In 1901, Southern California was so vast and its population so dispersed, that Henry Huntington believed the only way to tie everything together was by an interurban electric railway system. He invested heavily in the San Gabriel, Pomona and San Bernardino valleys. He invested in orange groves in and around Riverside, and vineyards around San Bernardino. A tremendous period of construction began in 1902. Wherever the Pacific Electric cars went, subdividers and growth quickly followed.
Pacific Electric Railway, Volume 2: Eastern District by Donald Duke covers the huge expanse of territory covered by the PE east of Los Angeles. Included are the following lines: Covina, Pomona and Pomona Local, Upland to Pomona, San Bernardino, Riverside, Riverside-Arlington-Corona, Riverside-Redlands, San Bernardino Local, Redlands Local, Box motor service, Railway Post Office service, freight service, and railroad enthusiast excursions.
Meet Author Donald Duke
The name of the author and compiler of this book is well known in the blue book of railroad historians. Donald Duke established Golden West Books in 1960 to publish his own works, but eventually published the work of other authors as well. To date, his patient research and editing have enriched more than 140 hardbound titles.
He was a youth when his family moved to Alhambra, while awaiting construction of their new home in San Marino. The Alhambra home was next to the tracks of Pacific Electric’s San Bernardino Line, and there his interest in interurbans was born. The new San Marino home was located two blocks from PE’s Monrovia-Glendora Line.
Duke attended Colorado College, in the heart of the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad’s narrow gauge country. He remained in Colorado for two years after his graduation, working as a commercial photographer. He is well known for the razor-sharp photographed produced by his 4×5 Super-D Graflex.
Besides publishing his own books, he has written numerous historical articles, frequently focused on railroads. He was literary editor for his Kappa Sigma fraternity for 20 years, and was editor of the Los Angeles Corral of Westerners’ Branding Iron for two periods of time totaling 15 years. He is a past director of the Southern California chapter of the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society and was a founding member of the chapter. He is a member of the Lexington Group of Railroad Historians, and belongs to many railroad historical societies.
For Donald Duke, photography, writing, publishing, interurban railroading and western history all go hand in hand as rewarding professional pursuits and personal interests.