Car 1409 was discovered in 2004, in a Sebastopol backyard by restoration expert Jeff Millerick. Kristina and I met Jeff to identify the remnants of the “tarnished jewel.” Wow! It was a 1909 WL Holman Co. –built coach from the old Ocean Shore Railway. Though in sad shape, it was a super candidate for restoration because it was one of only five cars of this type ever built. To save the old beauty would require a special person and a dedicated group, Kathleen Manning, Scott Lindner, et al., to put the “aged starlet” back on track. A single call to Kathleen started the 1409’s wheels rolling.
In 2004, while our beloved hulk was being trucked to Pacifica, there were four surviving Ocean Shore passenger cars, excluding 1409. Two cars were in Oroville. Holman built them both in 1909. By 2004 they were in shabby condition. One was an exact copy of the 1409. It was probably Ocean Shore Number 1405 and was sold, following the 1921 collapse of the Ocean Shore RR, to the San Joaquin & Eastern RR in 1925, and bore numbed 201 or 202. It was purchased in 1936 by W.A. Bechtel as No. 201 or 202. Both cars were finally scrapped at Oroville during 2009.
Today there are two very old ex Ocean Shore cars in Tuolumne County. One is ex Central Pacific coach 70, built in 1868. It was purchased by Ocean Shore, No. 1503, from Southern Pacific in 1912, sold to W.A. Bechtel 1921, sold to Hetch Hetchy RR in 1921, then to Sierra RY as No. 1. By 1940 the body was placed on the ground, and in 1977 was moved to a nearby ranch. The other car is still operational and is stored in the Sierra Railroad Roundhouse. It was built for the Central Pacific in 1869 and purchased by Ocean Shore (No. 1504 or 1505) in 1912. It went to Hetch Hetchy in 1921, then to Sierra RY as Number 2. It survives, but was not built for the Ocean Shore Railroad.We should celebrate our very own Car 1409 – the last of its species – the only existing passenger car built exclusively for the Ocean Shore Railroad.