Renaissance Woman from Colorado on April 12, 2011: A hearty congrats on your 8th Purple Star! You deserve it! Appreciate your nice comments. I tend to love towns that are lost in time, and Niles is one of those. Historic Niles, the hidden gem of Fremont Niles is a hidden gem southeast of San Francisco where two major historical events occurred. Two of the cottages still exist today. Thanks mary-stephenson. With the departure of a big star like Chaplin, Spoors bought G.M. The Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum has exhibits, screenings, and events remembering its heritage. "El Camino Viejo ran along the eastern edge of the Coast Range hills in the San Joaquin Valley northward to the mouth of Corral Hollow. Well done! Being a historic district, the buildings have been preserved with their original architecture and only freshened up with paint. Steam locomotives pulled trains through Niles Canyon for eighty years before diesels took over in the 1950s. ~~Blessed by a SquidAngel~~. The non-profit, tax-exempt living museum history is supported by donations by the community in order to continue to operate and grow. Antique stores showcase treasures from yesteryears. Enough of the larger-scale organization; the local club level is equally fascinating and more personal. ", hence the name Essanay. You will find an old Remington typewriter for $20, bakelite, earrings, hatpins, bowls and casseroles from the 70's, Doors record, Captain America board game, grandma's dress form, just to name a few finds in the store. Hunt, Lyla. "The Great Train Robbery" started the huge motion picture industry. Explore California Nursery Historical Park with a self-guided tour! Scholarly enough to be of interest to historians, and of wide enough scope that locals will discover a new story or two! The history of trains in Niles Canyon dates back to before the building of the original transcontinental railroad. The Central Pacific eventually became part of the Southern Pacific railroad system. Watch a steam locomotive in action with all the sights and sounds - Life-sized steam locos for young and old, often only seen in HO scale train sets. Western Essanay actor and director, Arthur Mackley can be seen on the right side of the photograph in his tweed coat as he gets ready to depart from Niles. The Essanay Studio of Chicago was formed in 1907 by George Spoor, who had developed one of the first movie projectors, and Gilbert M. Anderson. During its heyday in Niles, The Essanay Studios cranked out a series of silent films by the Snakesville bunch and the Alkali Ike comedies aside from the Charlie Chaplin and Broncho Billy films. Pinned to my California board. ~ Alison. ", U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Niles Canyon, http://nileshomesweethome.blogspot.com/2010/05/niles-vallejos-mill-take-two.html, "Wash. Corners, Haywards Park, Niles, Pleasanton. This museum is in it's own words "dedicated to the quest of finding, preserving and sharing the history of Niles, especially as it relates to film" and does a very good job of just that. This mill plus the importance of the canyon as a passage through the hills led to the town’s growth during the late 1800s and early 1900s. After a very extensive application process, Niles was accepted as an official Main Street Community in 1996 — one of only five downtowns in the entire State of California at that time. These unique constructions can still be seen today. The SP 1218 is one of the locomotives in the collection of the Pacific Locomotive Association, Southern Pacific 9010 Krauss Maffei ML4000C'C'. The Central Pacific constructed a freight terminal at the west end of the canyon and a town quickly sprang up around it. Niles is a small town that refuses to die. : Niles - Vallejo's Mill (Take Two). CDB 979.465 MRS BOOKS ON CD Maurice Marks Center (Fremont Main Library) • Mrs. Marie Sharpe Bishop: Early Days In Niles . By 1915 he had hired the biggest movie star of them all -- Charlie Chaplin. Click here. The Altamont Corridor Express runs along this line on weekdays and Saturdays. You will be given a tour of the Essanay museum by a knowledgeable and enthusiastic guide who will give a history of how Essanay Studios came to being in Niles. Take a 3-minute tour of Niles. It now runs on recycled automotive motor oil. The two were rumored to be lovers, although Ms. Purviance ended up marrying an American Airways pilot in later years. Executive chef, Annie Wood returns to Niles to wow locals and visitors with her culinary expertise at the Vine (formerly Essanay Cafe). niles fremont by philip holmes and jill singleton describes the unique, historic Niles District in Fremont, California with excellent photographs and captions that will keep you turning the pages. It told a simple story of a group of western criminals who steal money from a train. Enjoy a leisurely afternoon reliving the past in this authentic tea shop showcasing china, tea pots, silverware from the bygone era. Niles is a hidden gem southeast of San Francisco where two major historical events occurred. This is a biking trail tour with spectacular views along the way. The sidewalks have been widened with benches stationed along the way for visitors take a break and people watch. Niles Branch of Bank of Alameda opened in 1929 - used to be the Niles State Bank established in 1906. 