Edison, CA Depot
Text and photos by Robert Gaddie
Edison, California Depot, August 9, 1970.
The photo above shows the south side of the Edison depot. Edison was a joint Southern Pacific-Santa Fe agency. When this photo was taken the railroad maintained a full time agent there. Outbound traffic consisted of potatoes (May-July), grapes (July-December), citrus fruit (October-March) and wine. As traffic dwindled the agency became seasonal only; primarily to serve the potato rush. I don't know when the agency was closed completely. The building is still standing although the doors and windows are missing.
Edison was originally known as Wade. A siding was established there around 1884-1885. By 1909 citrus was being shipped from there. The depot shown above looks to be considerably different than the one shown on page 72 of John Signor's book on Tehachapi. I am assuming this depot is the second Edison depot. In 1902 the Edison Company began construction of Kern River Hydroelectric plant #1 in the lower Kern River gorge. It was about that time that the name of the station of Wade was changed to Edison. Edison became the delivery point for construction materials for the hydroelectric plant.
Passenger trains served Edison. The Southern Pacific August 1933 timetable shows trains 55 and 56 making a flag stop at Edison. By 1945 (the next timetable I have) Edison was no longer served. I can find no indications that Edison was a train order agency. Its proximity to Bakersfield (seven miles away) and the fact that the line was double tracked between Bakersfield and Sand Cut at an early date reduced the need for a train order office at Edison.
Edison, August 9, 1970, North side of depot.
Edison, July 26, 1987. West side of Edison depot. The depot was a seasonal agency by this time. Note the roof sign has been removed.