Skip to main content

Conejo, CA; ghost town on the rails

While looking at old maps of Fresno County I noticed several old rail siding towns along what was Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe (ATSF) line south of Fresno.  Most of the rail siding towns no longer exist or were just a collection of small residences, but one caught my eye with Conejo.


The rail siding Conejo is located at the junction of Conejo Avenue and Peach Avenue alongside what is now the BNSF tracks south of Fresno.  Conejo was established as a rail siding town of the ATSF when the line expanded into rural Fresno County in 1897.  Conejo was one of many rail siding towns the ATSF established south of Fresno, others would include; Oleander, Bowles, and Monmouth.  All rail ATSF rail sidings south of Fresno are shown as present on the 1911 map of Fresno County.

1911 Fresno County Map 

Rail siding towns were common along early rail lines which ran steam locomotives.  Steam locomotives required far more maintenance than modern diesel locomotives than modern diesel locomotives do.  Rail siding towns were often established as company towns with the sole purpose of serving locomotives running on a particular line.  By the 1930s diesel locomotives were becoming far more established which led to the decline to the rail siding town.  This is reflective on the 1935 California Division of Highways Map of Fresno County which shows most of the ATSF much less prominently.

1935 Fresno County Highway Map

Oddly the ATSF rail siding towns in Fresno County largely still exist in some form or fashion.  Most have little to no evidence servicing steam locomotives but Conejo does.  As I approached Conejo eastbound on Conejo Avenue there was actually a train passing by.


As I was crossing the BNSF lines I was hoping the utility box displayed Conejo, CA but it only displayed Conejo Avenue.



Conejo isn't signed as a place anymore but the street grid is still present.  Topeka Avenue served as a Main Street for Conejo and runs along the tracks.


There is still a relic commercial building along Topeka Avenue which has a faded sign that reads "Gen Merchandise."  Conejo Apparently had a Post Office which was in operation until the early 1920s.


Topeka Avenue has a lot of old crates and various storage yards and is in really haggard shape.  Topeka Avenue ends at Peach Avenue.



Along Peach Avenue I spotted an old broken derelict truck and an abandoned home ready cave in.



There was even an old water tower at the junction of Conejo Avenue and Peach Avenue.  It's hard to believe that Conejo was probably once a bustling little town much like nearby Fowler and Selma.


Update 6/27/20:  I made a return to Conejo to what had become of the community since the High Speed Rail project was constructing an overpass through the former siding facility.  Suffice to say the difference seen along Topeka Avenue was quite substantial.





Comments

Popular posts from this blog

California State Route 232

This past month I drove the entirety of California State Route 232 in Ventura County. CA 232 is an approximately 4 miles State Highway aligned on Vineland Avenye which begins near Saticoy at CA 118 and traverses southwest to US Route 101 in Oxnard.  The alignment of CA 232 was first adopted into the State Highway System in 1933 as Legislative Route Number 154 according to CAhighways.org. CAhighways.org on LRN 154 As originally defined LRN 154 was aligned from LRN 9 (future CA 118) southwest to LRN 2/US 101 in El Rio.  This configuration of LRN 154 between CA 118/LRN 9 and US 101/LRN 2 can be seen on the 1935 California Division of Highways Map of Ventura County. 1935 Ventura County Highway Map According to CAhighways.org the route of LRN 154 was extended west from US 101/LRN 2 to US 101A/LRN 60 in 1951.  Unfortunately State Highway Maps do not show this extension due to it being extremely small. During the 1964 State Highway Renumbering LRN 154 was assigned CA 232.  Of n

Former US Route 50 and the South Lincoln Highway from Folsom east to Placerville

The corridor of Folsom of Sacramento County east to Placerville of El Dorado County has been a long established corridor of overland travel dating back to the California Gold Rush.  The Folsom-Placerville corridor was once part of the path of the Lake Tahoe Wagon Road which became the first California State Highway and later the South Lincoln Highway.  In time the South Lincoln Highway's surface alignment was inherited by US Route 50.  The Folsom-Placerville corridor also includes the communities of; Clarksville, Shingle Springs and El Dorado. Part 1; the history of the Lake Tahoe Wagon Road, South Lincoln Highway and US Route 50 through Folsom-Placerville Folsom is located on the American River/Lake Natoma of eastern Sacramento County.  That lands now occupied by the City of Folsom were part of Rancho Rio de los Americanos prior to the finding of gold at Sutter's Mill during 1848.  During the California Gold Rush the lands of Rancho Rio de los Americanos were purchased by Jose

Legacy of US Route 466 Part 3; Morro Bay to Shandon via Rocky Canyon

Part 3 of the US Route 466 Legacy series consists of the roadways that made up the highway between Morro Bay and Shandon of San Luis Obispo County.  The San Luis Obispo County segment of US Route 466 is notable due to it having been carried via a dirt segment through Rocky Canyon from 1933 to 1958.  Pictured in the cover photo of this blog is former US Route 466 facing westward into Rocky Canyon. Part 1 and Part 2 of the US Route 466 Legacy Series can be found below: Legacy of US Route 466 Part 1; California State Route 46 Legacy of US Route 466 Part 2; Tehachapi to Bakersfield  Part 1; mapping early US Route 466 in San Luis Obispo County As discussed in Part 1 of the US Route 466 Legacy series the western terminus of US Route 466 ("US 466") from it's inception until truncation in the 1965 was located in Morro Bay at California State Route 1 ("CA 1"). US 466 between Morro Bay and Shandon had two two primary alignments through it's history.  The initia