Most Petalumans have traveled along Washington Street at one time or another; but how many are familiar with the railroad and trolley cars at the intersection with Copeland Street? How many Petalumans have ever visited the Petaluma Trolley and Living History Railroad Museum? (Right across the street from the Petaluma Grocery Outlet (Golden Eagle Shopping Center) Look for a BIG Yellow Barn at 110 Baylis Drive. For younger Petalumans, who may not have ridden on a railroad car, many of the cars being restored may look strange.

John A. McNear was one of the original partners that founded the Petaluma & Santa Rosa Railway in 1903, and built in 1904. Long time residents might remember the early days of the railroad when George P. McNear inherited his father’s interest in the P&SR RR, sometimes referred to as the “Poor and Stingy Railway,” and developed it into a very successful operation which eventually led to the building of a spur line to service the warehouses on the west bank of the Petaluma River (1922).

In 1932, the P&SR RR Company was purchased by the Northwestern Pacific Railroad, which was owned by the Southern Pacific Railroad Company. By then, passenger service stopped. The Petaluma Trolley Living History Railway Museum was incorporated in 1998, and the original P&SR Car “Express Motor” No. 8 was restored and shown in the 2000 Butter & Eggs Day Parade. In 2005, the Petaluma Trolley obtains use of DeCarli’s barn and yard on Baylis Street as a museum. Several cars have since been obtained and are in the process of being restored by volunteers. Be sure to visit the Trolley Museum, when opened, and become familiar with these strange railway vehicles.

Website Telephone: (707) 788-7878