Recently, at the Feb 19 Council Meeting, the City Council discussed the idea of moving the historical “Miller Honey” caboose to a new location. The current location is on the corner of East E Street and Colton Avenue, and has been sitting there, in relative obscurity, for approximately five years. At that time, the Miller Honey Company closed their business operation and decided to donate the caboose to the city.
Two proposals were given. One by Mayor Frank Navarro, who would like to see the caboose moved to the corner of Mt Vernon and M Street. According to council meeting records, the primary reason for the M Street location was the high traffic exposure. The second proposal was presented by Council Member Dr. G (Dr. Luis S Gonzalez), who would like to see the museum take custodianship of the caboose, and package it with the new Earp-Traintowne Museum, soon to be open at the CAM lower level.
“I just feel the museum location is the best logical place to serve our residents, welcome our visitors to the city, and perpetuate our Colton Train History,” says Dr. G. Several reasons were presented at the council meeting and included creating destination location for the city, perpetuating the train history, enhancing elementary school tours, creating downtown pedestrian synergy, utilizing an already made landscaping, better security, complying with the Colton Downtown Design Manual (2016), and creating opportunities for future growth.
Resident Jackie Ficarotta states, “The museum location is a great place for the caboose. It will bring back people and activity to the downtown.” One of the talking points given by Dr. G was the idea of “pedestrian synergy.” Just north of the site is a gasoline station and convenience market, across the street to the west is a bank and retail stores, and to the south is a church and medical services center. “Many people come to this block to shop and do business” explains Dr. G, “the caboose will enhance the museum offerings, and give residents, and visitors a ‘destination’ place downtown to visit, relax and shop.”
“Bringing the caboose to the museum will bring more people downtown,” says Robert Cruz, Pastor of the Rayos de Luz Church on La Cadena Ave.
The Colton Area Museum Board of Directors discussed this possibility at the recent Feb 6 meeting. The vote was unanimous in support of bringing the caboose to the museum. President Mike Murphy said, “the fact that we can offer the security and education in one location, makes the museum the best location.”
Residents are encouraged to contact the council members and let them know how they feel about the location of the caboose. The council office number is 370-5060 and council member emails are listed on the city website. In addition, the next council meeting will be March 5 and residents are able to voice their opinion during public comment. The CAM is open to the public providing the opportunity to see the many outstanding displays of Colton history. Regular hours are Wednesdays and Fridays from 1:00pm-4:00pm, and on Saturdays 11:00am-2:00pm. The CAM address is 380 N. La Cadena Dr in Colton. For more information about the museum and its programs, contact the museum at 824-8814, or Dr. G at 213-3730.
Written by Dr. G (Dr. Luis Gonzalez)