struck and the depot was completely destroyed by fire. Please see the enclosed newspaper article for details about this tragic event.
The original floor plans are available and will be used to ensure that the completed Depot matches the original in every way possible, given the new building and ADA codes. Upon completion, the Depot will be utilized as a museum that will house the Stokoe Collection and other historical artifacts. The Stokoe collection consists of over 300 railroad artifacts, including working railroad signals, dinnerware, lanterns and other items.
Completion of the Depot is targeted for July 2009, to coincide with the City’s Centennial Celebration in August 2009.
We sincerely appreciate the financial assistance of individuals and their employers. Friends of The Tehachapi Depot is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, and all donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.
If you have any further questions about the Tehachapi Depot and our goal of preserving it and the heritage it represents, please contact Carol Westover at (661) 823-7832.
Carol D. Westover
Secretary, Friends of the Tehachapi Depot
P. O. Box 2044
Tehachapi, CA 93581