Some Santa Fe Section Houses

Last revised: July 21, 2002
Maintained by Evan Werkema.

Section houses were once common across the Santa Fe system. They were the residences for the section foremen, who supervised the section maintenance gangs that were once stationed every 12 to 15 miles along the main line. As usual, Santa Fe developed system standard plans for section houses, the most common being the 24'x49' design illustrated in the pictures below. The plans shown on pages 184-188 of Kachina Press' Santa Fe System Standards Vol. 2, dated 1936, appear to be a late revision of this plan. The section house plans were also used for agent's houses and other company residences.

While few if any section houses still house company employees, quite a few still exist as private residences. At least one standard section house is preserved, at a museum in Skull Valley, AZ. Most section houses in use as residences today have been extensively modified by the owners, but a few "untouched" examples remain, as illustrated below. If you have pictures or information to add, drop us a line.

Lamy, NM

This well-preserved section house is located east of the depot in Lamy, NM. While the 1936 plans had provision for a small cellar, the walk-in basement shown here was not typical. Whether the building was built this way or moved onto a new foundation is not known. A collection of company support buildings surrounds the section house - a boxcar body, tool house, and privy.

La Junta, CO

This section house once stood on the east side of La Junta, adjacent to a stockyard. The structure was intact but abandoned when these photos were taken in 1992, and was subsequently removed.

Aguila, AZ

A pair of section houses at Aguila, AZ. One was presumably the agent's residence; the other was probably the section foreman's house. Anybody have a station plat?

Stratford, TX

The 24'x49' section house plan included substantial screened porches at the front and one rear corner. Subsequent owners frequently replaced the screens with windows and siding, converting the porches into rooms. Such was the case with this former section house at Stratford, TX.

Allenfarm, TX

This well-preserved GC&SF-style section house still stands at Allenfarm. It may have served as the depot for a time as well. R.J. McKay photos.

Merryville, LA

A relocated but well maintained former GC&SF section house still stands at Merryville, LA. Lowell McManus provided these April 2002 views.

Other section houses believed to still exist:

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