Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Mules Did What Now?



Monrovia once had a unique mode of transportation. An influx of visitors via the Santa Fe Railroad led Louis Bradbury to oversee the construction of an additional line for those wishing to travel east from Myrtle Avenue along Lime Avenue, then north on Heliotrope Avenue to White Oak (now Foothill Boulevard). May of 1887 saw the debut of the Myrtle Avenue Railroad, which had a single passenger car pulled by mules. At the end of the line, the mules were allowed to board a trailer as gravity did the work for them on the return. One day, however, as the car picked up speed on the downhill journey, the driver lost control and was unable to make the turn at Heliotrope and Lime Avenues – now the location of the Monrovia Memorial Hospital, just south of Wild Rose Elementary School. The trailer toppled and the mules fell into the street, after which they refused to be passengers on the Myrtle Avenue Railroad.
If you would like to read more about the early days of Monrovia, History of Monrovia is available for library use at the Monrovia Public Library.
Source: John L. Wiley, History of Monrovia (Pasadena: Press of Pasadena Star-News, 1927), p. 57.