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Special Collections

Then & Now

Our previous Then & Now feature found us at the corner of 2nd & G Streets in Davis. Traveling further east on 2nd Street, we’ll come to our next location in the series. The Southern Pacific Depot, located at 840 2nd Street, was constructed in 1913.

The station serves as a reminder of the railroad’s role in the development of Davis. The railroad first came to Davisville (now Davis) in August 1868 with the completion of the California Pacific Railroad line from Vallejo. In addition to advantages of trade, the railroad brought the availability of convenient passenger service. Members of the Davis State Farm Promotion Committee, the group that led efforts to have Davis selected as the site of the University Farm, noted the railroad in a list of the town’s advantages. In their 1904 publication,  An Ideal Spot for a University Farm, the committee wrote: “Under the normal time card there are each day seven passenger trains to and from San Francisco and Berkeley, ten to and from Sacramento, two to and from Oroville and one to and from Portland, and on the winter schedule one to and from Willows, Glenn County. Each of these lines passes through the great farming districts of the Sacramento Valley, rendering Davisville peculiarly accessible to students from those districts, as well as to professors and executive officers from Berkeley, from whom a splendid evening train service will be particularly advantageous.”

The station, designed by the Architectural Bureau of the Southern Pacific Railroad, replaced an earlier terminal that was built in 1868 for the California Pacific Railroad. Rail service at the station today includes stops by the Capitol Corridor as well as the California Zephyr.The Mission Revival station is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and the California Register of Historical Resources.

The historic images of the station below from our Eastman Originals Collection were taken in 1944.

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