Return to ERHA homepage
Los Angeles Railway 'G' line
November 25, 1906 - Los Angeles Times
The extension of the Griffin avenue electric line into Montecito Park has been completed, and a regular service will be inaugurated, beginning Monday, November 26. The opening of Montecito Park will be on Saturday, December 1, but an office and agent have been established on the tract so that reservations may be made in advance of the opening. This tract has been the subject of much inquiry on the part of homeseekers and speculators, but the owners preferred not to put it on the market until a first-class street-car service should be installed. Montecito Park is on the right-hand side of the Arroyo Seco looking toward Highland Park, between Avenues 39 and 47, being a part of the famous Sawyer mesa, long looked upon with envious eyes by subdividers and homeseekers. First-class street improvements are being made. The tract is only fifteen minutes' ride from the business center of the city, being much closer in than either Highland Park or Garvanza. The elevation is 450 feet.
M. E. Johnson & Co. No. 302 H. W. Hellman building, are the owners' agents.

December 14, 1906 - Los Angeles Times

December 16, 1906 - Los Angeles Times

September 1, 1907 - Los Angeles Times
The improvement of Montecito Park has been pushed rapidly this summer, and the property is now assuming the appearence of a high-class residence section. Cement curbs and sidewalks have been put in on Griffin avenue and Avenue 43, the two principal streets, which also will be graveled and oiled. The grading has almost been finished. A strong bridge has been built across the Arroyo channel at Avenue 43, and the Griffin-avenue railway extended to Avenue 45. The street work on the remainder of the property is being pushed to completion. City water mains have been laid. Houses have been built. While others are in an advanced stage of construction. On the Montecito Heights property, immediately adjoining an automobile and carriage roadway, two miles in length, has been laid out on the route or the next extension of the Griffin avenue railway, and is completed for about 2000 feet. This roadway is to be widened to sixty feet to accommodate the double-track railway to the top of the hllls, and it is expected the latter will be in operation within twelve months. This, when completed, will be one or the finest scenic railways in the city.

November 19, 1907 - Los Angeles Times


Map of the Griffin avenue trolley line extension which, in two miles' length will traverse a straight-line distance of less than three city blocks

GRADING is in progress in East Los Angeles for the crookedest railroad in the world. Compared with it the famous Mt. Tamalpais road, which now holds the squirming record, is as straight as a Mexican's hair. It will take two miles of track to cover a stretch not more than three blocks running north and south and not more than that running east and west. It is claimed by engineers that there will not be a single straight rail in the two miles of track; every one will be curved. The road is designed as an extension to the Griffin-avenue street railroad line and will open up for residences the highest tract of land in the city. The scheme originated with a real estate syndicate which owns a tract of land known as the Montecito Park tract overlooking Pasadena avenue and the Arroyo Seco. Above the plateau on which this tract is located is a high rolling chain of hills. It separates the tiny, picturesque valley of the arroyo from the valley of the San Gabriel. From the summit of a ridge, you look down on the one side into Eastlake Park and through a rift in the hills into San Gabriel Valley; on the other side you look down into "Bugalowland," Pasadena, Sycamore Grove, etc. It is up this chain of hills that Mr. Huntington proposes to build this road. To gain the high plateau the road wriggles and squirms in and out of canons and gullies and shins along the side of the mountain.

The construction will cost at least $25,000 a mile for the laying of the rails alone. The cost of grading will cost at least $25,000 a mile more. To put the tract on the market will coast about $95,000. The cost of the improvement is borne by the real estate syndicate Mr. Huntington is said to have been somewhat reluctant to enter into the arrangement; he demanded was the construction of some sort of park, casino or public amusement place on the top of the hill. As first planned, the road was to have connected with the Downey-avenue line, cut through the pass in the hills and connect the suburban hamlet with the city. Mr. Huntington seriously considered this idea and then abandoned it. The owners of this plateau tract then purchased the hills above them and started on a campaign to convince Mt. Huntington of the practicability of constructing a mountain railroad up to the top. To meet his skepticism, the owners of the tract have gone ahead on their own responsibility and constructed a narrow fifteen-feet wide roadway over the proposed route. Teams have been at work for weeks; the survey alone cost $4000 and several months of work.

The finished map of the road is a wonder. It looks like a snake in an extreme state of emotion. It turns and twists and squirms and doubles back and loops itself and finally turns around a circle and goes back to Griffin avenue just where it started from. As stated, the road is two miles long, but only covers a track reach three or four blocks long. The tops of the hills are an intricate chain of small plateaus and the road touches them all. The highest point of the tract will be 300 feet above sea level and the lateral rise of the road will be 450 feet above Griffin avenue where the up-grade work starts. On account of the length of the line and its many twists, however, there will be no part of the road with more than a 5 per cent grade. Mr. Huntington is said to have made this one of his stipulations. Most of the grade is vastly less than that. Where the real estate syndicate hopes to get even is by the sale of about 1200 lots on the level tops of the hills. On the Griffin-avenue side of the north and west faces of the hills are heavily wooded with eucalyptus and other trees. These slopes will not be cut up into lots but the tiny forest will be left as a natural park. Mr. Huntington apparently has in view the scenic features of the line rather than the traffic it will bring. With some sort of attractive park of casino on the topmost point—where the loop is seen in the accompanying plat—it ought to be a famous tourist resort.

