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A TERRIBLE TRADEGY
During the day of June 12, 2008, the sprinkler system was installed at the depot. We were just about two weeks away from installation and opening up. HOWEVER, about 10pm on the 12th a couple of men were playing with bottle rockets. One went off and I believe it went under or on the roof of the depot and smoldered until about 3am on Friday, June 13, when the fire was detected. The depot was built with redwood boards and had been there for 104 years, it burned hot. Thankfully we did not have anything in the depot except for the scales, which melted down. We can also be thankful that the winds die down at night, as a lot of buildings were damaged across the street (melted awnings and cracked or broken windows).
The next day when the sprinkler guy came back to charge the system, and it was gone. So sad, lots of tears, but Mayor Ed Grimes promised to rebuild.
The trains that went through blew their horns in respect for about a week.
Almost exactly 2 years to the day (June 5, 2010), we celebrated with a street party in regards to the completed restoration of the depot. It was rebuilt by the City, and they used the original floor plans to ensure that it matched the original Type 23 Southern Pacific Depot. This included the beautiful bead boarding through out the depot. However, it had to been custom built as it was not available. The major change to the depot was accessible door handles and ramps for the handicap. Also, a new viewing platform was
added on the north side of the building adjacent to the train tracks.
Included at the street party was an exceptional cake baked and designed to look exactly like the depot by Linda Petty, a local baker.
The extensive Stokoe signal collection was restored by the Friends of the Tehachapi Depot, and is displayed on the park-like grounds at the Depot
iT IS THE "JEWEL" OF TEHACHAPI DOWNTOWN AREA
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