Sacramento in Sacramento County, California — The American West (Pacific Coastal)
Freight on the Move
Central Pacific Railroad
Since the days of Sutter’s Fort, Sacramento was the trading center for much of the Central Valley, the Sierra Nevada and points beyond. As the railroad network around the capital city expanded, Sacramento merchants were able to market a greater volume and range of goods over a larger area. Each day crates, barrels and sacks covered the Freight Depot as the ever increasing flow of shipments made it one of the busiest places in the city. But by evening, the large open deck was cleared. The Central Pacific first built a freight depot on this site in 1864. Initially, most items crossing the platform were supplies and materials bound from Sacramento to the Central Pacific crews who were building the Transcontinental Railroad eastward. The amount of freight passing through the depot increased as Sacramento wholesalers began shipping groceries and manufactured goods to isolated towns along the line. Business was especially brisk and profitable to Virginia City, Gold Hill and the Nevada Comstock Lode.
The completed Transcontinental Railroad offered faster and cheaper freight service than the old shipping routes through Panama and around
During its first five years in existence, the CPRR Freight Depot grew almost continuously until it spanned an entire city block. Nevertheless, business exceeded the capacity of this building by 1880, and a larger depot replaced it on the same site. In 1986, as part of the historic redevelopment of Old Sacramento, the depot was reconstructed to its 1876 appearance.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Railroads & Streetcars. In addition, it is included in the Transcontinental Railroad series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1864.
Location. 38° 34.953′ N, 121° 30.367′ W. Marker is in Sacramento, California, in Sacramento County. Marker can be reached from Front Street. Marker is mounted in the walkway between the street and railroad tracks at the Depot. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Sacramento CA 95814, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. First Transcontinental Railroad Groundbreaking Site (here, next to this marker); a different marker also named First Transcontinental Railroad Groundbreaking Site (here, next to this marker); Pony Express River Steamer “Antelope” (a few steps from this marker); Lady Adams BuildingSacramento River Waterfront (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Booth Building (about 300 feet away); Vernon-Brannan House (about 400 feet away); Sacramento's Early Waterfront (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sacramento.
Also see . . . University of California. Photo of the Levee and Central Pacific Railroad Freight Trains, Sacramento, circa 1860/1870 (Submitted on February 11, 2009, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona.)
Credits. This page was last revised on August 18, 2020. It was originally submitted on February 11, 2009, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona. This page has been viewed 1,365 times since then and 12 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on February 11, 2009, by Syd Whittle of Mesa, Arizona.