The Garvanza and Eagle Rock Railway-Boom and Bust


The Eagle Rock Branch Removed Under Protest.


The Work Commenced After Nightfall—Legal Trouble Anticipated To-day.

One of those exciting episodes, which occasionally occur during railroad construction, enlivened the Eagle Rock valley yesterday, to the disgust, however, of the residents of that place. The Garvanza, or Rogers Railroad, as it is better known, has been so often mentioned in these columns that a detailed description of it is unnecessary. A section of it, about 4 1/2 miles in length, was built from Garvanza west into the Eagle Rock valley last spring, but was never used for more than a week, as it was claimed that the patronage was not sufficient for its support. In point of fact, it was only a "boom" road conceived by Rogers when things were at their best, and although Eagle Rock Valley is not thickly populated the inhabitants on having pointed out to them the immense advantages which were to accrue to them through the road, subsidized, it is said, the affair to the amount of $15,000. They therefore regarded the line to a certain extent as their own and although it was not in operation they jealously watched it when the Rogers lines, including of course the Eagle Rock branch, were transferred to the Nathan Cole syndicate. They were somewhat aroused shortly afterwards, for the rumor got about that Eagle Rock was to be boomed up again, but their hopes fell with a terrible crash when, a few weeks ago, the road passed into the hands of a company controlled by Captain John Cross, the President of the Los Angeles, Glendale and Pacific Road. The announcement was then made that the main line was to be extended into Pasadena at once, but although it was not openly declared, it was generally understood that the Eagle Rock branch had been declared useless by the company. The dwellers of the little valley determined, however, to keep their road where it was, and Captain Cross and party realizing the situation determined to bring the matter to a focus by taking up the track at once. The plan of action was, however, kept very quiet, and Contractors McCrabbe and Backman were instructed to have a force of men and teams on hand on Saturday last after nightfall, and to start in and remove the disputed branch line.


At 9 o'clock on the night appointed, 110 men and sixty teams drew into Garvanza, and at once commenced the task before them. They removed the bolts and spikes, and by daybreak yesterday were hard at, work tearing up the rails and ties and freighting them into Garvanza. The residents of the Eagle Rock Valley soon got wind of what was going on, and came down in force and ordered the workmen to desist. It looked at one time as if a big row would occur, but the contractors explained that their laborers were simply acting under orders from headquarters. An endeavor was then made to get a writ of injunction, but it being Sunday this was supposed to be impossible, Capt. Cross having laid his plans to thus prevent any legal interference. There was nothing to be done, therefore, but to look on at the work of destruction, and at 7 in the evening the last wagon-load was started, and the unpleasant task of the workmen was over. Altogether about 320 tons of material were removed and freighted into Garvanza, where it now lies and will be used on the extension of the main line. The citizens, in the neighborhood affected, declare that they will not let their rights be over-ridden in such a manner, and the affair will doubtless get into the courts to-day.


One very sad incident was connected with the occurrences of the day. One of the teamsters named Fuller, while engaged in his work had the ill-luck to get his horses scared, and they ran away, throwing him to the ground and running over him with the heavy wagon. Both of his arms and one of his legs were broken, and he also received a severe scalp wound. He was taken to his home, where he now lies in a precarious condition, although the doctors say that his injuries are not necessarily fatal. (Los Angeles Herald 4/15/1889-California Newspaper Collection-UCR)

The 5 Line - Gateway to a New Suburb

The Glendale and Eagle Rock Railway

The State Highway to Pasadena (and Glendale)


Colorado Boulevard-North Side

Colorado Boulevard-South side

The 5 Line - Cars and Streetcars

The 134 Freeway (and Later the 2 Freeway)