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Matt:

I was recently looking on-line at the Yahoo Maps map of the intersection of I-5 and Highway 52 and found the single word "Elvira." Then I was on a jog under this very intersection, only to see a sign near the railroad track labeled "CP Elvira." So what's the story behind this? Is there some strange tie between this area and the Mistress of the Dark?

-- Jim in La Jolla

Not unless the Mistress of the Dark had a day job as a train crewman or a shepherd. Control Point Elvira (at the edge of Marian Bear Park) used to be a busy place. The railroad went through Rose Canyon in 1881. Some time in the 1920s the Elvira flag stop station was built, with bunkhouses, a water tank, equipment sheds, and other railroad necessities. The rumor is, Santa Fe's flag stop stations and sidings were named after people in the company; Elvira was the wife of some railroad bigwig. In the 1930s they built a siding at Elvira to serve the sheep stockyards in the area and the other businesses in the canyon. The station eventually became obsolete and was torn down in 1959, though the sign remains. So how did it end up on a Yahoo! Map (and Mapquest and other area maps)? According to Mapquest, their published maps are made up of all kinds of documents, including railroad maps. Any landmark on the railroad map will be used. And that's all we know about Elvira, Mistress of the Park.

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