SFBNWR; circa 1880

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Standing on Main Street

1880. George Mundershietz, the first bridge tender of Drawbridge.

At this time, the only structure on the island was George's two-room cabin, set a few feet back from the track, and located mid-way between Mud Slough and Coyote Creek Slough. George's job was to open the drawbridges, by hand crank, when boats blew their whistles for passage through the sloughs.

O. L. "Montey" Dewey describes a mean game Alvisoan's would play on George, "Then some of the young people from Alviso invented a game to have some fun with the bridge tender. They would blow their whistle at the Coyote Slough bridge. George would leave his cabin, walk the quarter mile to the bridge and open it. About the time he had it closed the same boat would be at the Warm Springs (Mud Slough) bridge, blowing its whistle. Well, George wasn't a young man and was on the stout side. He just didn't see the humor in this game. It wasn't long before a 24 hour notice had to be given before a bridge was opened."

In 1880, the wildlife in San Francisco Bay surpassed all imagining, it was a time before salt evaporation ponds had gouged out the wetlands and San Jose sewage had fouled the sloughs with black waste. Station Island, accessible by train for the first time, was an ideal spot for hunting and fishing. George soon began to invite his hunting friends to spend the night at his cabin.

"He must have been an entrepreneur at heart, as he soon began to charge 50 cents a night for the privilege." O. L. "Montey" Dewey

In 1970, Southern Pacific demolished the old railroad cabin/station to reduce possible liability.



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