L.A. Redux / The City Then and Now
Midway between Los Angeles and Pasadena, a mission-style depot once stood.
At the junction of Huntington Drive and Fair Oaks Avenue, the Oneonta Park waiting station was an important transfer point for the Pasadena Short Line and the Monrovia Line.
Railroad magnate Henry Edwards Huntington, who owned the Red Car network, named the junction Oneonta Park after his birthplace in New York.
When the depot opened in 1905, the Oneonta Park area was part of Huntington’s 550-acre ranch. The area had ornamental trees, including oaks, deodars and Monterey pines.
The electric Red Cars traveled on tracks in the center of Huntington Drive at an average speed of 40 m.p.h. At Oneonta Park, passengers could change cars and travel north toward Pasadena, stopping at the posh Raymond Hotel.
The Short Line was an important link in the network that eventually had more than a thousand miles of track joining the cities and suburbs.
In 1904, Fair Oaks Avenue south of Huntington Drive was renamed Fremont Avenue, after pioneer John Charles Fremont. Shortly afterward, Palermo Street north of Huntington Drive became Fair Oaks Avenue.
In 1922, developers advertised that “750 Pacific Electric cars daily” passed through Oneonta Park. Trolley lines were extended on a limited basis to spur land sales, even in the 1920s--when automobiles were taking away riders.
The 275-room Raymond Hotel was on top of the hill, less than a mile north of the Oneonta Station. It was built in 1886 on the 55-acre site of the Marengo Ranch.
The Raymond burned down on Easter Sunday, 1895, when sparks from one of its 20 chimneys caught its roof on fire. Six years later, it was rebuilt and continued in business for another 30 years. The old landmark went into foreclosure in 1931, and was torn down a few years later.
The last of the Red Car tracks were removed from Fair Oaks Avenue and Huntington Drive in 1952.