At some point in Petaluma’s past, trains ran down this stretch of track in downtown. Since I’ve lived here, it’s been a hazard and an eyesore. The trestle runs along the water front of the Petaluma River turning basin, a main pedestrian thoroughfare in downtown. Several years ago the trestle was fenced off to prevent people walking on it because it had deteriorated to the point where it became a safety hazard. Now the 85 year-old trestle sits, neglected, in the heart of town as a sad reminder of our past.
But, there are some who care about preserving history for future generations. The Petaluma Trolley Project is working to get the trestle and trolley service restored to Petaluma. There is even talk of putting the trestle on the National Register of Historic Places. I would love to see the trestle restored with trolleys running along the river. I’m not sure it would help traffic, but it would be cool, kind of like the Cable Cars in San Francisco. OK, maybe not as cool, but for a small town like Petaluma it would be great.
So much local history gets lost, and it seems there is little support for preserving old landmarks. Developers want to make money off the land, or turn places into resorts to generate profits. I’d like to see more historic places preserved for everyone.
The Petaluma Argus-Courier has a good article on the efforts to restore the trestle and its history.