1900 - 1910


Fruit shipping became an important factor in the economy of Roseville at the beginning of the twentieth century. Figures compiled by the Roseville Board of Trade for 1901 revealed that during the year alone, more than 781,000 pounds of fresh deciduous fruits had been shipped from Roseville, along with 3,000 boxes of oranges, 22,380 pounds of picked olives and 8,000 pounds of olive oil. Hand in hand with the increased activity of shipping fruit was a great upsurge in viticulture with local crops estimated at $570,000. Carefully compiled statistics show that a total of 1,195,436 boxes of grapes were shipped from the Roseville depot in 1901.

With the decline of the Winery, Haman became manager of the Southern Pacific stock corrals in Roseville and invested in several parcels of property in and around town. Active in politics, Haman was elected to Roseville’s first City Council in 1909 and did not retire from politics until 1931. The Haman residence – a two-story home located at the corner of Oak and Taylor Streets – was later used for the Roseville Arts Center.

By 1905, Roseville had changed from a mere railroad junction to a growing town which held high hopes for the future. But, the ambitious community was still largely a community of homes – small frame houses, spaced rather unevenly along narrow streets which transformed into dusty trails in summer and impassible quagmires of mud in winter. This is how Roseville appeared on the eve of the announcement that the Southern Pacific Company was contemplating moving its extensive railroad facilities from Rocklin. Roseville does owe its birth and early development to its position as shipping and trading center for a rich farming and grazing section of southwestern Placer County. But not until the railroad switching yards moved to Roseville in 1906 did the town really grow, marking the beginning of a new era, an era which would almost overnight change Roseville from a little shipping station to the most important freight handling terminal on the Pacific Coast – the “St. Louis of the West”.

Throughout 1905 rumors persisted in Rocklin that the Southern Pacific intended to enlarge their freight yards. Railroad plans called for a yard 7,000 feet long and 800 feet wide. The Rocklin trustees hurriedly called a special election to levy a special tax for the purpose of raising the necessary money to buy the land needed by the railroad. Their plans were to no avail, for in December it was announced that the freight yards were to be moved and that Rocklin, because of insufficient room to permit enlarging the terminal to handle increasing business, was to be eliminated from any further consideration. Several places were mentioned for the site of the new railroad yards including Ben Ali, Loomis, and a place between Loomis and Rocklin. Roseville was finally selected in the early part of 1906, partly because of the more favorable grade conditions, and partly because of its position at the junction of the north-bound and east-bound lines of the Southern Pacific Railroad.

The formal announcement that Roseville had been selected for the site of the Southern Pacific yards brought a startling transformation for the little village. Instantly the town began to boom. The railroad company bought large blocks of land, with A.B. McRae, local realtor, handling most of the transactions. The unloading of rails, ties, lumber, construction machinery and tools commenced immediately.

Atlantic Street had to be moved back a hundred feet to accommodate miles of new track. Clouds of yellow choking dust hovered continually over the town as teams of mules and work horses worked from sunup to sundown seven days a week preparing the ground for the construction workers waiting patiently nearby in their temporary tent cities. The first building was moved off that thoroughfare during the summer of 1906. While the tracks were laid, the new round house was reported to be rapidly taking shape. The first switch engine for the local yards arrived on Tuesday, Sept., 18, 1906.