Point Reyes Station's Railroad Days












Circa 1927

In 1875, when the North Pacific Coast Railroad reached from Sausalito to the eastern shore of Tomales Bay—with a ferry connection to San Francisco and stops en route in San Anselmo and San Geronimo Valley—the stop for the Point Reyes Peninsula was called Olema Station. Then, in 1882, when a U.S. Post Office was opened, the town’s official name was changed to Point Reyes Station. By then, track had been laid 35 miles north through timber and farming towns to Cazadero. The above 1927 photo shows transfer platforms where freight from the north—once lumber and potatoes, then mostly dairy products—was taken from narrow-gauge cars and placed in standard-gauge trains for the trip south. Buildings in the photo, starting from left: the pitched-roofed train depot (now the town’s post office); the red brick Grandi Building; what is now the Old Western Saloon; the Point Reyes Emporium (tall building, middle right) and structures that currently house Point Reyes Books and the Bovine Bakery. In 1933, the Northwestern Pacific Railroad, as it was then called, pulled out of Point Reyes Station and it became a slower-paced agricultural community.

West Marin historian Dewey Livingston contributed to this story.