The Depot Antique Mall and Wine Pub, Los Alamos

3.8
#570 of 651 in Shopping in California
The Depot Antique Mall is the last standing PRR depot, Listen carefully as you travel Highway 135 from Los Alamos to Orcutt.

You may hear the sound of a ghostly train whistle.

The narrow gauge Pacific Coast Railway followed this route from 1882 to the late 1930s. The railroad, which originated at Port Harford near San Luis Obispo, carried much of the lumber to build Central Coast communities.

Between 1882 and 1887, when tracks were laid south to Los Olivos, Los Alamos prospered as the end of the line. From Los Alamos, site of the only surviving PCRR depot, Port Harford-bound locomotives first chugged west, then turned north, paralleling the current highway.

Los Alamos is still the end of the line for Highway 135, which ends at Highway 101 there. But going north from the picturesque Western town, the first part of Highway 135 follows the pretty and peaceful Los Alamos Valley at the foot of the Purisima Hills. It was here in 1938 that the line/s worst disaster occurred when a locomotive was broadsided by a gasoline truck. Despite the inferno, no one died.

For some eight miles, the narrow two-lane road follows San Antonio Creek, passing through picturesque ranch country where vineyards have replaced broccoli fields. About midway, nested in trees on the Scheller ranch, is a beautifully preserved adobe built in 1829 as headquarters of the huge Rancho Los Alamos land grant.

Past Harris Grade Road, a twisting route to Lompoc through the Purisima Hills, Highway 135 makes a 90-degree jog north past forgotten railroad stops named Divide and Bicknell. Here 135 changes character, joining Highway 1, becoming a fast-moving divided highway for Vandenberg Air Force Base traffic past the pioneer town of Graciosa.

After three more miles, Highways 1 and 135 again divide. Highway 1 heads northwest to Guadalupe while 135, now the busier highway and a far cry from two-lane roads remembered by Vandenberg old-timers, veers east to Orcutt. Curving north, it becomes crowded Broadway through downtown Santa Maria, eventually ending again at Highway 101 at the north end of town.

In some 20 miles, Highway 135 has seen it all.

Roadside Attractions is a weekly chronicle of sights along the Central Coast/s main commuter routes. Sally Cappon can be reached at sjcappon@aol.com.

December 23, 2008 from the Santa Maria Times
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The Depot Antique Mall and Wine Pub Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.0
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TripAdvisor
  • You want something secondhand or an antique? Well this place is vast and I’m sure you’ll enjoy hunting for whatever you want and chances are you may be lucky and find it! Not your usual fusty antique ...  more »
  • My friend and I were looking for plates for different purposes. I was seeking plates with colorful rims and my friend, playing card themed. We were both successful, Also bought loose scrabble tiles fo...  more »

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