When the trains arrived in the Valley of the Moon in the 1880s, they thoroughly changed the world through which they traveled. People were able to reach greater distances much more quickly than ever before, and an industrial revolution was introduced to what was once a simpler and more casual world.
Glen Ellen has the distinction of being the only place in Sonoma County that had not one but two railroad stations. Even Sonoma, the big city down south, only had one. We like to think this was because, although the two railroads were in deep competition with one another, only the people of our little town were capable of bringing them together. It is however reported that there were occasional rock fights between crews, as their trains passed by one another.
Traces of the old railroads remain visible to this day, and can be found here and there— the paved paths of the regional park, the old rail car that had been resting until recently near the creek beyond the Village Market, the stationmaster’s house behind our post office, the foundation of the turntable up near the Gaige House— so many vestiges of a restless, vigorous time gone by.