National Register of Historic Places in Contra Costa County

National Register #94000860: Danville Southern Pacific Railroad Depot 22 January 2008
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National Register #94000860
Danville Southern Pacific Railroad Depot
Railroad and Prospect Avenues
Built 1891

The Danville passenger and freight depot is a wooden structure built in 1891 by the Southern Pacific Railroad in accordance with a design identified in their records as Combination Station No. 22. Of the four depots on the San Ramon Branch Line, which were built in 1891 using this plan, only the depot at Danville has survived with a high degree of architectural and historical integrity. The depots at Concord and San Ramon were demolished. Major alterations were made to the Walnut Creek depot and it was moved from its original site.

The rural economy of the San Ramon Valley went through three distinct phases.

Early settlers raised cattle until they discovered that the climate suited dry-growing of wheat, barley and hay. By the 1890s, hay was the leading product shipped from the Danville area to cavalry posts and to foreign markets.

The coming of the railroad facilitated the transition from the grain era to the fruit and nut era. The depot, located in the geographic center of the area, was a major improvement over horse-drawn wagons.

The depot also provided a link to the outside world for farm families, allowing them to travel and to have visitors, privileges previously unavailable to people in this part of Contra Costa County.

Source: Adapted from the NRHP nomination submitted in 1994.

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