The Journal of San Diego History
Spring 1988, Volume 34, Number 2
Thomas L. Scharf, Editor

by James N. Price

Spreckels Empire


History: Lakeside’s station, built by SDC&E, is a sturdy stucco building, with a Spanish style tile roof. Built in the early 1900s, the building originally faced northwest but was moved to face south, its present orientation, following the floods of 1916 that washed out the tracks beyond Lakeside. The building was used for train service until the 1940s when it became a private residence and the tracks between Lakeside and El Cajon literally disappeared from the San Diego County map. Recently, wood paneling was added to the outside of the building, leaving only the distinctive plaster faces, a gift to Lakeside by John Spreckels, as an indication of the building’s former stature. An existing adjacent building to the east was Lakeside’s freight depot.

Present Use: Lakeside’s former station is owned by a construction firm, which uses the building as its offices and equipment yard. The juxtaposition of modern wood paneling and historic, Romanesque stucco figures is, if nothing else, unique.

Location: Lakeside’s depot faces Laurel Street just west of Maine Avenue off Highway 67.


Lakeside depot  
This 1912 photo of the Lakeside depot shows the building’s original mission style appearance. The head carvings were a gift to the city from John Spreckels.

Lakeside station today  
Today the Lakeside station houses the offices of a construction company. The walls have been panelled with wood and only the distinctive plaster head carvings provide a clue to the building’s heritage.