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Guide to the Haugh Transportation Collection MS 184
MS 184  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Processing Information
  • Conditions Governing Access
  • Conditions Governing Use
  • Preferred Citation
  • Arrangement
  • Scope and Content
  • Biographical / Historical Notes
  • Immediate Source of Acquisition

  • Title: Haugh Transportation Collection
    Identifier/Call Number: MS 184
    Contributing Institution: San Diego History Center Document Collection
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 3.75 Linear feet (5 boxes)
    Date (inclusive): 1886-1969
    Abstract: The collection contains materials related to the operation of the San Diego Electric Railway Company (SDERCo) and several subsidiary transportation franchises acquired by John D. Spreckels.
    creator: Haugh, Jesse L.

    Processing Information

    Collection processed by Lauren Rasmussen on May 23, 2012.
    Collection processed as part of grant project supported by the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) with generous funding from The Andrew Mellon Foundation.

    Conditions Governing Access

    This collection is open for research.

    Conditions Governing Use

    The San Diego History Center (SDHC) holds the copyright to any unpublished materials. SDHC Library regulations do apply.

    Preferred Citation

    Haugh Transportation Collection, MS 184, San Diego History Center Document Collection, San Diego, CA.


    The collection is arranged by series:
    Series I: San Diego Electric Railway Company
    Series II: Citizens Traction Company
    Series III: Coronado Railroad Company (Electric Division)
    Series IV: Point Loma Railroad Company
    Series V: San Diego and Coronado Ferry Company
    Series VI: San Diego Street Car Company and Park Belt Motor Line
    Series VII: South Park and East Side Railway Company
    Items in each series are arranged by subject.

    Scope and Content

    The collection contains administrative and financial materials of the San Diego Electric Railway Company (SDERCo) as well as seven other transportation companies purchased by Spreckels. The materials range from 1892, a year after the SDERCo was founded, to 1950, shortly after the SDERCo (now the San Diego Transit System) was dissolved. The additional franchises present in the collection are the Citizens Traction Company, the electric division of the Coronado Railroad Company, the Point Loma Railroad Company, the San Diego and Coronado Ferry Company, the San Diego Street Car Company (including its subsidiary, the Park Belt Motor Line), and the South Park and East Side Railway Company.
    The majority of the materials present are records for the SDERCo and documents related to the purchase and operation of each individual company. This includes a history of each franchise, maps of corresponding rail lines, and ledgers detailing administrative, financial, and construction related matters.

    Biographical / Historical Notes

    John D. Spreckels formed the San Diego Electric Railway Company (SDERCo) on November 30, 1891. A light rail mass transit system that connected the City of San Diego, the SDERCo comprised 165 miles of track at its peak. Spreckels’ expansion of the SDER lines involved buying up several failed steam and electric rail companies and incorporating them into a unified system. Acquisitions made by Spreckels included the San Diego Street Car Company and the Point Loma Railroad Company. Spreckels even went as far as to purchase the San Diego and Coronado Ferry Company in conjunction with other trolley lines. The SDERCo functioned as a public utility and by 1918 served the areas of East San Diego, National City, Chula Vista, and Coronado, as well as San Diego City proper. In July of 1948, 22 years after Spreckels’ death, the SDERCo was bought by the Western Transit Company, owned by Jesse Haugh, for $5.5 million. The name was changed to the San Diego Transit System (SDTS) that same year. In 1949, San Diego eliminated light rail transportation in favor of an all bus transit system, and the SDTS was dissolved.

    Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Accession numbers 860917A and 2003.121.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Citizens Traction Company.
    Coronado Railroad Company.
    Haugh, Jesse L.
    Park Belt Motor Line.
    Point Loma Railroad Company.
    San Diego and Coronado Ferry Company.
    San Diego Electric Railway.
    San Diego Street Car Company.
    South Park and East Side Railway Company.
    Spreckels, John Diedrich, b. 1853
    Western Transit Company.
    Account books
    Business records
    Coronado (Calif.)
    Local transit
    Point Loma (San Diego, Calif.)
    San Diego (Calif.)
    Transportation engineering
    Trolley buses
    Urban transportation