Roseville, CA

The Central Pacific and the California Central railroads played a significant role in Roseville's development. When the railroads intersected Jan. 29, 1864, the area where they met was designated "Junction" on railroad maps. Daily passenger service began on April 26, 1864, from Sacramento to "Junction."

The area's name was later changed to Roseville because, according to a popular story, there was an abundance of wild roses growing nearby. The first time a newspaper mentioned "Roseville" was during the 1864 presidential race between Abraham Lincoln and Gen. George McClellan.

Roseville's first building was an unpainted shed used as a depot and freight shipping station by Cyrus W. Taylor, who often was referred to in historical documents as Roseville’s first resident. Soon after the freight depot was set up, another resident, Daniel Van Treese, purchased lots in the area and built Roseville’s first hotel.

The railroad always has been one of the area's most important economic development engines, spurring trade, supporting the growth of the agriculture industry and ancillary businesses, increasing residential development and serving as a major employer with a peak of about 6,000 employees in the 1940s and 1950s.

In 1996, Union Pacific acquired Southern Pacific Railroad (which by then had absorbed Central Pacific and California Central), and began a $145 million expansion program in Roseville. It marked the return of Roseville as a major West Coast rail center, and perhaps the most important railroad center west of the Mississippi River.

The entrance to downtown Roseville today is marked by Southern Pacific steam locomotive No. 2252, an homage to Roseville's railroad heritage. The revitalized Historic Old Town and Downtown Roseville include a rail yard viewing platform.

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