It presents one of the most magnificent panoramas to be seen in the world. You have the picture of the majestic mountains on the north, the picturesque sweep o' the great valleys of the San Fernando and the San Gabriel and the tumbled panorama of the Arroyo Seco. You are so high that you can look down on the roof of the sightly Raymond Hotel. The city lies under a veil of curling smoke at your feet, with Santa Catalina and the islands of the sea beyond. Although some of Mr. Huntington's engineers are said not to share his enthusiasm, he has agreed to go ahead with the railroad as soon as the present twisting mountain roadway has been widened from fifteen to sixty feet. Work, it is claimed, will go right ahead. He will be deeded a right of way of thirty feet in the middle of the sixty-foot road.


DECISION No. 1711.
Application No. 1236.
Decided August 5, 1914.
Applicant authorized to issue 50,000 shares of its capital stock of the par value of $1.00 per share, to sell same so as to net not less than $45,000.00, proceeds to be used in the construction of an Electric railway in the Montecito Hills District of the city of Los Angeles.
T. K. Hulme and A. W. Eckman, for Applicant.

EDGERTON, Commissioner.
This is an application by Montecito Railroad Company for an order authorizing the issue of $50,000.00 par value of its common capital stock. Applicant was incorporated in May, 1914, with a capital stock of 50,000 shares of a par value of $1.00 each, the principal purpose of this corporation being to build and operate a street railroad 2.4 miles to serve the people residing and to reside upon a tract of land in the city of Los Angeles, which has been subdivided into building lots. This tract is owned or controlled by the Mutual Home Building Corporation, which proposes to take the stock asked to be authorized. One terminus of this road will be at the line of the Los Angeles Railway Corporation, thus enabling passengers to make a journey from the city of Los Angeles by changing from one street car system to the other. The evidence shows that applicant has been donated a right of way 20 feet in width and approximately 2¼ miles in length, which makes approximately 5.82 acres of land, estimated to be worth $15,000.00, and this is now owned by applicant free of incumbrance. We are asked to permit the issuance and sale of this stock at a discount of 10 per cent, or a net amount to the company of $45,000.00, all of which is to be used for the construction and maintenance of the road. It is proposed to construct this road of such a standard as to permit of its being made a part of the system now operated by the Los Angeles Railway Corporation. The engineers of this Commission have cheeked the estimates submitted and find them reasonable. I recommend that the application be granted, and submit herewith the following form or order:
Application having been made by Montecito Railroad Company for an order authorizing the issue of 50,000 shares of its capital stock of the par value of $1.00 each, and a public hearing having been duly held and it appearing to the Commission that the money to be secured by the issue of said stock is necessary and reasonably required by said company for the acquisition of property and the construction, completion, and maintenance of service of its street railroad system, and that the purposes for which the proceeds of the sale of said stock are to be used are not in whole or in part reasonably chargeable to operating expenses or to income, It is hereby ordered, by the Railroad Commission of the State of California, that Montecito Railroad Company is hereby authorized to issue 50,000 shares of its capital stock of a par value of $1.00 each, upon the following terms and conditions, and not otherwise:

1. Montecito Railroad Company shall sell said stock so as to net said company not less than $45,000.00.
2. The proceeds from the sale of said stock shall be used for the following purposes only:
 For the purchase of property$12,000 00
 For construction of roadbed and track16,622 82
 For overhead work5,977 18
 For cars, car barn, substation and tools9,700 00
 For maintaining first operations of railroad   700 00
 Total$45,000 00
For a more detailed estimate of the cost of construction of said road, reference is hereby made to Exhibit" A," on file with the application herein. 3. Said company shall keep separate, true, and accurate accounts, showing the receipt and application in detail of the proceeds of the sale of said stock hereby authorized to be issued; and on or before the twenty-fifth day of each month the company shall make a verified report to the Commission, in accordance with the Commission's General Order No, 24, stating the sale or disposition of such stock during the preceding month, the terms and conditions of such sale or other disposition, the moneys realized therefrom, and the use and application of such moneys.
4. The authority hereby given to issue such stock shall apply only to stock issued by said company on or before the first day of January, 1915.
The foregoing opinion and order are hereby approved and ordered filed as the opinion and order of the Railroad Commission of the State of California.
Dated at San Francisco, California, this 5th day of August, 1914.

Montecito Railroad Co.
Office204 Higgins Building. (Operates a local line to Los Angeles)
PresidentW.D. Larrabee. 204 Higgins Bldg
Vice PresidentM.E. Johnson 204 Higgins Bldg
SecretaryChas. P. Brown 204 Higgins Bldg
AuditorM.E. Hammond 204 Higgins Bldg
Purchases Energy
Repair Shops at North Griffin Avenue and Montecito Drive
1.46 miles
3'-6" gauge
1 motor car
From McGraw Electric Railway List for August, 1918         

The right-of-way exists as a public street, but for reasons that may never be known, the streetcar line was not extended beyond the end of the Los Angeles Railway's 'G' line.
To trace the line, begin at the intersection of North Griffin Avenue and follow Montecito Drive up the hill to Montecito Circle, around and back down the hill again.

Return to ERHA homepage