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History of the Signal Board

The question as to where the newly erected signal came from – the one that now stands proudly over our Depot – appears to be answered. Local historian and fellow Friends of the Tehachapi Depot charter member, Del Troy, supplied the back-story on its journey to its new permanent home.

The newly established Tehachapi Heritage League, back in 1973, took possession of the existing Chamber of Commerce building located on Tehachapi Blvd. The building had been used only for storage prior to July 1973 and the chamber was happy to help the early founders of the Heritage League find a place for a City Museum. The Heritage League moved and established the Tehachapi City Museum. They occupied that building until January 1982 when they moved into their present museum building on Green Street. It was during these early years that local Southern Pacific Railroad signal maintenance foreman Bill Stoke and his crew were switching out older signals for more modern ones, and he brought back to his hometown of Tehachapi the signal we see today. He helped install it in front of the Chamber building where it had stood until recent remodeling necessitated its removal and storage.

Over the past few years members of the FOTD lovingly kept track of its whereabouts and a few years ago started to restore it for display at our Depot.

So the big question is what station did Stoke originally rescue it from. Del Troy did some research and collected her memories to inform us it came from the railroad station in Hanford, California in the early 1970s.

Source; Tehachapi Heritage League Minutes of the Board for June 13, 1979:

"The Downtown Improvement Committee has obtained a railroad signal from Hanford (CA). The signal will be placed by the Museum. Bill Stokle (Stoke) will set it up and the Museum has been asked to handle the running of it. Submitted by Fern Wakefield, Secretary."