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Coalinga Avenue

It's not a particularly big or well known street. But Daniel Lewis of the Huntington Library says one street in Montclair has a good story to tell.

"There's all sorts of strange tidbits about nomenclature when it comes to streets in Southern California. One of my favorites is the name Coalinga. There's a Coalinga Street in Montclair. But Coalinga, actually, although it sounds vaguely Spanish, was 'coaling station A' for the Southern Pacific."

Over the years, the name got mushed together into "Coalinga." And Coalinga Avenue in Montclair ends about 6 blocks from the Southern Pacific railroad tracks.

(Airdate for this story: 7/7/07)


Comments (5)

Polly Schiffman:

Check out the Edwin G. Gudde's classic book, "California Place Names" (University of California Press -- originally published in 1949; the 4th edition-revision that I have was published in 1998). It's an excellent (and fun!) resource for trivia about California geography, history, and etymology.

Benjamin Friedman:

I've been wondering if Romaine Street in Hollywood is named for the little-known filmmaker and actor Romaine Fielding, who would probably be a household name had his film archives not been lost decades ago (including his epic "The Golden God," destroyed in a fire before it could be released).

What's the story behind Ximeno Street in my home town, Long Beach?

Brian Cox:

I like the story behind Baseline. Baseline runs along the San Gabriel Mountains. I belive that it was the baseline that all of Southern Califorina was surveyed using baseline as a reference.

No, Romaine Street was not named for Fielding. How do you know about him. I've been researching him for about 15 years. We have his New Mexico filmography on our website (Filming in New Mexico/New Mexico Filmography.If you live in Santa Fe, I'm giving a talk this Saturday, about NM's silent film history. The details are in our Bulletin Board section under "Screenings". There's also a press release about it (Record Center & Archives Month).


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