ALL ABOARD: The horse-drawn
street car waits for passengers in front of the Bank of Tustin at the corner
of Main and D (El Camino Real) in the late 1800s. The large building in back
is the Tustin Hotel. The Utt family home is seen in the lower right hand
Itís been more than 100 years since the
residents of Tustin City could jump on a street car and travel to Orange or
Santa Ana. Granted, the trip was slow based on the speed of the mule or
horse pulling the conveyance, but it was public transportation.
Three Tustin residents, David Hewes, Noah
Palmer and Nelson Vanderlip, along with C. E. French, postmaster of Santa
Ana, incorporated the Santa Ana, Orange and Tustin Street Railway back in
Records show that 500 shares of capital stock
were issued at $10 each. Hewes was named president of the company with
Palmer as vice president, Vanderlip, treasurer, and French secretary.
It was July before work was started on the
installation of the steel rails with wood ties necessary for the street car
tracks. Four months later on Nov. 23, 1886, the first street car pulled into
Tustin City. The cars had been especially built, two open-air and one
enclosed. Each open car cost $1,350. The closed car cost a little more than
Cars bound for Tustin City began their run at
the corner of Fourth and Main in Santa Ana. Once passengers were aboard, the
conveyance traveled south on Main to First Street where it turned east. At
Lyon, the route jogged south and after a short distance turned east onto
Tustinís Main Street which it followed into town.
The journey to Tustin City was originally
planned to end at the Tustin Hotel, a 40-room Victorian structure on Third
Street between D (El Camino Real) and Prospect, but because of delays in
completing construction of the hotel, passengers boarded and disembarked in
front of the Bank of Tustin (later First National Bank of Tustin) at Main
and D until the hotel opened in 1888.
Before waiting passengers could board the car
for the return trip to Santa Ana, the horse had to be switched from one end
to the other and the seat backs flipped. In Santa Ana, a turntable at the
corner of Fourth and Main was used to turn the cars around. A Mr. Beebe
drove the horse and collected fares.
Signs indicating the destination, Tustin,
Orange, or Santa Ana, were attached to the roof on both sides of each car.
When not in use, horses and equipment were housed in a barn on West Fourth
Street in Santa Ana.
The car was popular especially with the
ladies who could use it when they wanted to shop or attend a meeting in
Santa Ana, but when the economy slowed down in 1895, the line to Tustin was
Roy Smith started running jitney buses from
Tustin to Santa Ana about 1916. The vehicles, which were Model T Ford cars
with the body lengthened to accommodate an extra seat, took about half an
hour for a round trip. Fare was 5 cents.
Percy Lusk bought this business about 1920.
Millard Foster and his half brother Scott Prather acquired the company next
and gradually added bigger buses.
The Orange County Transportation Authority
now serves Tustin.