James R. "Bob" Guthrie was the Southern Pacific Railroad's last station agent at Saugus, arriving in 1962 and staying until the SP shuttered the
depot Nov. 15, 1978. Passenger service had ended in April 1971.
As was the norm with Southern Pacific's two-story depots, Guthrie lived in the four-plus-one upstairs rooms with his wife, Arminta, and five of their
six children who were, in descending age order: Linda, Ed, Cheryl, Marla, Debbie and Nancy. Age 18 in 1962, Linda made her home elsewhere
rather than move into the cramped quarters. Most of the kids graduated from Hart High School in the 1960s and '70s. The depot stood in its original
location at the southeast corner of Drayton Street and San Fernando Road (aka Bouquet Canyon Road).
The "plus one" room was a wood-sided addition built over the first-floor roof that served as
a living room. Not original to the 1887 depot, it was removed after the depot was relocated in June 1980 to Heritage Junction at Hart Park in Newhall.
As noted by daughter Cheryl (Walker), Bob Guthrie was "instrumental in alerting the SCVHS [Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society] that the SP had slated the depot for destruction."
The Society organized a successful fundraising campaign to rescue it.
Bob Guthrie was born in Pittsburgh, Kans., and went to work for the Kansas City Southern line in 1941. He jobbed around and finally worked at
Oxnard before coming to Saugus, where he doubled as the Western Union telegram agent. After retirement, Bob and Arminta bought a 31-foot motorhome and
lived in Big Pine Creek outside of Bishop, Calif.
Read more about the Guthries here.
Watch a 2010 interview program with Arminta Guthrie inside the Saugus depot here.