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Railroad Comes to San Ramon Valley

One hundred years ago California was railroad country. In 1869 the Golden Spike celebration commemorated the fact that rails stretched across the entire country. Small farming community leaders believed railroad service to their communities would bring them prosperity.

San Ramon Valley farmers and ranchers were no different. Their cattle, grain, hay and fruit had to be hauled over dirt roads which were impassable during the winter rains. Yet the deep water ports of the Carquinez Strait were tantalizingly close.

So they dreamed, lobbied and planned for rail service, with Grangers prominent in the effort. Getting rail to the Valley was a prime topic of conversation at Danville Grange No. 85 meetings after 1873 when the farm organization was founded. The Grange included farmers and ranchers from Danville, San Ramon, Alamo and the Tassajara Valley.
**This article was written by Beverly Lane, based on the book by Irma M. Dotson, "San Ramon Branch of the Southern Pacific".