Stone Castle Powerhouse – Upland, California - Atlas Obscura

Stone Castle Powerhouse

Upland, California

The ruins of an abandoned 19th-century powerhouse are slowly being consumed by nature. 


Possibly the most well-preserved ruins of early industrial life in the greater Los Angeles area, the Ontario Electric Company Stone Castle must be seen to be believed. The intact frame of the structure still stands as a testament to a time when architecture was beautiful and not just utilitarian. 

From 1887 to 1895, the Stone Castle Powerhouse marked the terminus of the San Antonio Heights rail line. The terminus used a mule car to haul passengers up the steep Euclid Hill.

During its heyday, the powerhouse was maintained by the Richardsons. Eric Richardson, hired to maintain the powerhouse by the Ontario Electric Company, was instrumental in the invention of the nickel-chromium alloy flat point iron, or “hotpoint” iron. His enterprise would eventually merge with General Electric.

Abandoned after a fire in 1915, the former hydroelectric powerhouse now sits collecting vines. Thankfully, because of its stone construction and its protection by the National Historic Register and a healthy ring of poison oak, these ruins may be around, and not covered with graffiti, for generations to come.

Know Before You Go

This is private property, so do not trespass. Ask permission to enter for photo shoots.