Del Monte 1; __2; __3; __4: SP; Site Map

If ever there was a a depot building that perfectly reflected a farming community, the SP station at Castroville surely was it. Over the many years since it was built in 1869 (+ or -), it evolved in much the way that a farmer's barn evolved - with cost-effective, good-enough additions constructed out of practical need, rather than stylistic consideration - the railroad equivalent of "farm construction". These photos date to early 1974, after its last two passenger trains, the Coast Mail and the Del Monte, were dropped.

Located at the head of the Salinas Valley, Castroville was the junction point for the now-embargoed Monterey Branch and was/is famed for its artichoke production, although brussel sprouts and other crops that favor its cool oft-overcast coastal climate also grow in abundance nearby. Given that the area produces three-quarters of the world's 'chokes (and all of the Globe variety: the best), it's self-proclaimed status as the "Artichoke Capital of the World" is on the mark. Every May, Castroville hosts an Artichoke Festival that features a car show, foot race and all of the other fare that is expected of such events.

The above notice appeared in an 1891 SP public timetable.

At right is a Sanborn map of how the layout looked in 1928. Click on the map for an enlarged version. For the same map showing the town area surrounding the depot, click here. Both versions open in a new window.

back to top