December 19, 2014
Oil has been an important part of our coast region's employment and economic activity since it was first discovered in the Arroyo Grande/Santa Maria area of southern San Luis Obispo and northern Santa Barbara Counties at the beginning of the 20th Century. The effort included extraction, transportation and refining the crude into finished product. Three of the railroads serving the local area, the Pacific Coast Railway, the Santa Maria Valley Railway and the Southern Pacific Railroad were to play an important role in this development.
The San Luis Obispo Railroad Museum had always planned to incorporate this significant industry into our exhibits and displays. Our efforts received a very significant boost when the Phillips 66 Company donated $30,000 to the Museum to further this end. Half of the funds will be utilized in the purchase and restoration of a full sized Southern Pacific oil tank car and related information. The second portion will be spent in developing an historic portrayal in model form (CCMR) covering the extraction, transportation and refining of oil in our coastal region. In addition to the models there will be video monitors using photos and voice over which will present the railroad/oil industry information to the Museum visitor.
A formal presentation was made last Friday (Dec 19) by Phillips 66 Santa Maria Refinery manager Bill Schroll to Museum president Brad LaRose and directors Karl Hovanitz, Arnold Jonas, and Andrew Merriam.
Phillips 66 will be recognized as both a model scene sponsor and a Museum Patron for their generous $30,000 contribution.
Photos courtesy of Ellie Koschesky.