by Stephen J. Faessel
Lafayette F. Lewis, a native of New York, moved to Anaheim in 1872 and established the
Fashion Stables on Center Street (today’s Lincoln Ave.) between Los Angeles Street (today’s
Anaheim Blvd.) and Lemon Street.  His two sons, Arthur L. and Fred B. assisted their father
in the running of one of Anaheim’s early business ventures.  Civic minded and an Anaheim
booster, Arthur Lewis served as a member of Anaheim’s Board of Trustees (today’s City
Council) from 1894 until 1896. Arthur, who had training as an Electrical Engineer, and his
brother Fred B. Lewis (later to become Vice President of the Southern California Edison Co.)
assisted Mr. E.C. Sharpe in the planning of Anaheim’s first electrical facility in 1895.
Mr. Arthur Lewis was active in local community and fraternal organizations.  Arthur’s son,
Lafayette A. (named for his grandfather) later became Grand Exalted Ruler of the Elks.
The family remained active in Anaheim until the late 1930’s.
The idea for The Anaheim Street Car Company goes back to 1870 when it was incorporated
on October 27 with Major Max Von Strobel, Anaheim’s first Mayor, as President. Strobel’s
death in 1873 and general difficulty in raising capital stalled the actual construction of the
area’s second horse car line until 1887.  Orange County’s early land boom of the 1880’s,
fueled by the completion of the Santa Fe Railroad through Fullerton, Anaheim, Orange and
Santa Ana, was the incentive needed to acquire necessary investment to fund construction of
Anaheim’s own railroad.
Construction began on December 7, 1886 when graders commenced work on Center Street
(today’s Lincoln Ave.).  The line as constructed, began at the Southern Pacific Depot on
Adams Street (off today’s Manchester Ave.), ran down Center Street to the newly constructed
Santa Fe Depot on the east end of town, totaling about 1-3/8 miles.
Regular service began on Tuesday March 1, 1887 with a 5-cent fare established.
Over the years of operation, the line barely covered its expenses, seldom showing a profit
for the Los Angeles and Anaheim investors.  By December 1891, the Lewis brothers,
Lafayette F. and Arthur were contracted for $300 per year to feed and care for the line’s two
horses.  A switch was placed in the horse car track and a line was run into the Lewis’s Fashion
Stables.  After an attempt to sell the financially strapped line in June 1894 failed, mules
replaced the horses as cheaper motive power in November.
When the Southern Pacific extended their line down Santa Ana Street in the fall of 1899,
locating a new Depot within walking distance from the center of town, the little horse car line
was doomed. Most residents preferred walking downtown rather than spending the 5-cent fare.
The November 9, 1899 issue of the Anaheim Gazette gave this one line obituary.  “The street
car has been discontinued.”  In January 1901, the assets of the company including the two
horse cars and track were sold at public auction for delinquent taxes thus ending Anaheim’s
first railroad empire. Nonetheless, the Anaheim horse car line outlived all the others on Orange
County, lasting for 13 years.