All great places in this vast world usually have an equally great story behind their existence. This is especially true for the City of Roseville. When we look at the busy streets, most of us see a flourishing community, a thriving economy, and an all around wonderful place to live. However, not many of us take the time to remember how our growing city became a popular destination for families to find their ‘home sweet home.’
Railroads and Indians
Well over 500 years ago in the beautiful green hills of this vicinity lived the Maidu Indian tribe. The land was lush and fertile. While the men hunted deer, elk, bear, geese, ducks and quail during the year, the women collected seeds, nuts, berries and wild plants. It was a time when the land was ripe and these animals ran free in abundance.
In the mid 1880’s gold was discovered in this region of California and spawned the great gold rush era. People had come from all over the country to mine and pan for the precious metal. When 1864 rolled around, the Central Pacific Railroad laid their track eastward. Roseville was known as a simple railroad town that shipped and supplied many things, meeting the needs of the farmers and ranchers in the area. There were only two main roads of this small shipping point, Atlantic and Pacific streets. In the early 1900’s Rocklin moved its repair facilities into Roseville for convenience and ceased to be a service center for the railroad.
A major development occurred in April 1909, a chamber of commerce was formed by strong intelligent individuals who worked hard to provide municipal services for the expanding residential community.
Although the railroads were still greatly active through WWII the declining needs for this means of transportation came in the years just after. It was in 1956 that I-80 was complete so naturally trucks and airplanes took over most of the delivery duties to this fair town. As a result, the local depot closed in 1972.
When the Folsom Dam was built in 1955, “Downtown” became “East Roseville” due to the thriving community and its businesses. The very first ‘strip mall’ to be built was none other than Roseville Square. It supplied the town with the newest stores and products of the times. Today, from that one shopping complex was born a vast array of shopping plazas, centers and malls. With all of the revitalizing projects in the works, of both those that are underway and those that will build a better future for Roseville, more shopping areas are going to be developed on the east side of the freeway.
Saying Good Bye to the fair little Town
Roseville celebrated its 100th birthday in 1964. It was during this year that it received a prestigious award that changed its face and the way that everyone looked at it. Look Magazine presented the “All American City” award to this distinguished community in all its charm. At that moment the small railroad town ceased to exist and the birth of the great City of Roseville emerged.