1912 to 1916 – Fremont’s Niles district became the earliest home to California's motion picture industry. It is now the centerpiece of new Niles Plaza and rotated to face Main street with its rows of turn-of-the-century buildings. I enjoyed my tour. What will impress you will be the made-to-order sandwiches, soups and the delicious gourmet cups of coffee. The restored vintage trains will wind down the picturesque Niles Canyon from Niles to Sunol and back, a 75-minute roundtrip that will take your breath away. The recorded history of the Fremont area began on June 6, 1795, when Mission San José was founded by the Spaniard Father Fermin de Lasuen. I really learned a lot about Niles and it's early history. The motiograph was a 35mm silent film hand-cranked projector. The Central Pacific Railroad from Sacramento was building eastward over the Sierra Nevada and the Union Pacific Railroad was extending tracks westward from Omaha to meet the Central Pacific. In September, 1869, four months after the famous golden spike ceremony at Promontory Summit, Utah, the Central Pacific Railroad completed the transcontinental rail link between Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay, finishing the track through the canyon. This marked the first time the district was split into two school buildings. There are multiple vendors in this store. This is also where there is …. There is a little bit of Charlie Chaplin everywhere in Niles. Used to belong to one of the art galleries there. I've liked, favorited, thumbs-upped, and lensrolled your masterpiece to my lens on Trains. This forced Western Pacific engineers to bore two tunnels and construct a steel bridge to lay their tracks. Chaplin and Purviance were soon romantically involved onscreen and off and his relationship with Edna changed Chaplin's acting demeanor from the slapstick-happy to the kind-hearted and gentlemanly character. Vicki Green from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA on March 25, 2011: I never heard of Niles before reading your lens - what a fascinating story. From this point it ran generally east-west through the hills and then down into the Livermore Valley and on to Mission San Jose. The little and very historic town of Niles in Fremont, California. Wednesday-Elf from Savannah, Georgia on November 29, 2010: What a delightful tour of the history of Niles. Volunteers have devoted time, energy and resources to preserve the historical significance of Niles. In 1869 the Central Pacific Railroad came through Niles Canyon on its first transcontinental journey over its newly-built line. [9] Southern Pacific, being the first railroad in the canyon, chose the best route. It was called "The Great Train Robbery." At the west end of the canyon are the ruins of the Vallejo Flour Mill, which dates to 1853. Wow! This is the Robert Dollar Lumber Company #3, built in 1927 by the American Locomotive Company (ALCO) for the Walter A wooddard Lumber Companyy. Wish I'd known about it when I lived in California. A complete row of bungalows were constructed for the actors and the crew to live in. @SteveKaye: So glad you found your way to Niles, Steve. A cannon was fired, the locomotive was decorated with flags, and the train crew was presented with Centerville’s choicest fruits and flowers. Shinn Historical Park: A Souvenir History. Experience a trip to the past in a vintage restored steam locomotive around Niles Canyon. Useful lens and congrats on your LOTD! The location of the Nursery site in the historic Niles District adds further distinction to the area, which is already rich in its cultural and commercial historical assets. Anderson had worked as a janitor at the Thomas Edison Studio when he was chosen to play an outlaw in the first western ever made, The Great Train Robbery. This was the movie that will soon catapult him to fame and fortune. Niles Canyon Railway was the missing link between the East Coast and the West Coast. The first pioneers were mainly German, settling in this area because of the rich farmland and its low cost. Retrace the making of silent westerns and Chaplin movies along Niles Canyon Road. What an awesome lens, with just the motion picture and railroad history alone of this quaint little town is nothing short of amazing let alone it's charm. Its first passenger excursion entered the canyon on October 2 of that year. You can get lost in the music and be blown away at the non-stop playing for 45 minutes. This allowed members with a greater interest in the depot’s history to focus more of their efforts on preserving the … Abraham Lincoln chose the route through Niles Canyon and signed the Pacific Railroad Act in July of 1862, to build a rail line between the Mississippi and the Pacific Coast. The Pacific Locomotive Assoication, Inc. invites you to take this unforgettable ride. The Edison Theater gets very crowded during Charlie Chaplin days when movies like, "The Tramp", "The Champion", "The Jitney Elopement" and others are playing. Especially historical trains. If you are hankering for homecooked Northern Italian food, Cici's will entice your palate with freshly prepared dishes with local herbs and vegetables. The excavators drove about 100 feet per month. Photo Credit:CaliforniaRailfan101Phtography. Lensrolling to Palmetto Live Steamers Club. A slice is almost as big as a full pizza. The route of El Camino Viejo à Los Angeles (Old Road to Los Angeles), the oldest north-south trail in the interior of Alta California, ran through Niles Canyon. Wonderful lens indeed! There will be a brief chase scene down Main street much to the amusement of visitors. Essanay made some 300 westerns in and around Niles. Ellen Gregory from Connecticut, USA on May 24, 2013: Sounds like a great town and so very nicely told. Beautiful Niles Canyon in Fremont is a chosen spot. History lesson: The original name for Niles was Vallejo Mills, after the Vallejo Flour Mill built in 1850 at the mouth of Niles Canyon. Contact Us. The bricks are made of mul. Thanks so much for this wonderful story about Niles and all that happened there. It was later named Cañada Molina Vallejo for the two-story adobe grist mill built in the early 1840s on the Rancho Arroyo de la Alameda near the mouth of the canyon by its owner José de Jesús Vallejo, elder brother, of Mariano Guadalupe Vallejo. On May 21, 1988, almost 122 years after the first Western Pacific excursion, the Pacific Locomotive Association brought railroad passenger operations back to life in Niles Canyon. I travel often to Fremont, now I know how to find all the great sites. Read more on The coming of the Transcontinental Railroad, the first communications revolution in the U.S.A. Love it beautiful pitrecus so excited for ours now in 6months your work is amazing Paul you make it look totally natural with a great spin on brilliant work. Does anyone remember the location and name of the public swimming pool that was at the mouth of Niles canyon in the 50's? 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